Education, healthcare & personal care are top violators of ASCI code

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The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) report has revealed how the personal care sector has emerged among the top three violators contributing to 12% of all objectionable advertisements scrutinized by ASCI.

The ASCI report titled “Objectionable ads in the Beauty & Personal Care category and the rising impact of influencer marketing & D2C brands” highlights that while personal care has always been among the top ten violating categories, in the past two years, it has risen to the top three on account of high volumes of ads violating guidelines by ASCI, according to the report.

The launch of influencer guidelines in May 2021 along with ASCI’s proactive monitoring using AI-based tools has added to the increased number of ads under scrutiny. 

With respect to the personal care sector, in the period 2021-2022 to Q1-Q3 2022-2023, ASCI processed complaints against 1,126 advertisements in this sector versus just 347 ads in the previous two years. The other top two violators mentioned in the report were Education (26%) and Healthcare (15%).

The sector report has also thrown light on some interesting facts: 

● There was a 272% rise in the monthly average of ads processed in the last four years, starting from 2019. 

● 5.7% of ads in violation of the ASCI Code were from the personal hygiene category, 30.3% from the skincare category, 24.7% from the cosmetics category, and 19.4% from hair care. 17.5% of ads showcased multiple categories. 

● Social media influencers were responsible for 68% of the ads processed in the personal care category, out of which 92% violated the ASCI Code and required modifications. Of these, 77% were not contested and the voluntary compliance rate stood at 91%. 

Also Read: ASCI reveals dark patterns, questionable tactics used by advertisers to influence consumer decisions

● 84% of violative ads belonged to the D2C brands, which have a large presence on social and digital platforms. 

● 24% of total complaints across categories received at ASCI from consumers, industry, and consumer organizations between Q1-Q3 in '22-'22 were for personal care ads. 

● The platform split for violative ads in personal care was Instagram (55.3%), YouTube (25.9%), Facebook (11.3%), and websites (4.8%). 

Talking about the report, Manisha Kapoor, CEO & Secretary General, ASCI, said, “Personal care, particularly on digital platforms, is a high engagement space for consumers, and it is important that their interests be protected. Over the past few years, ASCI has constantly strived to update its guidelines to extend consumer protection to many emerging sectors and platforms. This, coupled with our AI-based digital monitoring is making a real impact in being able to identify violations and drive compliance. We are glad that we could get in early, formulate appropriate guidelines, and work towards making the online space safe for consumers.”

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