Recently, I have noted a trend in advertising on FM radio. Many companies are broadcasting their advertisements, followed by this closing line – ‘issued in public interest by’.
For example, considering the occurrence of malaria in Mumbai, a popular mosquito spray aired an advertisement stating that people should use it to root out malaria. The ad closed with ‘issued in public interest by’.
Another example. A doctor from a hospital in Mumbai went on air to suggest an injection for arthritis, to overcome painful knees. Once again, this advert closed with the statement ‘issued in public interest by’.
A TV series that wanted big publicity for their terror based serial, put up many hoardings asking people to keep away from unknown articles. This hoarding also has this tag like ‘issued in public interest by’, followed by another prominent placement for the name of the TV series.
While I agree that companies can and do sponsor public interest statements, these instances are examples of cloaking advertisements under the guide of public interest statements.