afaqs! news bureau

ASCI instructs Britannia to withdraw Milk Bikis ad featuring Amitabh Bachchan

The campaign received multiple complaints for presenting the biscuits as a replacement for milk & wheat for children.

Advertising Standard Council of India (ASCI) has instructed FMCG brand Britannia Industries to withdraw its Milk Bikis campaign that features Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign claimed that the Milk Bikis biscuits contain the power of milk and wheat flour, which many consumers found misleading.

The campaign was aired in the promo of Junior KBC program, where the brand is supposedly the main sponsor. In the promo, Big B is seen endorsing Milk Bikis by asking mothers to feed their kids the biscuits as it has the nutritional value of milk and wheat flour. The promo was placed across multiple media platforms including television, YouTube, and social media.

ASCI had said earlier that it received multiple complaints against the campaign which led to an inquiry into the advertisement. Upon probing, the council found the campaign in breach of its guidelines.

Manisha Kapoor, CEO & secretary general, ASCI, confirmed the news to Afaqs, saying, “On the 29th of December 2022, ASCI took suo motu notice of the new advertisement,  featuring a similar claim and endorsed by a prominent celebrity. ASCI wrote to the advertiser, seeking a response to the same. The company wrote back on the 4th of January 2023, assuring that the ad in question would be withdrawn.”

Britannia has also had complaints lodged against its campaigns in the past. In 2021, ASCI upheld complaints against the FMCG brand for violating guidelines in their campaign for Milk Bikis that claimed the biscuits had energy equal to a glass of milk. The brand had then modified the ad in response to ASCI. In July of 2021, ASCI had picked up another complaint against the brand for a campaign that promised “100% Atta, Doodh Roti ki Shakti.” The ad was withdrawn.

Kapoor further reminded the advertisers to remain compliant with the ASCI code, and also urged endorsers to do due diligence before they collaborate with brands in campaigns. She said, “ASCI would like to remind advertisers to remain compliant with the ASCI code. ASCI also urges endorsers to do due diligence before endorsing claims that could compromise the interest of consumers. ASCI offers a due diligence service for endorsers, as they may not be technically qualified to understand the nuances of the claims they are making. Endorsers may use this or any other means of due diligence, else they are liable for penalties under the Consumer Protection Act 2019 for any misleading claims they endorse.”

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