ASCI probes plaints against 533 ads in March & April; 115 withdrawn
The Council picked over 50 misleading COVID-cure advertisements in April, notifying the advertisers to withdraw them in a week
The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) investigated complaints against 533 advertisements during March and April 2020.
Of these 115 were withdrawn by the advertisers on receipt of communication from ASCI.
The Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) evaluated remaining 418 advertisements, of which complaints against 377 advertisements were upheld.
Of these, 187 belonged to the healthcare sector, 132 to education sector, 15 to food and beverages, nine to real estate sector, five to personal care and immigration each, and 24 were from the ‘others’ category.
Around mid-March when Mumbai started its gradual Lockdown, ASCI adapted quickly to navigate through these difficult times. ASCI also launched a drive to act against misleading advertisements claiming prevention or cure against COVID-19.
The Ministry of AYUSH sought help from the ASCI team to alert them about such advertisements. The ASCI team picked over 50 such COVID-cure advertisements in April, notifying the advertisers to withdraw them forthwith within a week.
ASCI also closely monitored Digital Media, Social Media handles and websites of the advertisers. Over 90 cases of potential violation of the Drugs and Magic Remedies regulations were also flagged to the regulator.
According to Rohit Gupta, Chairman, ASCI, “I am very proud of our ASCI team that has remained accessible and responsive to all stakeholders during this pandemic situation. Our Consumer Complaints Council has been very efficient as we continue to deliberate via video conferencing. We appreciate the cooperation being extended by the complainants as well as the advertisers to ensure self-regulation of advertising content by ensuring time bound compliance.”
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