At 79%, digital media continued to be the largest source of ad violations: Asci

12th March, 2024
At 79%, digital media continued to be the largest source of ad violations: Asci

According to the regulatory body’s research, the healthcare industry stands out as the most violative sector, accounting for 21% of all processed advertisements. Personal care and classical education follow at 18% each.

The half-yearly complaints report for the months of April through September 2023 from the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has been released. It provides insights on new developments in the field of advertising standards.

The data highlights ASCI’s unwavering commitment to responsible advertising and consumer protection, with a 34% increase in complaints (4491) and a corresponding 27% increase in the number of ads processed (3501).

The report said that 564 (16%) of the 3,501 advertising that were evaluated were suspected of being in direct violation of the law. This is a 22% rise from the previous year.

Thirty-five percent of all processed advertising were dropped or amended without any dispute, according to the data. An further 47% of the commercials were determined to be in violation of the ASCI Code, and it was suggested that they be removed or altered. It also stated that just 2% of complaints were turned down.

Digital media continued to be the dominant source of infractions, accounting for 79% of the 3,501 complaints that were processed. The research states that other media accounted for two percent of the alleged infractions, while print media and television contributed seventeen percent and three percent, respectively.

Here are some key findings from the report:

Digital Advertising Landscape: An astonishing 79% of problematic advertisements were identified online, underscoring the hurdles faced in the realm of digital advertising.

Enhanced Regulatory Oversight: ASCI’s vigilant monitoring mechanisms bolstered digital surveillance to combat objectionable content online. A staggering 98% of all advertisements processed necessitated some form of modification.

Influencer Responsibility: Within the digital advertising domain, influencers contributed to 22% of total complaints lodged with ASCI. A concerning 99.4% of advertisements scrutinized for influencer compliance were found to be in violation. ASCI achieved compliance with its recommendations in 92% of influencer cases, up from 86% in previous years, indicating a heightened adherence to ASCI’s CCC guidelines.

Focus on Healthcare: Healthcare emerged as the most transgressive sector, accounting for 21% of all processed ads. This surge is attributed to a proliferation of drug and medicine advertisements on digital platforms.

Legal Scrutiny: ASCI observed a notable uptick in ads directly violating the Drug and Magic Remedies Act of 1954, prompting intimations to advertisers for withdrawal or modification. In just six months, ASCI referred 565 advertisements to the Ministry of AYUSH, compared to 464 ads referred in the preceding financial year.

Manisha Kapoor, CEO and Secretary-General of ASCI, emphasized, “ASCI remains steadfast in addressing the challenges posed by digital advertising. It is imperative for all stakeholders to collaborate in ensuring the online safety of consumers, especially given their substantial time spent online and the proliferation of objectionable advertising.

Our ongoing watchfulness over the internet helps expose the businesses and ads that don’t adhere to ASCI code, which mandates that ads be safe, respectable, and honest. We anticipate that the different industries will acknowledge the violations and pledge to promote more ethically,” Kapoor continued.

As oversight of betting apps grows, ASCI argues that offshore betting advertisements are troubling.

As awareness of these apps and their connections to celebrities grows, the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has voiced concerns about the promotion of betting apps that feature well-known celebrities. The Association of Sociological Integrity (ASCI) highlighted that the promotion of betting is prohibited in numerous regions of India. Concerning offshore betting advertisements that are aired to Indian consumers and feature well-known Indian celebrities, the council brought attention to this issue.