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Business News/ Industry / Advertising/  Stricter ad rules for edu institutes
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Stricter ad rules for edu institutes

The font size of disclaimers in advertisements must now match the size of the claims made

The rules prohibit ads from guaranteeing a student a rank. HTPremium
The rules prohibit ads from guaranteeing a student a rank. HT

Advertising rules for educational institutes are set to get more stringent, with the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) introducing new draft norms stipulating that institutions can no longer make unsubstantiated claims about job placements or guarantees of academic success on enrollment.

Additionally, institutions must provide the full name and date of publication for any competitive rankings referenced in their advertising.

These new rules mark a significant change in how educational institutions can market themselves to prospective students. The draft rules prohibit ads from guaranteeing a student a rank, high marks, a job, admission to institutions, job promotions, salary increase, etc., unless it can substantiate this. The rules will likely come into effect in a month after the body consults with industry stakeholders and the general public.“We want to ensure consumers are not misled by these ads. The four key points we have added include one which says that no ad should normalize unhealthy habits like depicting students compromising on sleep or meals. We also want ads to stop showing a relationship between marks or exams with real-life success," said Manisha Kapoor, chief executive officer of ASCI.

The font size of disclaimers in advertisements must now match the size of the claims made, according to the proposed regulations by the advertising watchdog.

Furthermore, ads cannot make unverifiable claims about job placements or make use of fictitious visual infrastructure. Testimonials used in advertising must also come from students who have completed relevant programmes, exams, or subjects at the advertising institution.

According to a KPMG report, India’s online test prep market is expected to grow to $3.96 billion by 2025, with non-governmental exams contributing nearly 95% of the revenues in 2024.

It added that the Indian edtech market was $2.76 billion in 2020 and is expected to rise to $10.27 billion in 2025.

Furthermore, an advertisement stating the number of students placed for jobs will also have to give out the total number of students passing out from the placed class.

While an advertisement may feature students of any gender, the advertisement must not suggest that certain subjects are associated with particular genders alone.

Mayank Kumar, co-founder of upGrad and co-chair of the Indian EdTech Consortium, said there are several issues with advertising in the education sector, particularly in traditional and offline segments. He added that ads should not resort to hyperbole.

“A lot of the problems at present in the advertisements are coming out of the traditional education system and offline coaching centres, which make sweeping promises like “world-class libraries", etc. While also confusing parents, communication should be kept transparent to foster accuracy of information or claims made so that parents can make sound decisions," Kumar said.

In the past, ASCI stipulated that an advertisement offering a degree, diploma, or certificate, which by law requires to be recognized or approved by an authority, will have the name of that authority specified for that particular field.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Varuni Khosla
Varuni is an Assistant Editor at Mint. She writes engaging and informative stories on luxury brands, hospitality news, business of sports, business of advertising and marketing, gaming, tourism and travel, and the business of alcohol. She is skilled in communication, research, and analysis. Varuni is passionate about covering the latest trends and developments in the lifestyle and business sectors.
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Published: 14 Mar 2023, 01:22 AM IST
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