Mumbai: To raise consumer awareness about objectionable advertisements, the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) is launching the #ChupNaBaitho, a call-to-action digital campaign. The campaign is one of several initiatives planned by ASCI, for this year, to create awareness about objectionable advertisements and encourage consumers to report such advertisements. In the three-month pilot, ASCI will focus on Mumbai and New Delhi.
One of the key take-aways from ASCI’s Trust in Advertising Report – 2020, was that only 10% of consumers who come across misleading advertisements report them. Around 20% talk about the advertisements on social media, and 65-70 % of people discuss it amongst themselves or take no action. So by and large, even if consumers come across objectionable advertisements, they do not take any concrete steps to resolve the issue. The aim of this campaign is to get more consumer complaints reported to ASCI, and thereby reduce the number of objectionable advertisements in the marketplace.
Between 2018 and 2020, 9283 direct complaints were reported against 1906 advertisements. Around 57% (of these were reported in 2018-2019 and 43% in 2019-2020 by end consumers. In 2019-2020, ASCI received 4683 direct complaints against 662 advertisements – these included the ones received from consumers, 94 intra-industry, 12 fast-track, one via the government and 28 via consumer organisations. These were in addition to the large number of suo-moto complaints registered by ASCI.
The campaign would have social media posts about relevant topics and a call to action, which would tell consumers when and how to report advertisements that are offensive, misleading, make fake promises, push harmful products, etc. The campaign will go live on Instagram and Facebook along with other platforms from today.
Manisha Kapoor, Secretary-General, ASCI, said: “One of ASCI’s key objectives is to turn consumers into allies. We want them to be more aware of their rights and what constitutes objectionable advertising. We want them to report such claims to us and we promise to act quickly and decisively on such complaints. The overall goal is to drastically reduce the number of misleading and objectionable advertisements. Over the last few months, we have introduced several guidelines, reports and advisories like the ones on COVID-19 advertising and Online Gaming for Real money winnings. The Trust in Advertising report that studied how much faith consumers have in advertising is another example of how focused we are towards protecting consumers. #ChupNaBaitho is another step towards this goal. We want to encourage consumers, especially the youth, to report advertisements that they find objectionable. This campaign is just the start and will be followed by other such initiatives in the year.”
To register a complaint against misleading advertisements, consumers can visit ASCI’s website ascionline.org or simply WhatsApp it on 7710012345.