IPL, 2022 Advertisement glorifying traffic violation is asked to be withdrawn by Advertising Standards Council of India

Jaipur, April 06, 2022

IIn India, after a long advocacy of Consumer Organisations like CUTS International, New Motor Vehicle Amendment Act, 2019 was enacted and enforced. In India and across the states, the traffic management is becoming complex and difficult since the traffic volume is increasing year by year and space on roads for traffic and vulnerable road users is shrinking every year. As a result, in the year 2020, total 1,46,254 people loosed their lives, 3,36,248 people were injured in 3,68,898 road accidents as per NCRB report, 2020.

To address the menace of traffic mismanagement and to ensure road safety, Government of India and all the state governments are taking appropriate measures on time to time. There are several best practices established by the various states and Central Government as replicable model are being adopted and replicated in various states like Tamil Nadu model of effective trauma care and iRADE software of accident data collection initiated by Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), Govt. of India.

It is observed, mostly by the subject matter specialists and road safety experts that road safety cannot be ensured until and unless all the key stakeholders like Central Government, all the state governments, Local Municipal Governments and Panchayatiraj Institutions, Road Safety Experts, Civil Society Organisations, NGOs and common road users are committed to the cause of Road Safety.

But it is also observed that some time some advertising agencies who organise some mega sports and entertainment events are not sensitised enough about the issue of Road Safety and its socio-economic challenges. One such case is being reported by CUTS International of the very popular Indian Premier League (IPL), 2022 season’s one advertisement. This ad film shows former Skipper of India Cricket Team, Mahendra Singh Dhoni has become a bus driver and as a bus driver, he has stopped the bus in the middle of a very busy road. The traffic policeman arrives at the scene and questions Dhoni’s actions, to which Dhoni responds that they are watching the Super over of an intense IPL game. The traffic policeman treats this as a normal occurrence during IPL and drives away reinstating the fact that this fandom is normal for IPL matches. The TV ad is for IPL 2022. The campaign features cricket legend Dhoni, in a brand-new avatar. The ad is directed by Vasan Bala, a well-known director and screenwriter.

Madhu Sudan Sharma, Senior Project Officer, CUTS International, took cognizance of the ad film which is showing gross violation of traffic rules of the country and filed a consumer complaint to ASCI. ASCI accepted the complaint and called for meeting of its Consumer Complaints Committee (CCC) members who watched the ad film repeated times with the ad company officials who were summoned for the same. ASC found violation of ASCI code of Chapter III (3.3) and instructed to the ad making company to either modofy the ad film or completely withdrawn the ad film by April 20, 2022 for that IPL Ad company has given in writing and will withdraw the ad before the given due date.

George Cheriyan, Director, CUTS International said that IPL is having a huge fan following in and outside India, therefor it has a huge responsibility upon it to promote the cause of road safety rather than coming up with ad films which are glorifying violation of traffic Rules. He further praised the prompt action of ASCI to ask for withdrawal of the ad film by April 20, 2022. He also advised that if any consumer finds that some misleading advertisement is under circulation, they can approach ASCI for banning such misleading advertisements.


For more information, please contact

Madhu Sudan Sharma, Senior Program Officer, CUTS International. mss1@cuts.org ; 9057520313