Dabur Honey was one of 10 honey brands that failed an important purity test after an by the Centre for Science and Environment. While most newspapers reported the story in their pages, several also prominently featured advertisements from Dabur — some of them full-page ads — which emphasised that its product is “100% pure”.
Here’s a quick look at the Delhi editions of some of the top English newspapers.
Hindustan Times, for example, carried the on the second half of the front page with the headline “Most Samples of Honey Found Adulterated: CSE”. Importantly, it also carried two ads by Dabur on its flaps. While one was an advertisement for tea, the other was an attempt by Dabur to illustrate why their honey, “the world’s number one honey brand”, was 100 percent pure. The story was then continued on page 13 of the paper.
The Dabur Honey ad on HT's flap.
The Delhi edition of the Times of India carried the same Dabur Honey advertisement on its flap. The also made it to the front page and was also placed on the bottom of the page under a large mobile phone advertisement. There were two stories on the third page, a continuation of the one on the front page and a second. While the first was headlined “Your Honey’s Been Cheating On You”, the story below it was about the companies of their products.
The Dabur Honey ad in TOI.
Some of the other papers didn't have the advertisements at all.
The Calcutta edition of the Telegraph, for instance, carried the on the front page with the headline “Impure honey with a China hand” which was continued at the bottom of page 6 of the paper. The headline on the continuation was headlines “Honey complies with all norms, says two companies”. There were no Dabur advertisements in the edition. The Delhi edition of the paper was unavailable.
The story in the Telegraph.
The Hindu too carried the story at the bottom of the front page but had no Dabur advertisements in their paper. The Indian Express also did not have any Dabur advertisements, and its story on the purity test was on page 9, right beside a story on interfaith marriage.
The story in Indian Express.