Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Audacious Axe Unilever Lax

It was 8 PM in the evening. It was just like another day.

My eight year old daughter had just switched on the TV to watch Baal Veer on SAB TV.

She has been seeing Baal Veer for over four months now. She happened to come to know about Baal Veer through her friends. (More on that kind of referral in some other post)

She is usually all by herself while watching Baal Veer. On this particular occasion, I for some reason, sat down along with her and began reading from the Nexus.

Occasionally, I would look at the TV distracted by the sound-byte music. Then comes the ad break.

The daughter continues watching.

Knorr soups OK.

Some biscuit OK.

Axe Deodorant, Excuse Me !!!

And what rubbish, the same Axe AD is repeated in every Baal Veer ad break

I was really upset.

I knew there was a way to complain. I asked my NITIE batchmates on the whatsapp NITIE IM6 group. And there was the answer.

IBF (Indian Broadcasting Foundation)

On the IBF website, displayed prominently is the link to Lodge a Complaint to the Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC). Thankfully, it did not come down to BCCI. The complaint can be lodged both, online and offline. In the case of offline, you have to download the form (Hindi / English), fill it and mail it to IBF.

I filled in an online complaint. The only issue I faced was in managing the complaint within 1000 characters. And since there was no character count tool on the website, it was a painful user experience. Eventually, I did manage to submit the complaint.

The IBF Online complaint submission was Easy

Now to see how they redress the complaint.


On choosing the category of complaint as "Ads Related", the following message is displayed.


So, it seems that the correct forum to complain about the AD is Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI).

I decided to submit the complaint to ASCI, as well.

The online complaint form did not generate a Tracking Number as should have been the case. So I decided to call them on 1800-22-2724 to find out. I was advised to email my complaint to contact@ascionline.org and I did.

Here is the copy of my complaint for the reader's reference.


Baal Veer is a children's program played on SAB TV every weekday at 8 PM. Owing to its popularity, even my 8 year old girl watches and enjoys it. Such is the magnetism of Baal Veer that she promptly finishes her tasks so as not to miss out on even a second of the program. And I need not explain how difficult it is to get kids to do their things on time.

So, during Baal Veer, she is glued to the TV more than 100%. As the only child in the house, she is usually all by herself while watching the program. As parents, we do not disturb her during the program. We are sure that what she is watching is OK for children.

Until, a few day ago. The Axe deodorant Advertisement was being broadcasted on all the ad breaks of Baal Veer. As a parent, I was shocked. Even my girl was visibly uncomfortable.

This is unacceptable. What kind of standards are these?

As an upset parent, I demand an explanation from the broadcaster, the advertiser and the media agency, the basis for this action. An apology is not enough.

And of course, the Advertisement should be taken off immediately.


Will all this work out? Let us find out.

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