HC asks UP Govt to ensure ban on surrogate ads of liquor


Allahabad, Mar 14: The Allahabad High Court Thursday ordered the Uttar Pradesh government and its Excise Department to enforce the ban on surrogate advertisement of liquor on TV and in cinema halls, newspapers and other mass media.
The bench of justices Sudhir Agarwal and Ajit Kumar passed the order on a plea by the president of a voluntary organisation Struggle Against Pain. The bench also directed the excise and police departments to take appropriate action to ensure prohibition of any such 'surrogate advertisement'.
The petitioner sought enforcement of the ban, annexing with his petition various surrogate advertisements of liquor in magazines and newspapers. The petition pointed out that though the advertisements were ostensibly for publicity of music CDs and drinking glasses, the name of these products were written in very small font and were hardly visible.
The advertisement, however, carried bold logos of various popular brands of liquor without using the word "liquor" to escape punishment under the law, the petition pointed out. The petitioner claimed that the liquor manufacturers and their vending firms spend huge amount of money on these advertisements to encourage the sale and consumption of liquor and succeed in their design.
Some liquor companies which were made parties to the petition, defended the practice claiming that they also produce other products like soda and glasses under the same brand name and the law does not ban their advertisements.

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