When we say the name “Vicco Turmeric”, the first thing that comes to the listener’s mind is the iconic jingle “Vicco Turmeric nahi cosmetic, Vicco Turmeric ayurvedic cream”.
The jingle launched nearly three decades ago has made a special place in the minds and hearts of Indian consumers. Men and women use the fragranced yellow cream alike, and the ayurvedic elements of the cream make it more desirable than other, chemical-based brands.
Over the years, Vicco launched several products. However, none of the jingles could become as catchy as that of Vicco’s turmeric-based cream.
Despite the popularity, only a handful of people know the story behind the tunes and words of the jingle you must be humming as you are reading!
The jingle wasn’t just to attract customers but was also to take a jibe at the Excise department and prove a point.
The Story Behind The Song
Back in the 1970s, the Vicco brand wasn’t as old as it is now. In 1978, the Central Excise Department said that the Vicco Vajradanti, the toothpaste brand of Vicco, and Vicco Turmeric Skin Cream aren’t ayurvedic medicines.
The assesses, i.e. the Vicco group had asserted that their products are ayurvedic medicines and not cosmetics. However, the question arises, why would it matter?
Excise department levies excise duty, i.e. a tax levied on the manufacture of goods within the country. Excise duty differs on different products. As per the laws, excise duty on cosmetics is higher and that on ayurvedic medicines.
The classification of goods sold by Vicco group as cosmetic and not ayurvedic medicines meant exponentially increased tax liability for the company.
The claim of the Central Excise Department was contested by the Vicco group in a civil court that pronounced its judgment in favour of the group, calling the products in dispute, i.e. Vicco Vajradanti and Vicco Turmeric Skin Cream, as ayurvedic medicines.
Dissatisfied, the Central Excise Department appealed to the Bombay High Court. In 1988, the court upheld the decision of the civil court, reiterating that the products fall in the category of ayurvedic medicines and not cosmetics.
The Central Excise Department then approached the Supreme Court of India, whereby their petition was dismissed. The failure led to the tax authorities accepting the assertion of the Vicco group and the decision of the courts. They thus declared the products as ayurvedic medicines.
However, the debate didn’t die down. The matter was again brought to light with the enactment of the new Central Excise Tariff Act 1985. The revenue authorities stated in 1997 that as per the new law, the company’s products fall in the category of cosmetics. The subsequent appeal to the excise tribunal resulted favorably for the Vicco group in 2003.
However, despite this, there were several demands for taxes that were raised against the Vicco group in multiple states. The Supreme Court of India finally decided to intervene and resolve the issue once and for all.
The Supreme Court pronounced its decision in 2007 and said that the products of Vicco group attract nil tax duty as they are ayurvedic medicines and not cosmetics.
During this entire debate of several years, the Vicco group came out with the jingle. The jingle’s words “Vicco Turmeric nahi cosmetic, Vicco Turmeric ayurvedic cream” were to strengthen the stance of the group whereby they claim their product to be ayurvedic medicines.
After the repeated failures of the Central Excise department in proving that the cream is cosmetic, the advertisement also came across as a taunt to the tax authorities.
So, now whenever you’ll come across this advertisement, you’ll remember that the words “Vicco Turmeric ayurvedic cream” aren’t just to showcase the qualities of the cream but also to remind the public and the tax department that indeed, the product isn’t a cosmetic but an ayurvedic medicine.
Image Source: Google Images
Find The Blogger At: @innocentlysane
This post is tagged under: excise, excise department, central excise department, tax, taxation, tax department, Vicco, vicco turmeric, ayurveda, ayurvedic medicine, cosmetic, cosmetic product, Vicco vajradanti, court