Glaxo’s manipulative hype in repositioning Horlicks in India

Courtesy : DR AR SHENOY

This TV commercial is about GSK’s attempt at re-positioning their brand Horlicks in India. The TVC claims boiling milk diminishes vitamins A, B and Folic acid content in it and therefore you should add Horlicks to milk in order to make good the loss

This Horlicks TVC trivializes the very significant act of boiling milk before consuming by unnecessarily dramatising micronutrient loss. In India, we have a tradition for boiling milk and then consuming it since ancient times and this habit is based on good reasoning.

*The 10gms pack of  Horlicks is both an irrational pack size and formulation both from the point of view of nutritional quality as well as quantity. GSK itself states on the 80gms commercial pack under the tagline “My perfect cup of Horlicks!” to add 3 heaped teaspoonful’s (27g) of Horlicks to 200 ml of milk and “as much sugar” as one likes! Never mind the fact that 27gms of Horlicks contains 8gms of sugar! HORLICKS NUTRITIONAL QUALITY DIMINISHES AS THE PACK SIZE DECREASES!

Horlicks has been positioned or perceived as bedtime hot milk drink in the country of its origin, United Kingdom, for a major part of its existence, for over 135 years.  In India, the same brand with no remarkable difference in composition from its UK counterpart is projected as a remarkable nourishment provider, which promotes growth, attention and concentration in children of school-going age. Outside of India, in more consumer-aware and well regulated societies of Asia like in Malaysia and Singapore, GSK does not make any manipulative claims regarding Horlicks as it does in India and its immediate neighborhoods.

In fact, when GSK’s India-based Horlicks advertisement making claims of five signs of growth was broadcast by a Nepali TV channel in the UK, it was monitored and UK regulator, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), took serious objections on the claims made by GSK. GSK was quick to offer an explanation that the claims were meant only for children of this part of the world (Indian subcontinent) and were not applicable to children in UK!

Click Here for the detailed eye-opener report

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