Remember some recent ads that feature some hair-raising stunts on the roads – Akshay Kumar driving through a crowded street in pursuit of a bottle of a fizzy drink, or the choreographed movements of a leading mobike brand, or even a ‘yeda (crazy)’ guy deftly manoeuvering his car and lighting up some posts – ads like these might soon disappear or come with a statutory warning, given the dangerous stunts featured in them.
The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has recently announced new guidelines on advertisement for automotive vehicles. The decision to bring these guidelines has come following the numerous complaints received by the advertising body about ads featuring dangerous and unsafe driving.
The ASCI code states that an advertisement shall not, without justifiable reason, show or refer to dangerous practices or manifest a disregard for safety or encourage negligence. Very often dangerous acts are shown by ads of two-wheeler ads that show hazardous driving in traffic conditions.
The specific guidelines prepared by the ASCI Board prohibit advertisers from portraying violation of traffic rules. It also doesn’t allow the depiction of speed manoeuverability in a manner that encourages unsafe or reckless driving, which could harm the driver, passengers and/or the general public. The portrayal of stunts or actions that require professional driving skills in normal traffic conditions should be backed by a readable cautionary message drawing viewer attention to the depiction of stunts.
These guidelines have been approved and ratified by the Board of Directors of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).
Alan Collaco, Secretary General, ASCI, said, “Advertisements have a significant influence on people’s behaviour, and thus with these guidelines, ASCI wants to ensure that no such ads shall be produced that promote rash or dangerous driving, and instead show ads in such a manner that it promotes safe practices of driving.”