New Delhi: The government on Friday issued an advisory asking all television channels to run a scroller which provides information about reporting an objectionable advertisement. So far television channels have been running a ticker asking viewers to report objectionable programming content but there was no such provision for ads.
ln the advisory, the information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry said that in order to create mass consumer awareness about the self-regulatory mechanism of advertising watchdog Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) and for immediate and effective steps towards this goal, all television channels have to run scroller “Objectionable ads? Complain to The Advertising Standards Council of lndia (ASCI) 7710012345ascionline.org" during ad breaks.
Apart from the scroller, the ministry has also asked channels to strictly adhere to the Programme and Advertising Codes prescribed under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995.
It reteirated that TV channels must remember Rule 7(9) of the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994 which states that “No advertisement which violates the Code for self-regulation in advertising, as adopted by the Advertising Standards Council of lndia (ASCI), Mumbai for public exhibition in lndia, from time to time shall be carried in the cable service."
“It is a great initiative by the ministry. While objectionable programming content can be reported because channels run a scroll but there is no provision for advertisement. ASCI, in its capacity, has been trying to spread awareness about reporting misleading ads this decision will further amplify consumer awareness efforts towards curbing the menace of misleading ads," said Shweta Purandare, secretary general, ASCI.
Established in 1985, ASCI is a self-regulatory body which was formed to ensure protection of consumers’ interests.