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Bulgaria Competition Watchdog Busts Again Inventive Alcohol Maker

Date: 12.04.2010

A TV vodka ad of SIS Industries features some top Bulgarian actors and models

Bulgaria’s Competition Protection Commission has fined for the second time the alcohol maker SIS Industries over TV ads.

SIS Industries is getting a BGN 129 000 fine because of the commercials of a low-alcohol beverage called Savoy Mixed Drink.

The company is found to have used exactly the same message in advertising the high-alcohol vodka Savoy that it produces.

The SIA advertising agency is also taken a BGN 14 278 fine over the same ad.

The advertising campaign of Savoy Mixed Drink took place in September-November 2009. In no way did the ads distinguish between the low-alcohol drink and the vodka, the competition agency says.

Thus, SIS Industry practically managed to advertise its vodka product before 10 pm which is illegal.

The competition watchdog started the investigation after it was alerted by the Electronic Media Council. Companies such as SIS Industries and Vinprom Peshtera are said to be using this trick to advertise their spirits – before 10 pm they advertise low-alcohol drinks with very similar names and messages. The beverages in question, however, cannot be discovered in retail chains and stores.

With respect to the SIA advertising agency, the Competition Commission believes it has acted dishonestly by producing the identical ads for different products.

On Monday, the Competition Protection Commission fined the Vinprom Peshtera wine and spirits maker and four advertising agencies over an identical case.

The Savoy vodka violation is the second one for SIS Industries after in 2009 it got fined almost BGN 900 000 for presenting a low alcohol product as the traditional Greek drink ouzo.

Trud Daily

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