ASCI launches advertising advice for brands

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ASCI, the Advertising Standards Council of India has launched an ‘advertising advice’ service for brands to help them to design their campaigns without violating any codes of ASCI.

The council has put forward this initiative with a question – Before you prepare an advertisement, how about running it past us to ensure it does not violate the codes of the Advertising Standards Council of India?

This service can be availed by both members and non-members of ASCI. It will inform the advertisers and marketers before posting the advertising if the ad is in any way misleading or overemphasized or if it violated any codes of ASCI.

“In the self-regulation movement, the Advertising Advice service will be critical. Brands may use the service to better plan their campaigns and reduce reputational risks.” ASCI Chairman Subhash Kamath remarks.

The Advertising Standards Council of India is a self-regulatory, non-government body formed in 1985. It protects the interests of the consumers by ensuring self-regulation in advertising. It makes it necessary for marketers to abide by the codes for self-regulation i.e. the advertisements should be honest, non-misleading, legal, decent, and harmless. The council looks after all types of media – print media, electronic media, hoardings, billboards, social media and promotional aspects as well. ASCI has won two Gold Global Best Practice Awards for the mobile app and for responding to complaints quickly.

The council has a dual purpose: it protects customers from deceptive marketing and it provides confidential guidance to marketers on how to design advertisements that adhere to the guidelines.

Advertisers will be able to change claims and portrayals during the pre-production stage, saving time, money, and potential reputational damage, according to ASCI. According to the council, the Advertising Advice panel will also comprise technical specialists from various specializations who will analyze the claim and evidence for technical claim support.

“Brands wish to be competitive and push the boundaries of claims. With this service, we can support advertisers to make strong claims, while not crossing the all-important lines of honesty, decency, fairness, and safety,” says ASCI Secretary-General Manisha Kapoor.

ASCI has declared that advertisers may use this service advice to improve the quality of their advertisements but this does not guarantee that there would be no complaints filed against the advertisements. If a customer arises any complaint against the ad, ASCI will process the complaint following its normal procedure.

A pay-per-advice method will be used for this purpose and the schedule along with cost will be notified soon by ASCI.

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