Campaign India Team
Jun 04, 2024

Government asks advertisers to submit self-declaration certificate from June 18

The certificate is mandatory for all new advertisements scheduled for issuance, telecast, airing, or publication on or after June 18, 2024, while ongoing ads are exempted.

Regardless of size, advertisers must obtain certification for advertisements across all media channels. Image source: Freepik
Regardless of size, advertisers must obtain certification for advertisements across all media channels. Image source: Freepik

In its order dated May 7, 2024, the Supreme Court mandated that all advertisers and advertising agencies must furnish a 'self-declaration certificate' before airing or publishing any advertisement. This is to affirm their adherence to 'all relevant regulatory guidelines' and absence of 'misleading claims'.

In response to this directive, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) introduced a new feature on its Broadcast Seva Portal for TV and radio advertisements, as well as on the Press Council of India’s portal for print, digital, and online advertisements. This portal will become operational on June 4, 2024 and will allow submission of the certificate by an authorised representative of the advertiser or advertising agency.

Manisha Kapoor, CEO and secretary-general of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), highlighted the significant challenge posed by the certification requirement due to the sheer volume of advertisements. “To avoid any disruptions in their campaigns, advertisers and agencies are advised to familiarise themselves with the portals and the requirements during the buffer period provided until 18 June, 2024,” she advised.

According to the ministry, the self-declaration certificate is mandatory for all new advertisements scheduled for issuance, telecast, airing, or publication on or after June 18, 2024, while ongoing advertisements are exempt from this requirement. A two-week buffer period has been allotted for stakeholders to familiarise themselves with the self-certification process.

Furthermore, advertisers must furnish evidence of certificate submission to relevant broadcasters, printers, publishers, or electronic media platforms. Failure to produce a valid certificate, as per the Supreme Court's directive, will result in advertisement prohibition across television, print media, and the internet.

ASCI found that digital advertisements accounted for 85% of the total 8,299 ads it examined for violating existing advertising laws. Its annual complaints report 2023-2024 also highlighted that complaints related to violation of influencer guidelines accounted for 21% of the total ads processed by the industry body.

Noting that the compliance rate for digital ads is lower than those in print and television, the report stated, “Monitoring the digital space comes with a multitude of challenges such as ads with shorter life spans, sometimes only 24 hours, ads that mimic content, a large number of new age D2C digital brands being born everyday and smaller hard to locate advertisers. As a result, thousands of ads created everyday get away without being monitored. The digital space is dynamic and ads continue to remain, are frequently re-published and available for public consumption with unsubstantiated claims. The compliance rate is lower, with digital ads being 75% compliant in comparison to a 97% on print and TV.”

As per the new government directive, which is aimed at safeguarding consumer interests, advertisements are required to adhere to regulatory guidelines outlined in Rule 7 of the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994, and the Norms of Journalistic Conduct of the Press Council of India. The MIB urged strict compliance with the Supreme Court's directive, emphasising its role in promoting transparency, consumer protection, and responsible advertising practices.

ASCI’s Advertising Advice service offers support to ensure compliance with the ASCI Code, integral to the Advertising Code under the Cable TV Network (Regulation) Act, fostering advertisers' confidence in their mandated self-declarations for print, TV, and internet ads. Regardless of size, advertisers must obtain certification for advertisements across all media channels.

Source:
Campaign India

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