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Surrogate ads by liquor companies not disallowed by SC

MUMBAI: The apex court of India has denied entertaining a plea that sought a ban on surrogate advertisements such as soda TVCs and ads by liquor companies. Surrogate advertising is a form of advertising that is used to promote products such as cigarettes and alcohol for which advertisements are prohibited.

A bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar dismissed the plea filed by a law student who had also sought a direction to the central government to frame guidelines to disallow such advertisements, PTI reported.

The bench that also comprised Justices S K Kaul and D Y Chandrachud wondered if the petitioner thought the soda advertisements mad people drink alcohol more, and that they disagreed.

The apex court was hearing a plea filed by Kartikey Bhatt, a Rajasthan resident, who claimed that the Cable Television Networks Rules stated that no advertisement shall be permitted which indirectly or directly promotes production, sale or consumption of any intoxicants such as liquor.

However, the government has failed to carry out its duty of ensuring implementation of the law, and surrogate advertisements were being illegally telecast on cable services without seeking prior permission, the plea said.

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