Advertisement form an integral part of the business of a company as it helps in effective communication of its products or services to the consumers. The advertisements in India are regulated and controlled by Advertising Standards Council of India (hereinafter referred to as “ASCI”). The Code for Self-Regulation formulated by ASCI requires the advertisements to adhere to fair and just legal practices. In order to ensure that the advertisements being broadcasted are effective, the following points must be taken into consideration:
1. Advertisements must be based on honest representations
Advertisements should not abuse the confidence and faith of the consumers to whom they are being issued in public. All descriptions, claims and comparisons must be based upon facts capable of substantiation. Dissemination of any false or misleading information must be refrained from.
2. Advertisements must not be offensive to Public
Advertisements should keep into consideration the public policy. The content should not comprise of anything indecent, vulgar, especially in the depiction of women, or nothing repulsive which is likely to cause grave and widespread disturbance of peace.
3. Advertisements should not encourage any harmful/ hazardous substances
Advertisements should not recommend products or services which are hazardous or harmful to society or to individuals particularly minors, to a degree unacceptable to society at large. There must be non-inclusion of anything that may incite any criminal elements; discrimination on any basis of religion, race, caste, creed or race. Compliance must be made to the fact that no dangerous or illegal activities are resorted to.
4. Advertisements must be fair in competition
Complying with the provisions of law, advertisements should observe fairness in competition. Comparisons with competing brands can be made only to a restricted extent. Unjustifiable use of the names or initials of other entities or using a similar layout, representations to suggest plagiarism should be prevented.
While creating and broadcasting advertisements the parameters justifying their legality must be taken into account. Incorporation of the principles as stated above would allow advertisements to popularize the product or service of the provider as well as not interfere with the principles of fair play thereby being effective and lawful advertisements.