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Business News/ Education / News/  Here are the new advertisement guidelines for the education sector
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Here are the new advertisement guidelines for the education sector

The guidelines warn against the creation of a false sense of urgency and the normalisation of unhealthy practices, and prohibit stereotyping students based on gender or appearance

This move comes in light of a recent report revealing that the education sector was one of the top violators of advertising guidelines over the last few years- HT PhotoPremium
This move comes in light of a recent report revealing that the education sector was one of the top violators of advertising guidelines over the last few years- HT Photo

New Delhi: While existing guidelines require educational entities to substantiate any claims they make in their advertisements with relevant evidence, the updated norms require them to be mindful of a student’s mental and physical well-being.

The revised guidelines by the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), a voluntary self-regulatory organisation, now require educational institutions, including universities, colleges and schools, coaching classes, and ed-tech platforms, not to stereotype students based on their gender, or appearance, nor portray those who score low as unsuccessful or failures. 

This move comes in light of a recent report revealing that the education sector was one of the top violators of advertising guidelines over the last few years. The council said classical education ranked second in the list of entities violating norms with 13.8% of total ads that did not adhere to its guidelines.

Under the revised guidelines, advertisers are expected to refrain from showing students sacrificing sleep or meals for study, thereby normalizing unhealthy practices. Advertisements portraying disappointment over low scores must avoid depicting these students as demotivated, depressed, or unappreciated by their peers or family.

The guidelines also warn against the creation of a false sense of urgency or fear of missing out, potentially intensifying student or parental anxiety. Furthermore, the directive discourages associating high scores with stereotypical traits such as wearing thick glasses, emphasising the importance of presenting an impartial view of academic success. While an advertisement may feature students of any gender, it must not suggest that certain subjects are associated with a particular gender alone.

Rohit Kumar Singh, secretary, Ministry of Consumer Affairs said, “Education advertising touches almost every citizen in the country. Ensuring the sanctity of advertising in this sector is an important task. The guidelines address the various issues that plague the sector and we hope that the industry will follow these in letter and spirit. Misleading ads are also a violation of the Consumer Protection Act and all necessary steps will be taken to keep our citizens safe."

Manisha Kapoor, CEO and secretary general, ASCI, added: "In addition to ads not being misleading, the updated guidelines also provide for the physical and mental well-being of students, particularly school students. While fierce pressure in education is a reality, advertising must not perpetuate this problem. normalise it or exploit student and parental vulnerability."

India's advertising industry is set to witness a 15.5% growth in ad spends, amounting to an increase of around 20,000 crore compared to 2022. The industry is projected to reach a valuation of 1.46 lakh crore, with a 20% CAGR in digital spends from last year, as per a report by GroupM.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Varuni Khosla
Varuni Khosla is a journalist with close to 14 years of experience in writing business news stories for mainstream newspaper companies like Mint and The Economic Times. She reports and writes on luxury and lifestyle brands, hospitality and tourism news, the business of sports, the business of advertising and marketing and alcohol brands.
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Updated: 30 May 2023, 05:13 PM IST
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