Ethical standards in advertising needed: Centre

New Delhi (IANS) The Union government has said that ethical standards in advertising are needed and importance of responsible advertising and consumer protection should be amply highlighted.

Addressing the “#GetItRight Brand Influencer Summit 2023” virtually, organised by the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) in Mumbai, Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh said that disclosures must be hard to miss and not mixed with a group of hashtags or links.

Singh added that for endorsements in pictures, disclosures should be superimposed over the image, and for endorsements in videos, disclosures should be made in both audio and video formats.

In live streams, disclosures should be continuously displayed and prominently placed, he said.

The summit focussed on the importance of responsible advertising practices and consumer protection.

The Secretary emphasised that manufacturers, service providers, advertisers and advertising agencies should ensure that their advertisements do not mislead consumers.

He cited the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, passed by the Indian Parliament, which provides protection against misleading advertisements.

Singh differentiated between good and bad advertisements and said that the government’s intention is not to obstruct the growth of businesses but rather to ensure ethical standards are complied with.

With more than 75 crore internet users in India, of which 50 crore are social media users, the senior bureaucrat noted the paradigm shift from traditional advertising to social media advertising and the importance of conducting it responsibly.

He stressed on the need for influencers and celebrities to disclose any material connections with advertisers that may affect the credibility of their representation.

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