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ASCI issues guidelines for celebrities endorsing products

The advertising industry watchdog Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has come up with a set of guidelines for celebrities endorsing products. As per the guidelines, celebrities are personalities from the field of entertainment and sports and also includes other well known personalities like doctors, authors, activists and educationists who gets compensation for appearing in advertisements.

Salient guidelines

  • Celebrities must exercise due diligence to make sure that all description claims and comparisons made in the advertisements that they endorse are not misleading and deceptive.
  • It will be the duty of the advertiser and the advertising agency to make sure that celebrities are aware about the ASCI guidelines.
  • ASCI have barred celebrities to endorse product/treatment/remedy that is prohibited under The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act (Objectionable Advertisements) and the Drugs & Cosmetic Act.
  • Celebrities should not endorse those products which by law require a health warning on its packaging or advertisement.
  • Celebrities seeking the advice of ASCI to ascertain whether the advertisement potentially violates any provision of the ASCI code or not would be considered of having completed due diligence. Also, the advertising advice of ASCI cannot be construed as pre-clearance for an advertisement.

Advertising Standards Council of India

ASCI is a self regulatory, voluntary, non-governmental body of the advertising industry founded in 1985. The aim of ASCI is to enhance the public’s confidence in advertising and ensure that all advertising material is truthful, legal, honest, decent and not objectify women and fair.

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AYUSH Ministry, ASCI ink MoU to co-regulate advertisements in AYUSH sector

The Union Ministry of AYUSH and Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) have signed a Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) to co-regulate malpractices in the advertisement of AYUSH sector.

ASCI will comprehensively monitor these advertisements across print and electronic media with respect to AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) drugs, treatments and related services.

Key Facts
  • The Ministry of AYUSH has given ASCI a self-monitoring mandate to identify potentially misleading advertisement in the AYUSH sector and process complaints through its Consumer Complaints Council (CCC).
  • The Ministry will also redirect complaints against misleading advertisements they receive, to the ASCI, which will be reviewed using ASCI’s code and guidelines.
  • The MoU also requires ASCI to report to the Ministry of AYUSH, all advertisements in potential violation of the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954 and Rules thereunder.
Background

There is unbridled marketing of Ayush drugs across media platforms, including print and television channels. At present, there is no mechanism in place to penalise companies and individuals selling AYUSH products on the basis of false and unsubstantiated claims. The co-regulation between Ministry of AYUSH and ASCI will ensure that consumers have access to safe and effective medicines.

About Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI)

  • ASCI is a self-regulatory voluntary non-governmental organization (NGO) of the advertising industry in India. It aims to maintain and enhance the public’s confidence in advertising.
  • It was established in 1985 by by three main constituents of advertising industry viz advertisers, advertising agencies and media. Its headquarters are in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

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