Cricket Australia pulls Hindi adverts

Louise Duffy ©RapidTVNews | 07-02-2012

Cricket Australia has pulled Hindi adverts displayed during the series with India after confusion over whether they were promoting tobacco.

Cricket bosses said they were assured by the Indian government that the boundary-line signage - aimed at the massive TV audience in India - was advertising a brand of mouthwash, but decided to remove them due to their similarity to a brand of chewing tobacco. The adverts were displayed during seven games.
"We asked [the Indian government's] advice because we are not familiar with the Hindi language," a Cricket Australia spokesman said.
"They said it's an Indian mouthwash - or at least they said it's not a tobacco product. We don't have one million percent certainty about all of the detail.
"It appears that there is a tobacco company with the same or similar brand name to the product that is being advertised. We have just become uneasy about it and said, let's withdraw this. It's better to be safe than sorry."
Cricket Australia acted after Health Minister Tanya Plibersek warned they faced fines of up to A$66,000 for each breach of the 1992 tobacco advertising ban.
"The Gillard government has received a number of complaints alleging that advertisements for tobacco products have been displayed at cricket grounds," she told News Limited newspapers.
"The government is taking the allegations very seriously and has written to Cricket Australia seeking detailed information about the advertising."