Melbourne, Feb 7(ANI): Cricket Australia may have to pay thousands of dollars in penalties after it emerged that the boundary line advertisements in Hindi had promoted tobacco smoking during the recently concluded Australia-India series.
Australia's Health Department has launched a probe into advertisements in Hindi on the boundary rope for Australia-India Test matches in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Adelaide.
The advertisements for a company that makes chewing tobacco and mouth-wash were aimed at targeting TV audiences in India.
Australian Health Minister Tanya Plibersek said Cricket Australia faced fines of up to 66,000 dollars 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," news.com.au quoted Plibersek, as saying.
"The Government is taking the allegations very seriously and has written to Cricket Australia seeking detailed information about the advertising," he added.
The advertisements came into light during the Boxing Day Test and they were briefly withdrawn, but were reinstated after the Indian High Commission assured Cricket Australia that the product was mouth-wash and it did not contain any tobacco.
"It's a marketing tool tobacco companies are very, very good at. It is brand stretching and says chewing tobacco to people in India just like Benson and Hedges says smoking without mentioning tobacco," Action on Smoking and Health chief executive Anne Jones said.
"There are about 900,000 tobacco-related deaths a year in India and a leading cause is from chewing tobacco," she added. (ANI)
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