Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), self-regulatory body, has released a set of guidelines for celebrity endorsements that bring personalities, including doctors, authors, activists and educationists, into the celebrity category.
This comes as a part of review the Consumer Protection Act and may have a provision to deal with misleading ads.
- Celebrities, for the purpose of this guideline, are those people who are from the field of Entertainment and Sports and would also include other well-known personalities like Doctors, Authors, Activists, Educationists, etc. who get compensated for appearing in advertising.
- All advertisements featuring Celebrities should ensure that it does not violate any of the ASCI code in letter and spirit.
- Celebrities are expected to have adequate knowledge of these Codes
- It is the duty of the Advertiser and the Agency to make sure that the Celebrity they wish to engage with is made aware of them.
- Testimonials, endorsements or representations of opinions or preference of Celebrities must reflect genuine, reasonably current opinion of the individual(s) making such representations, and must be based upon adequate information about or experience with the product or service being advertised.
- Celebrity should do due diligence to ensure that all description, claims and comparisons made in the advertisements they appear in or endorse are capable of being objectively ascertained and capable of substantiation and should not mislead or appear deceptive.
- Celebrities should not participate in any advertisement of a product or treatment or remedy that is prohibited for advertising under:
- The Drugs & Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act 1954 as updated from time to time or
- The Drugs & Cosmetic Act 1940 and Rules 1945: (Schedule J) as updated from time to time or
- A product which by law requires a health warning “…..is injurious to health” on its packaging or advertisement.
- If the Celebrity either directly or through the concerned Advertiser/Agency chooses to seek Advertising Advice from ASCI on whether the advertisement potentially violates any provisions of the ASCI code or not and if the Advertisement is developed fully following the Advertising Advice provided by the ASCI, then the Celebrity would be considered as having completed due diligence.
- However, ASCI’s Advertising Advice will not be construed as pre-clearance of the Advertisement.
GS II : Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies