Advertising expenditure by liquor companies in India has touched Rs 162 crore in the first six months of 2016, rising 58% from a year ago, according to media buying agency Madison World. Liquor is one of the categories that has seen maximum growth in advertising spends, according to an expert. India prohibits advertisements that promote, directly or indirectly, production, sale or consumption of alcohol and other intoxicants.

However, companies skirt around this ban through surrogate advertising, which is promotion of the main product through advertisements of other products with the same brand name or logo. In the first half of 2015, liquor companies spent Rs 103 crore on such advertisements.

A big chunk of this expenditure has been on television advertising. The ad spend on TV advertising was Rs 96 crore in the January-June period of 2015. This has increased to Rs 154 crore in the sam duration in 2016. Expense on print advertising has also moved up from Rs 5 crore in 2015 to Rs 6 crore in the January-June period of 2016, according to data from Madison World.

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