India’s gaming industry is the biggest violator of advertising standards, according to the Advertising Standards Council of India’s (ASCI) annual complaint report for 2022-23. The industry was found to be the least compliant, surpassing the education and personal care sectors. The report identifies brands, influencers, and celebrities as the top offenders. ASCI flags dishonest and misleading, indecent or offensive, and harmful ads, as well as competition that is considered unfair.
ASCI Report Shows Gaming Industry Lags in Compliance
The ASCI received 8,391 complaints in 2022-23, and 5,332 of them were upheld. The report highlighted that the gaming industry has the highest percentage of non-compliance at 62% compared to other sectors. The education and personal care sectors had non-compliance rates of 51% and 49%, respectively.
According to ASCI, misleading ads constituted the highest number of complaints, with 2,176 upheld cases. The gaming industry received the second-highest number of complaints after the education sector. The report reveals that such complaints were primarily related to ads claiming unrealistic game scores and rewards such as cashback offers.
Indecent and Harmful Content
The report also revealed that the entertainment sector was found to have aired indecent or offensive ads. The sector received 483 complaints with 258 upheld cases. The report also identified 186 harmful ads, with the healthcare and personal care sectors having the highest number of such complaints.
Competition and Celebrity Endorsements
The ASCI report also highlighted complaints regarding unfair competition, with the telecom sector having the highest number of cases. The report identified that brands and companies engaged in unfair competition practices, such as airing misleading advertisements and bogus claims.
The report also pointed out the role of brand ambassadors, influencers, and celebrities in endorsing products. Such endorsements influence consumer behaviour, and as such, the report highlights the importance of ensuring they are complying with advertising regulations. The ASCI has issued guidelines to ensure that all parties engaging in advertising adhere to ethical standards.
The ASCI’s efforts to maintain advertising standards in India over the years has been commendable. The self-regulatory body actively monitors and flags ads that violate advertising standards. The organization engages with brands, agencies and sales teams to ensure they understand and follow ethical advertising guidelines.
In conclusion, the ASCI’s annual complaint report highlights the gamine industry’s significant violations of advertising standards. The report also notes that celebrities and brand ambassadors have a vital role to play in ensuring advertisements are ethical, and their endorsements are compliant with regulations. The ASCI’s efforts in maintaining advertising standards in India are crucial in protecting consumers from misleading, indecent, and harmful advertisements.
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