Each day 55,000 children in India start using tobacco, Gutkha the chewable tobacco is aimed at the younger generation of the country. But you may wonder how do these companies manage to reach the minds of this children when they are not allowed to advertise these products.
After the ban the companies opened their doors to surrogate advertisement, an advertisement has the logo or brand of another company advertised within it. Lets take a look at this report done by a french channel on surrogate advertisements done in India.
One of the biggest surrogate advertisement market is the film Industry Bollywood, in 2004 and 2005, 89% of all the released movies had smoking scenes in them. Below is a small documentary on smoking in movies, with interesting statistics on the current scenario in India with regards to smoking.
According to research done by the Salaam Bombay Foundation, 3260 children between the age of 12 to 17 years fro municipal and private schools were asked to fill out a self-administered questionnaire.
When asked to recall slogans of any tobacco company or brand…
- 71% recalled Manikchand – Oonche log, oonchi pasand
- 12% recalled Goa – Yahan bhi Khilate hain, whan bhi, Goa No 1
- 2% recalled Sanket
- 0.4% recalled Shimla
- 15% recalled other brands
When asked to associate slogans with brands 63% could associate the slogan while 37% could not. What kind of a message will a child get from, Oonche log, oonchi pasand
Some of the observations learnt through this research is that, Gutkha advertising has had a deep impact on the minds of children although it has been banned since August 2002.
As children cannot easily disassociate Manikchand Water from Manikchand Gutkha, tobacco manufacturing companies should not be allowed to use surrogate advertisements. TV and radio are the hotspots as to where these messages are broadcasted to the children, the future of our country!
Cartoon by Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi