Home >News >India >ASCI plans norms for regulating digital ads

With the growing importance of online platforms as a media vehicle, The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has started tracking new media platforms, such as over-the-top (OTT) video streaming, digital, and social media platforms for misleading ads, the ad regulator said.

Digital advertising, including on streaming platforms, social media, digital news sites, and gaming, is expected to touch 22,300 crore in FY21, according to a September report by KPMG. While advertising revenues on digital were impacted in 2020 by the covid-19 pandemic, the medium is expected to overtake TV ads in FY21, the report added.

The self-regulatory industry body is working on guidelines to be released in the next few weeks to clearly define what constitutes a digital ad, which could be a social media post or video, misleading practices, role of influencers, and transparency on social media platforms so that brands can make informed decisions on ethical and transparent promotions.

A committee, comprising representatives of digital platforms, such as Facebook and Google, advertising agencies, advertisers and legal experts, is working to formulate clear guidelines. It will help regulate categories, such as liquor, which are getting away with online promotions despite being prohibited to advertise on mainstream media platforms. In November 2020, the regulator had taken suo-motu cognizance of 14 ads, which were run on OTT platforms and 12 were restricted from being aired.

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