Officers’ Choice Blue snacks advertisement by M.S. Dhoni to be withdrawn

PRESSNOTE-27/E&R/March 28

Press Release

Officers’ Choice Blue snacks advertisement by M.S. Dhoni to be withdrawn

ASCI upholds CERC complaint of Officers Choice Blue Liquor being advertised undercover of snacks

 Ahmedabad, 28 March 2019

The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has upheld the complaint of Consumer Education and Research Centre (CERC), Ahmedabad against the advertisement of Officers Choice Blue Snacks endorsed by the former Team India Captain, M.S. Dhoni. The advertiser (Allied Blenders and Distillers Pvt. Ltd) could not provide any evidence to show that M.S. Dhoni has done due diligence prior to endorsement, to ensure that all the descriptions and claims made in the advt. are capable of substantiation or any evidence of the consent of M.S. Dhoni for the claims. This contravened the Guidelines for Celebrities in Advertising.

The advertiser could not furnish any commercial product samples which were advertised, despite ASCI request. The sales data of Officer’s Choice snacks for the period (1/4/2015 to 31/3/2017) as certified by the CA, showed the net sales amount of Potato Chips and Namkeens both together totaling to Rs. 588.69 lakhs. The sales data of Officer’s Choice brand snacks foods in West Bengal for the period (1/4/2017 to 31/3/2018 and 1/4/2018 to 31/10/2018) as certified by the CA, showed the net sales amount of Rs. 255.73 lakhs. However, the company was unable to submit the annual market sales data of the product advertised (Officer’s Choice Blue Snacks).

The advertisement thus contravened ASCI Guidelines for Qualification of Brand Extension Product or Service which states, “it should be registered with appropriate Government authority, the in-store availability of the product must be at least 10% of the leading brand in the category the product competes as measured in the Metro Cities where the product is advertised. Alternatively, the Sales Turnover of the product or service should exceed Rs.5 cr per annum nationally or Rs 1 cr per annum per state where distribution has been established. A valid certification is also required from an independent organization such as AC Nielsen or category specific industry association for distribution and sales turnover to prove the concerned criteria.

Based on the above observations, ASCI concluded that the advertisement is surrogate advertisement for promotion of liquor product – Officers Choice Blue. Hence, it was misleading by implication and ASCI upheld the complaint by CERC.

CERC has been working relentlessly towards reducing the menace of misleading advts by actively monitoring and reporting false, misleading and objectionable advertisements to the regulatory authorities. The Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA), Government of India, has also awarded a project to CERC to study misleading advts.


For further information please contact

Ms Pritee Shah (O) 079-27489945/46   (M) +91 99048 63838

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