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ASCI clears Neo Sports cricket series ads of racism charge

By , agencyfaqs! | In Advertising | February 26, 2007
Only one of the five Neo Sports cricket series ads was found to be 'indecent' by ASCI


After having & #BANNER1 & # looked into complaints received against the Neo Sports cricket series promotional advertisements, the Advertisements Standards Council of India (ASCI) says it has not found the ads 'racist'.

Clarifying the communication received by ASCI, Piyush Pandey, executive chairman, Ogilvy & Mather India, says, "In our clarification, as part of the process, we had submitted five of the Neo Sports cricket series ads to ASCI. The first three, titled 'Boat', 'Chilies' and 'Tiger', were meant for the last India-West Indies series. The fourth and fifth ones are a sequel to 'Boat' and 'Tiger' and meant for the Sri-Lanka series. The complaint against the 'Boat' ad and the 'Tiger' ad has not been upheld by ASCI. Only the 'Chilies' ad was found to have contravened Chapter II of ASCI, which incorporates the section that refers to public behaviour of decency. ASCI has requested that the airing of this ad be suspended temporarily."

Piyush Pandey
Pandey says, "ASCI has given no reference of any of the ads contravening Chapter III of the ASCI Code, which incorporates the section that refers to racism. Using wit and humour, the main purpose of the ads was to emphasize the home advantage that India enjoys. We have always maintained that the entire campaign should be seen in the context of the recently concluded cricket series against West Indies and Sri Lanka. Portraying these ads as racist is absolutely ridiculous."

He continues, "The ads have aired for two continuous weeks across 15 channels with more than 5,000 sports being broadcast and no negative comment. It is unfortunate that after this time span, suddenly, the entirely unrelated Shilpa Shetty-'Big Brother' incident has triggered a controversy for the campaign."

Neo Sports Broadcast had stopped airing the ads with the completion of the cricket series. O&M has not yet decided if it will ask for a review of the ASCI decision on the 'Chilies' ad, as allowed by the rules.

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