EXCLUSIVE: Ad Man Comes Clean about Maggi

An advertising professional comes clean about Nestlé India’s most prevalent ready to eat, Ramen style, noodle product that has been banned in India

An Ad Man Comes Clean on MaggiPosted on 08 Jun 00:47

The Maggi debacle is just the beginning. If Indian food inspectors get wise and start thoroughly testing foods that are sold for mass consumption and even advertised as such, many more products are in danger of being banned.

Why Not Ban Cigarettes and Alcohol?

There may be people who talk about why cigarettes and alcohol aren’t banned since they are more harmful. The point is, we feed Maggi to our children, our guests, our loved ones and consume it readily ourselves, knowing that they may not be entirely healthy, but one meal won’t harm us.

Cigarettes and alcohol have legal age limits, warnings printed on the labels and several studies and cases of its harmful effects.

Maggi is a bigger culprit because it was advertised as a quick snack for children. If you think about all the TV advertisements and posters you’ve seen, you see a wholesome mother preparing Maggi for her children. They may not make tall claims, but what they portray plays to our emotional strings and we immediately associate the food with wholesome goodness, healthwise and otherwise.

The Shocking Truth about Maggi from an Ad Man

Just yesterday, Sandeep Modi an advertiser who worked with Maggi, posted this on his personal Facebook Page. Text pasted below for convenience:

Image capture of Sandeep Modi’s personal Facebook Feed

Many years back when i was ADing on a Maggi TVC, i had to attend the PPM with the agency and the client. I very clearly remember the most important diktat, “No kid below the age of 12 years should be shown consuming Maggi. It is ok if they are shown smiling and licking their lips as maggi is served to them, but never consuming unless he/she is 12 years old and above. “ Infact all the kids consuming the product in the film had to present their age certificates before the film could be approved.

This has ensured that my love for maggi died that very day itself. I probably have it once in a while i am ok with getting over the discomfort. Point is they always knew an uncomfortable truth about them and knowing that they are still selling it made me feel real uncomfortable all this while. I almost end up telling this to all maggi lovers in my family.

But why i write this today is for all those who are defending maggi saying it is atleast safer than a cigarette or tobacco. Point is cigarettes don’t show surrogate ads where kids are shown holding it in their fingers. Maggi or any food should not be banned, it should just be clear on its pack what it actually has and what it can do to you, just like cigarettes…and then it is upto al of us who choose taste over health (ofcourse millions will do that, how many of u guys smoke? ), but only then is it a fair game. And please, no sympathy for the Corporates. Let them be shown their place in front of the consumer. You guys are dumb who are siding with them. Here, i said it.

This is a personal account of someone who once was actually paid to sell this product to millions, nay billion plus population of India. You decide, is organic a fad or a necessity.

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