Surrogate Advertising Practices in Indian Liquor Industry



Case Code : CLMM031
Publication date : 2005
Subject : Marketing Management
Industry : Alcoholic beverages and tobacco
Length : 05 Pages
Price : Rs. 100

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Key words:

Indian Liquor Industry, Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL), Country-Made Liquor, Shaw Wallace (SWC), United Breweries, Advertising, Direct Consumer Promotions Programs, Sponsorships, Electronic Media Advertisements, Code of Conduct, Advertising Code, Cable TV Act 1995, Public Interest Groups, Satellite Channels, Brand Building, Corporate Advertising, Surrogate Advertising, Kingfisher, McDowell's, Royal Challenge, Zee, Sony, Star, Aaj Tak, I&B Ministry


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The caselet describes the regulatory framework for marketing liquor products in India. It examines the promotional mix elements used by liquor companies to promote their products. In the year 2000, I&B Ministry barred TV channels from telecasting liquor and cigarette advertisements. The caselet discusses the steps taken by the Indian government to monitor the advertisements broadcast by these companies. Finally, it focuses on the surrogate and 'socially responsible' advertising route used by liquor companies to promote their products, after the ban on direct liquor advertisements in 2000.


   Regulatory framework and its influence on marketing strategy
   Efficacy of surrogate advertising
   Marketing liquor products in India


The Indian liquor industry was in the news during early 2000s for its surrogate advertising practices which generated a lot of criticism from various quarters. The Indian liquor industry can be divided into two broad segments:

Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) and country-made liquor. IMFL comprises alcoholic beverages that were developed abroad but are being made in India (whisky, rum, vodka, beer, gin and wine), while country-made liquor comprises alcoholic beverages made by local breweries...

Questions for Discussion:

1. 'By banning advertisements for liquor, the government is trying to disassociate itself from the social evils associated with alcohol consumption.' Critically comment on this statement in light of the ban on direct and surrogate advertisements for liquor.

2. Do you think surrogate advertisements by liquor companies were banned because of the criticism they received? Give reasons to support your answer. Also, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using surrogate advertisements (for a liquor company in particular and also for any other type of company).

3. As a part of a team responsible for the marketing of a leading liquor brand, what measures would you suggest to overcome the limitations imposed due to the ban on surrogate advertising?