Astro owned Tamil radio station Raaga appears to be drowning in milk advertisements lately. This began before Ponggal and it has continued up until now, thanks to Thaipusam looming around the corner.

For the uninitiated, Ponggal involves boiling milk and rice in a pot to signify the harvest festival, while Thaipusam involves tens of thousands of Murugan devotees going on a procession with milk pots as an offering for the deity.

The morning slot on Raaga, Kalakkal Kaalai, is hosted by Ahila and Suresh and is sponsored by Velan Pure Milk. The two radio jockeys go back and forth discussing the benefits of this brand of milk in between the songs, even to the point of dissecting why it is vegetarian, and well suited for Thaipusam rituals.

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On the same day, in the evening, we hear Suresh praising Nestle’s Everyday milk. Suresh, along with another male voice talk Thaipusam, kavadis and their choice of milk, recommending Nestle’s Everyday milk instead.

In this audio clip from Raaga yesterday, we notice a single fast food advertisement in between two milk ads, both featuring Suresh promoting two competing brands.

Interestingly, it is as if the radio station is overflowing with milk advertisements. Today, at the start of the 10 am slot of Innike Enna Kathe with Revathy, an advertisement for Fernleaf milk was aired, again waxing lyrical about the vitamins and nutrients in the drink.  This was at exactly 10.01 am, right after the Velan-sponsored Kalakkal Kaalai slot ended.

If a listener is lucky, they would escape the other milk advertisement by Nespray milk. Often, most of us aren’t. Thankfully, this one doesn’t have Suresh extolling it virtues.

This isn’t unique to milk. Products like sambrani and incense sticks are all the rage on Raaga during Deepavali, and various brands selling the same thing are usually aired one after another.

While it is understandable that the station needs to make a profit from these advertisers, assaulting one’s listeners with ads for various brands of the same product is pretty annoying. Could the the large corporations funding these ads be happy having their products being promoted back to back against each other, we wonder.

It is especially vexing when the same announcer is recommending two different brands of the same product, and that too, riding on Thaipusam rituals. Oh well, guess it’s time to switch stations.

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