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ASCI comes up with fresh guidelines on auto ads

By , agencyfaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | March 31, 2008
The March 1-15 issue of The Brand Reporter covered the issues relating to complaints against auto advertisements to the ASCI. The story was also published on agencyfaqs! on March 18 and 19. Following this, the ASCI comes up with fresh guidelines on motorbike ads

Descriptions & #BANNER1 & # used extensively by two wheeler and some auto manufacturers in their advertisements are mostly to do with aspiration. But when aspiration is linked to irresponsible driving on roads, it is not acceptable. The March 1-15 issue of The Brand Reporter covered the issues relating to complaints against auto advertisements to the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI). The story was also published on agencyfaqs! on March 18 and 19.

Last week, the ASCI and the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) took a step forward to try and put a stop to all bike ads which do not adhere to traffic rules and signals in the Indian scenario. According to the ASCI, the issues are mostly with two-wheeler ads because some of the ads do show dangerous and hazardous riding, especially in traffic conditions. In keeping with its proactive stance on self-regulation, the ASCI Board prepared specific Guidelines on Advertisements for Automotive Vehicles. The guidelines were sent to SIAM, which in turn got the approval of its members and board of directors.

As many as 14 cases were upheld against auto companies in 2007 (two wheelers and four wheelers). That comprises almost 30 per cent of the total complaints made to the ASCI by consumers.

The ASCI already had a code of conduct in place about auto advertising. So why come up with a new one? Alan Colaco, secretary general, ASCI, says, "The existing guidelines were a bit generic in nature. They are still a part of the code, but have been explained in detail now."

Explaining why SIAM was involved in ratifying the guidelines, Colaco says, "With regard to the automobile industry, we have about nine members, while SIAM has about 39. So now, most advertisers are notified about the new guidelines for auto advertising."

The New Guidelines on Auto Advertising

Guidelines on Advertisements for Automotive Vehicles

Preamble: Advertisements have a significant influence on people's behaviour. As such, advertisers are encouraged to depict advertisements in a manner which promotes safe practices, e.g., wearing of helmets and fastening of seatbelts, not using mobiles/cellphones when driving, etc.

Specifically, advertisements should not
a) Portray violation of traffic rules;
b) Show speed manoeuvrability in a manner which encourages unsafe or reckless driving, which could harm the driver, passengers and/or the general public; and
c) Show stunts or actions which require professional driving skills in normal traffic conditions, which in any case should carry a readable cautionary message drawing viewer attention to the depiction of stunts.