Nov 16, 2009

Accountability in Advertising?

There is an ad that shows a kid being fussy over normal food (veggies, rice, roti and dal). The mother then pulls out a powder that is mixed in milk and the kid is happy. The ad says that this product gives all nutrients of a food to children.

Really? One tablespoon of the powder and one tbsp of sugar and a cup of milk? I just have one thing to say....Get the executives of this company give a written commitment that they and their children live on this mixture. Nothing else. Breakfast, lunch and dinner - this mixture. Lets measure their "growth" with this.

I bet if this is raised, the only thing that will come will be a font-6 note in the last 3 seconds of the ad that basically means "Don't take this ad too seriously.".

Are such ads not too much to digest? They are misleading to the point that they can affect the health of children. In fact, I am ok with those fairness creams which you know need to shout so much to sell. But things that you consume...

Such ads need to be regulated. They better prove what they say. No irresponsible claims. Just like pharma cos. need to go through stringent approvals before their medicines can be sold, certain advertisements should go through approval. One cannot have such ads gone unnoticed .

Or perhaps there is scope for US like litigations where companies are forced to pay through nose when people take the ads a little too seriously and then file suits.

To avoid both above, the players would do well to be rational and self-regulate what they do and what they publicize. Reasonable claims are the way to go.


Paddy Killimangalam said...

Oh, well. Thats too much to expect from advertisers - their operative principle is caveat emptor.

Absolutely Normal Chaos said...

I agree. Advertisers really shoot their claims up, but I think in India it isn't as big a deal cos no one takes them seriously anyway. In America, well, everyone wants to sue everyone so it works :)

Siddharth said...

@Paddy - Yep! But it is unreasonable!

@Chaos - Thanks. That said there has to be some responsibility taken, at least about things that impact health.


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