ASCI in action
A lot has been happening on ASCI (Advertising Standards Council of India) front. It is actively taking action on a number of ad communications, be it advertising showing gender discrimination, unsubstantiated claims or road safety.
KFJ Jewellery ‘women are tension’ ad
KFJ Jewellery ad down south stated ‘A girl of marriageable age is a source of tension’ (literally translated from Malayalam). Many took to social media to state that the ad was regressive and discriminated among genders. It is not only the brand that got flak for it, but also Prakash Jha, the actor featured in the campaign. Though, the brand later released the ad clarifying that real tension was getting wedding jewellery at reasonable price, the criticism had already reach a crescendo.
Prakash Raj took to twitter to post a clarification. He tweeted: “#kfj gold ad. With due respect to the concerns of all who have taken offence [sic]. I would like to state that it was not the intention.(cont)” and “It is aimed at the mindset of people who think girl child is "tension". The ad clearly states it is the rate of gold u gift. not the girl.”
At the moment, ASCI is reviewing the complaints it has received online against the ad.
Endorsement of self-regulation in road safety ads
ASCI has meanwhile endorsed Self-Regulation in advertisements depicting road safety. As is known Department of Transport, Uttar Pradesh approached The Advertising Standard Council of India (ASCI) for taking action against automotive advertisements that depict violation of traffic rules. In their letter by Mr. K. Ravindra Naik, Transport & Road Safety Commissioner, has strongly backed ASCI for its efforts in promoting responsible advertising and has requested ASCI to instruct the advertising agencies to adhere to the self-regulatory code.
According to Narendra Ambwani, Chairman, ASCI, “ASCI has been very proactive on the subject of advertisements for Automotive Vehicles and came up with a specific guideline in April 2008. Chapter III. 3 of the ASCI’s Self-Regulatory code prescribes that ‘Advertisements shall not, without justifiable reason, show or refer to dangerous practices or manifest a disregard for safety or encourage negligence.’ We welcome this move by the Department of Transport, Uttar Pradesh for discouraging depiction of rash and unsafe driving. We hope each state in the country will also take effective measure to encourage responsible advertising and promote road safety.”
CNBC claim to be number 1 business channel
The third case meanwhile belongs to business news channel CNBC.
As is known ET now had complained to ASCI that CNBC TV18 ads claiming it was No.1 Business Channel in India were misleading. The ads were on air on June 11. ASCI examined the data submitted by CNBC TV18 substantiating their claim for the no.1 position. CNBC TV18 shared All India viewership numbers but excluded 'Females' from the calculation which made the 'All India leadership' claim questionable. It also ignored business news channels in languages other than English, without specifying this exclusion. ASCI found CNBC TV18’s claims unsubstantiated and the complaint was upheld.
ASCI had advised the Advertiser to modify the advertisement appropriately or withdraw the same before 17th August 2015.