Healthcare ads most violative, says ASCI

Healthcare ads most violative, says ASCI

Nov 23,2023

New Delhi: Healthcare has emerged as the most violative sector in half-yearly assessment of complaints by Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), constituting 21% of all ads scrutinised. The surge is attributed to high volume of drug and medicine advertisements on digital platforms in April-September this year.


ASCI, the self-regulatory body of advertising industry, evaluated a total of 3,501 complaints over the six-month period ended September. Digital mediaremained the primary source of violations, while print and television media contributed 17% and 3%, respectively. Nearly, 80% of problematic ads were found online, highlighting challenges in digital advertising world, the report said.


ASCI resolves issues around dishonest or misleading ads, and those that are offensive, harmful and unfair in competition. The report shows a 34% increase in complaints (4,491) processed, coupled with a corresponding 27% rise in the number of ads processed.


Despite regulatory restrictions, there was a rise in the number of advertisements of products whose advertising is prohibited. About 16% of the advertisements processed were for products claiming magic remedies in potential violation of law, which is a 22% rise from the previous financial year.


These ads directly violate the Drug and Magic Remedies Act of 1954, leading to the issuance of intimations to advertisers, advising withdrawal or modification of the advertisement, the report adds. ASCI referred 565 advertisements to the ministry of AYUSH in just six months, compared to 464 ads referred in the last financial year.


Source: Healthworld