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Surrogate in Advertising | un-ethic Advertising | Student Notes |


Surrogate is a form of advertising which is used to promote banned products, like cigarettes and alcohol, in the cover of another product.

     This type of advertising uses a product that is ethical in its category, like club soda, mineral water, golf accessories, music CDs, or playing cards, and take benefit indirectly by advertising the brand name which is of alcohol products or other banned products. This type of advertising helps the company to hammer the brand name into the heads of consumers.


Surrogate Advertising In INDIA

In India, Surrogate Ads are done in tobacco and liquor products. There is a ban on direct or indirect ads for tobacco and liquor products.

Therefore to promote its products, the company takes the option of surrogate ads.

The banned product is not advertised directly to consumers but they advertised in the name of another product, under the same brand name so people start connecting it with its main product.

Kingfisher is the best example of it, they had promoted everything from bottled water to soda under the umbrella of the brand name 'Kingfisher.


The Cable Television Networks ACT,1995

Rule 7(2)(viii) of the Cable Television Rules prohibits the direct or indirect promotion of "cigarettes, tobacco products, wine, alcohol, liquor, etc. However, the proviso to this rule also runs as:

"Provided that a product that uses a brand name or logo, which is also used for cigarettes, tobacco products, wine, alcohol, liquor may be advertised on cable services but the following condition must be fulfilled -


Conditions regarding prohibited Product


1.)  The story or visual of advertisement, advertise the actual product and not the prohibited products in any form or manner;

2.)  The advertisement does not contain any direct or indirect reference to prohibited products;

3.)  The advertisement does not contain any phrases promoting prohibited products;

4.)  The advertisement must not use particular colors and layout or presentations connected with prohibited products;

5.)  The advertisement must not use situations for the promotion of prohibited products when advertising other products.


3.) Example of Surrogate Advertising

5.) Advantages of Surrogate Advertising


1.)  It helps the company to generate sales for banned products.

2.)  It keeps on reminding consumers about the banned products indirectly.

3.)  If nobody can advertise, then  the  threat  of competition  from new  players  or new  launches  by competitors is minimized.


6.) Disadvantages of Surrogate Advertising


1.)  It beats the purpose of ban on advertisement.

2.)  Advertising of harmful products.

3.)  It is harming the society a lot because children cannot distinguish between the banned products and the advertised product.


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