Moneycontrol PRO
you are here: HomeNewsTrends

MS Dhoni, Bhuvan Bam violate ad guidelines most, gaming least compliant category

In its annual report, ASCI also noted that the overall compliance is lower at 81 percent due to digital as the ads in this space emerged not just as a leading violator but also as the least compliant.

May 26, 2023 / 05:45 PM IST
Celebrities including MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli have emerged as top violators of advertising guidelines, according to a report by ad regulator ASCI.

Celebrities including MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli have emerged as top violators of advertising guidelines, according to a report by ad regulator ASCI.

Cricketer MS Dhoni and influencer Bhuvan Bam emerged as the top violators of advertising guidelines, according to sector regulator Advertising Standards Council of India's (ASCI) report.

Ads featuring Dhoni and Bam were in the gaming category, which has ads with most violations. Brands like Winzo and Mobile Premier League (MPL) are among the top violators. Other celebrities in the non-compliance list include Virat Kohli, Ranveer Singh, Shraddha Kapoor, Jim Shrabh, among others. Most of the non-compliant celebrities featured in the gaming category. Personal care was another category that had most number of misleading ads featuring top celebrities including Kapoor, Sara Ali Khan.

The report also revealed a sharp increase in the number of misleading ads featuring celebrities. ASCI processed 503 such ads, as opposed to 55 the previous year. In 97 percent of these ads, the celebrities failed to provide evidence of due diligence as mandated by the Consumer Protection Act.

This is a serious issue as ads featuring celebrities have a high impact on consumers, the regulator said.

The real-money gaming industry surpassed education to emerge as the most violative sector in terms of not complying with advertising guidelines, moving from the fifth to the first place, said ASCI.

It reviewed gaming advertisements for FY23 and found that 92 percent of the advertisements in the category did not adhere to the guidelines for real money gaming and failed to inform consumers about the risks of financial loss and addiction, according to ASCI's annual complaints report for 2022-23 released on May 17.

The gaming sector also gained the dubious distinction of being the least complaint, with only 50 percent of ads being modified voluntarily after they have been called out, the ad regulator said. ASCI had released its guidelines for the real-money gaming sector in December 2020, and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had also released an advisory asking all parties to comply with the guidelines.

During the period, ASCI reviewed 7,928 advertisements across print, digital and television. While TV and print advertisers continued to be highly compliant at 94 percent, the overall compliance is lower at 81 percent due to digital. Digital ads emerged not just as a leading violator, with 75 percent of ads processed being from the digital space, but also as the least compliant. This raises serious concern about the safety of consumers in the online space, ASCI said.

In addition, influencer violations stood at 26 percent, with 2,039 complaints being processed against them. Categories, including personal care, food and beverage and fashion and lifestyle, topped the list of influencer-related violations. The list of top non-compliant influencers included Reyansh, Pooja, Kanika Rana Sharma, among others. Brands that had most violative ads featuring influencers include Honasa Consumer, Nykaa, Apple, Amazon, among others.

“The complaints analysis for 2022–23 clearly shows that the digital medium is leading in terms of violative ads. This raises significant concerns around online consumer safety and trust. Advertisers, content creators and platforms must come together to address this issue on an urgent basis to protect consumer interests. In addition, the sharp increase in the number of violative gaming ads needs serious attention from the industry,” said Manisha Kapoor, CEO and Secretary General, ASCI.

ASCI noted that it has stepped up its scrutiny of ads nearly two-folds over the last two years.

“The digital advertising landscape is truly challenging us all and ASCI is no exception. Stepping up our surveillance through AI-based tools and a robust complaint management system has ensured that ASCI is keeping pace with this dynamic environment. Updating our codes to reflect newer consumer concerns makes sure the ASCI codes remain contemporary," said NS Rajan, Chairman, ASCI.

(The story has now been updated as ASCI issued a statement that actor Pratik Gandhi's name was erroneously mentioned in the report.)

Maryam Farooqui
Tags: #trends
first published: May 17, 2023 12:00 pm