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NOTE urges Goa CM to stop surrogate advertisements of tobacco products

The National Organisation for Tobacco Eradication has asked the government to stop allotting space or media to private companies promoting harmful products through surrogate ads

The National Organisation for Tobacco Eradication (NOTE) India has written to Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to stop the surrogate advertisements of tobacco products, reports said.

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A memorandum was submitted to the authorities, requesting them to issue directions to identify and withdraw such advertisements.

The authorities were also requested to issue an injunction to refrain government departments from allotting space or media to private companies to promote the surrogate advertising of products that adversely affect people’s health.

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Dr Shekhar Salkar, NOTE President, said there are several instances of surrogate advertisements pushed by cigarette companies in public, including that of tobacco products on public transport as well as hoardings on display on the banks of the Mandovi, a river in the state.

The move comes at a time when pan masala brands and celebrities promoting such products are under public scrutiny. Earlier last week, actor Amitabh Bachchan scrapped a campaign deal with Kamla Pasand Pan Masala. The actor returned the campaign's fees to the advertiser. According to a statement from the actor's office, he was not aware about the ad being surrogate in nature.

Despite scrapping of the deal, Salkar has alleged that the Kamla Pasand ad continue to be aired on TV.

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