The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (“MIB”) has released an advisory dated August 21, 2014 with respect to carrying of advertisements, which are in violation of the Advertising Standards Council of India (“ASCI”) Code of Self-Regulation in Advertising (“ASCI Code”), on all TV channels.

The advisory has been issued pursuant to ASCI bringing to the MIB’s attention the fact that various TV channels carried objectionable advertisements which violated the ASCI Code as well as the Drugs & Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954.

Since non-compliance of ASCI’s decision is a violation of the ASCI Code and is, in turn, a violation of Advertising Code under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 (“Cable TV Act”) and Cable Television Network Rules 1994 (“Cable TV Rules”), this complaint by ASCI was placed before the MIB’s Inter-Ministerial Committee (“IMC”). The IMC observed that non-compliance of ASCI’s decision violates Rule 7(9) of the Cable TV Rules which provides that advertisements that violate the Advertising Code should not be carried in the cable service. The IMC also observed that ASCI had pointed out possible violations of the provisions of the Drug & Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954 and the rules thereunder.

Thus, the MIB has advised all the TV channels to refrain from carrying advertisements of products which it has listed in its advisory and has directed channels to ensure strict compliance of the Cable TV Rules.