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Government Stops Teleshopping Ads that Violate the ASCI Code

In a recent development, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has ordered broadcasters not to air advertisements that have been found in violation of the Advertising Standards Council of India’s (ASCI) code and not complying with the decision of its Consumer Complaints Council (CCC).   While deliberating on the complaints received in ASCI, the CCC observed that many of  the teleshopping advertisements made unsubstantiated claims & violated the provision of code for self-regulation as well as provisions under Drug & Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954. MIB has in its Advisory compiled a list of these ads and asked broadcasters not to carry them in their respective channels and to ensure strict compliance of the advertising code in the Cable Television Networks Act (CTN).

The advisory sent by MIB states that non-compliance of ASCI’s code of self-regulation is a violation of rule 7 (9) of the Advertising Code contained in the CTN Rules. The CTN code and rules state that ‘no advertisement which violates the code of self-regulation in advertising, as adopted by ASCI for public exhibition in India, from time to time, shall be carried in the cable service’. Therefore, the ASCI decisions are not just bound for compliance by advertisers but also by TV channels.

According to Partha Rakshit, Chairman, ASCI, “This is another feather in the cap of ASCI, in its efforts to make advertising more responsible. We were finding that some advertisers on TV channels, especially Tele Shopping Networks, were not complying with the ASCI decisions. We submitted the list to the Inter Ministerial Committee (IMC) of the MIB for their consideration. Based on that, IMC observed that any violation of ASCI code also violates the Advertising Code enshrined in the CTN Act and its rules. In short, IMC has directed that advertisements found to violate the ASCI code cannot be carried on TV channels.”

Some of the products in the MIB’s Advisory list  which violated the ASCI code in terms of their advertising and in terms of their advertisers not complying with the   ASCI’s decision to uphold the complaint are Fairpro (Telemart Shoppi Network Pvt. Ltd), Ayurvedic Roopamri Fairness Cream (WWS SkYshoP P'Ltd), Celebrity Lift (R.T.C.Enterprises), GLO Intense Brightening System (B. Lab), Rashi Ratan Topaz Ring (Quick Telemall Marketing Pvt. Ltd.), Maha Dhan Lakshmi Yantram Musli Power Xtra (Kunnath Pharmaceuticals), Brain  Smart GTM (Teleshopping Pvt Ltd), Bhairavi Sadhana- DevishreeFoundation Trust, Shaktivardhan Vaccume Threapy, Sandhi Sudha Oil (Telemart Shopping Network Pvt. Ltd.), MadhuSanjivani (JMD Teleshopping), Addiction Killer (SK Shopping Pvt Ltd),  Easy Slim Tea , Maha Dhan Lakshmi Yantram etc.

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