The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) on Wednesday, May 26 announced a revision in its codes for more inclusivity in advertisements. It will prohibit ads that depict discrimination, mock or deride any person.
The ASCI code already requires ads to not deride anyone on the basis of race, caste, creed, gender or nationality. Now, this has been widened to include discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation, body shape, age, and physical and mental conditions.
Advertisements must not deride people or portray them in an unfavourable way and should be inclusive, and sensitized to all sections of our country. There is no place for discrimination or mocking of any person on physical appearance in a progressive society.
Society and its needs are always evolving hence the rules & guidelines also need to be modified from time to time. Manisha Kapoor, CEO & Secretary General, ASCI, said: “We have seen consumers call out ads that mock or deride people, or portray them in unfavourable ways. And it is only right that advertising becomes more inclusive and sensitive to this.”
The self-regulatory body controls the Ads in India and takes action against the advertisers who violate any ASCI codes based on received complaints or even suo-moto. It also has the authority to withdraw/stop any advertisement from all channels.