Surrogate Advertising Secrets Revealed

Surrogate Advertising Secrets Revealed

What is Surrogate Advertising ?

Surrogate advertising is a form of advertising which is used to promote banned products, like cigarettes and alcohol, in the disguise of another product. Duplicating brand image of one product extensively, in order to promote, another product of the same company.

It is done by complementary products like Soda, bottled water, fruit juices and sometime Music CDs, apparel, accessories of a sports goods of the same brand.


Examples of Surrogate Advertising:


In India, many states have banned the alcohol whether in direct sale or indirect sale eg. Gujarat and Bihar states have fully banned the liquor/alcohol, but still in those states the companies like Kingfisher,Imperial Blue,Royal Stag etc are promoting their actual products in disguise of sports accessories, drinking water bottles, sodas and Music CDs.

kingfisher uses surrogate advertising
Sports Accessories
Music CDs

Tobacco products:

Tobacco products are also banned in some states of India like Maharashtra. The companies who manufacture tobacco products like  Gutkha or Khaini etc. include RMD, Pan Bahaar, Kamala Pasand and many more. Usually they will not replace the product with some other psuedo products like Music CDs but they deduct the tobacco content and name them as Pan Masala. 

Lets see how they promote:

Recently the brand Pan Bahar hired James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) to promote it in a TV ad as Classy & Royal Pan Masala.

After leaving fans worldwide shaken and stirred with his pan masala ad, former James Bond star has said that he is “deeply shocked and saddened” at the “unauthorized” use of his image for the endorsement.

He said his contract said he had to advertise a “breath freshener/tooth whitener” which would not include an ingredient that turns saliva red.(Indian can do whetever they want… 😛) [source]


Why do we need to ban such Surrogate Advertisements ?

  • They are misleading, false and dishonest in many cases.
  • These ads create social trends, affecting how people think and act especially children.
  • They are neither promoted by Central nor State governments (Really ?)

Truth is, somewhere the governments have allowed these ads for the revenue while keeping the constitutional rules and acts at stake.

So guys what are your views on this topic, let me know in comments !


By Dinesh Suthar
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