Pernod Ricard India Private Limited - Seagram's - Imperial Blue Superhits Music CDs

Recommendation: Upheld | Medium: General Public

The ASCI had approached the advertiser for its response in addressing the grievances of the complainant and forwarded the details of the complaint, verbatim, to the advertiser with a request to respond to the same. The advertiser was offered an opportunity to seek an Informal Resolution (IR) of the complaint and a telecon with the ASCI Secretariat to seek further guidance, which they did not avail but submitted their written response. In response to the Complainant’s objection Surrogate advt by Alcohol Company in today's Mumbai Mirror the Advertiser submitted assertions that “The said advertisement does not, either directly or indirectly, propagate use of any alcoholic products. The advertisement does not contain any nuances or phrases promoting any alcoholic beverages and does not constitute violation of law by any stretch of imagination”. The Advertiser also submitted that “in order to carry forward the well-established associations and perceptions attached to the Imperial Blue brand, attain business stability and generate increased revenues, the Company has introduced Imperial Blue Superhits Music Compact Discs. In its endeavor to become the market leader in the new product categories, the Company is zealously engaged in extensive sales campaigns, strategic promotional initiatives and marketing communications across the country and has spent significant amount over the years. The present advertisement of “Imperial Blue Superhits Music Compact Discs” is one such initiative”. The Advertiser also provided the following documents in substantiation of the above submissions: 1) copy of label, 2) copy of the recently made ad film, 3) copy of storyboard of the film, 4) Image of the CD packaging, 5) a list of retail spaces the product is sold out of, 6) copies of registration certificate and trademark certificate. The Advertiser’s reponse along with the documents provided in defense of the objection were presented before the Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) to consider. The CCC viewed the YouTube advertisement and considered the Advertisers submissions at the meeting. The CCC carefully considered all submissions made and opined that there are no overt liquor cues in the advertisement and thus it was not in violation of Chapter III, 3(b). The CCC observed that the advertiser submitted the required licenses and certificates as proof of their brand extension product being registered with appropriate Government authorities. However, the advertiser failed to provide adequate substantiation to demonstrate that this was a genuine extension by way of the brand qualification criteria. While the CCC accepted the advertiser submission that the product was available online, it did not meet the criteria set in the ASCI code for brand extensions in terms of distribution or sales turnover. The advertiser did not submit any sales turnover data and only provided a list of 15 outlets (including e-commerce platforms) where the product was available. This was considered by the CCC as inadequate evidence with respect to the brand extension qualification guidelines requirements. . On the basis of the documents made available, the CCC concluded that the Advertiser has not been able to adequately substantiate that it is a genuine line extension product and contravened the ASCI guidelines for Qualification of Brand Extension Product or Service. This ad is therefore, in violation of Chapter III, 3.6(a) of the ASCI code. The objection to “The advertisement appears to be a surrogate ad for Imperial Blue Whiskey” was UPHELD.