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ASCI to release consumer awareness campaign against objectionable ads

16-August-2006
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ASCI to release consumer awareness campaign against objectionable ads

The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has decided to spread consumer awareness around the fact that consumers can complain against ads they find objectionable and that action would be subsequently taken. Leo Burnett India has created this campaign, which will break later this week. The agency would also be taking care of the campaign media release.

Speaking on the initiative, Arvind Sharma, Chairman, Leo Burnett India, said, “Consumers are a very important function of ASCI’s functioning. Many ads have been rectified or removed following complaints that have been received from viewers. The campaign attempts to make the viewer aware that he is empowered and that if he or she sees any objectionable ad, all they have to do is write to ASCI and based on whether the complaint is upheld, action would be taken.”

The campaign consists of three creatives, which would go on-air simultaneously. The agency has already contacted general entertainment and news channels to kick off the campaign. Some of these include STAR Network, Sony, Zee, Times Now, NDTV, CNN IBN, TV Today Network and India TV, among others. Sharma stressed that this was a pro-bono campaign and would be aired only on channels on a voluntary basis. The industry response so far has been positive.

STAR Networks’ Ad Sales President, Paritosh Joshi, said, “Of course, we would honour such a request from ASCI.” ISA’s Chairman, Bharat Patel, added, “This campaign would educate the viewer that not just advertisements, but any kind of selling that happens on television has to be genuine and decent, and in case that is not followed, action can be taken if the consumer complains. The objective is to encourage them to do so.”

Apart from surrogate, false, misleading, unfair competition and vulgar ads, even ads that encourage children to do dangerous things have been included under the objectionable categories.

In all the three creatives, a postman has been used as the central character, who issues a letter to the perpetrator of an objectionable ad, the copy reading ‘Just a letter from you can stop wrong ads’.

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