♣ Organizing Committee won’t swallow herbal pill

Rumu Banerjee, TNN, Aug 27, 2010, 02.52am IST

NEW DELHI: It’s a name that’s making the officials of the organising committee (OC) of Commonwealth Games 2010 flinch. Over the past few days, a quiet advertising campaign by the promoters of `Musli Power: X-tra‘ has given the OC sleepless nights. The reason: the manufacturers of the `herbal aphrodisiac for men and women’ as the product is described by the promoters, Kunnath Pharmaceuticals, on its website are claiming to be the “official licensee for health power” of CWG 2010.

The advertisement, which has appeared in print, shows a man and a woman in an embrace, with the tagline, “Experience Unexpected”. It is, however, the prominently displayed Delhi Games 2010 logo underneath the banner as well as claim of being the official licensee that has sent OC officials hunting for a legal solution. Said a senior OC official, “The advertisement came to our notice only a few days ago. The OC had no idea that a licence (for using the Commonwealth Games brand and logo) had been given to the company.”

Secretary general Lalit Bhanot agrees. “We have sent a legal notice to the company. The OC has no wish to be associated with such a product,” insists an embarrassed Bhanot. Incidentally, while the OC has made plans for distribution of condoms at Commonwealth Games Village as well as the venues, it has spelt out in fine print how the brand name and logo can be used legally. Officials said the logo cannot be used for selling condoms or liqour or escort services.

Sources in the OC, meanwhile, admitted that the claim by “Musli Power” may be correct as the licences were reportedly given by Premier Brand, the company that was chosen for OC’s merchandising and licensing operations. Said a senior OC official, “The licences (for the logo) were further given out by Premier Brands in 17 categories. The one given to Kunnath Pharmaceuticals was under the FMCG category.” However, considering the company is using the logo to promote a “herbal aphrodisiac”, OC officials are hoping they will be able to stop the company from using the logo any further for the sale of this particular product.

Premier Brand had earlier this month pulled out of the deal citing the threat of incurring losses due to the late launch of merchandise. Sources said that a decision would be taken soon on whether deals made by Premier Brands would be honoured after the company pulled out or not. Bhanot added, “We haven’t recieved a response to the legal notice yet. Once that comes, we will take further action.”

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