Digital media falls under our purview: Ad standards panel

Mumbai, Feb 2 (IANS) The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) on Tuesday cautioned the advertising fraternity to self-regulate itself and avoid vulgarity and offensive content in light of rising obscenity in digital media ads, noting this medium also comes under its purview.

“Public should keep in mind that for any objections regarding digital advertisements, they can approach the ASCI, as not just product or service ads but even promos or trailers of commercial cinema or TV programmes are also considered as advertisements,” said ASCI chairman Benoy Roy Chowdhury in a statement.

ASCI highlighted that trailers or promos of commercial cinema and TV programmes including those made without any payment also fall under its purview.

It noted its regulatory mechanism has certain controls on traditional media such as cinema and TV but is grappling with the ever-evolving digital space which has the power to reach millions instantaneously.

“The advertisers, at times, push the envelope due to this ambiguity and the notion that digital media is largely unregulated,” the statement said.

The ASCI said media are any means used for the propagation of advertisements and include press, cinema, radio, television, hoardings, hand bills, direct mail, posters, internet and others.

“ASCI takes up complaints on advertisements appearing on websites, e-commerce portals, social media platforms and also the movie promo videos/YouTube trailers that people have objections to for being offensive,” the statement said.

It invokes suspension pending investigation when the code of conduct is breached by an advertiser as it recently invoked on the internet trailers of two movies which were found to be obscene, the statement added.

Chowdhury appealed to the general public to keep an eye on the advertisements not adhering to ASCI code of conduct and actively complain.

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