The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) released its half-yearly complaints report (April to September, 2022). During the period, it processed 3,340 complaints against 2764 advertisements that were in potential violation of the ASCI code. About 55% of these ads were spotted across the digital domain, followed by 39% in print and 5% on television.
As compared to 2021-22, ASCI saw a 14% rise in the number of complaints while witnessing a 35% increase in the number of ads processed. Education remained the most violative sector with 27% of the complaints related to it – 22% belonged to the classical education category while 5% were from the ed tech sector. These were followed by personal care (14%), food & beverages (13%), healthcare (13%) and gaming (4%). ASCI’s surveillance remains strong, picking up 65% of the ads processed suo motu.
98% of consumers’ complaints were received by the artificial-intelligence-based complaints management system TARA. The introduction of TARA has given consumers a comprehensive, hassle-free redressal process. About 16% of the total complaints recorded were from consumers, followed by 15% from the government, while intra-industry complaints comprised 3%. Of the 2,764 potentially objectionable ads processed, 32% were not contested by the advertisers, 59% further were found in violation of the ASCI code and 8% were found not to be violating the code.
Manisha Kapoor, CEO and Secretary-General, ASCI, said, “Looking at the rapid growth of digital advertising, we have invested heavily in ad-surveillance technology. We will continue to upgrade and streamline our processes to provide a more responsive platform to all stakeholders, including consumers, brands and government bodies. In our constant pursuit of transparency, we have released a comprehensive report about the kinds of complaints and outcomes that ASCI has looked into during the first six months of the financial year.”
Of the total complaints received by ASCI, 28% of the violations were by influencers. Of the 781 complaints processed against influencers, 34% were from the personal care category, followed by food and beverage at 17%, and virtual digital assets at 10%.
As part of the report ASCI also published a list of cases handled, as well as non-compliant influencers and brands.