ASCI had issued guidelines dated August 14, 2014 regarding
advertising for skin lightening or fairness improvement products
stating that no advertisement should communicate any discrimination
and reinforce negative social stereotyping on the basis of skin
color. But TV channels continue showing such ads. ASCI, therefore,
made a compliant before MIB regarding various TV channels carrying
objectionable advertisements in violation of the ASCI Code, the
Drugs & Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act,
1954, the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 and
Cable Television Network Rules 1994 ("Cable TV
Rules"). MIB's Inter-Ministerial Committee
observed that non-compliance of ASCI's decision violates Rule
7(9) of the Cable TV Rules which provides that advertisements that
violate the Advertising Code should not be carried in the cable
service and advised all TV channels to refrain from carrying
advertisements of products in violation of the aforesaid rules.
PSA view –Monitoring has become crucial
and, therefore, pursuant to Clause 5.14 of the Policy Guidelines
for Downlinking of Television channels that requires the
broadcaster to provide monitoring facilities for monitoring of
content by MIB, MIB issued a circular dated July 22, 2014 to all TV
channels asking for Integrated Receiver Decoders for each channel
to facilitate monitoring procedure at the Electronic Media
Monitoring Centre. Restraint while showing advertisements is
crucial and broadcasters should adhere to the ASCI Code and other
regulations that MIB monitors.
2. Service Tax applicable on online advertisements
Service tax is currently levied on sale of space or time for
advertisements in broadcast media, namely radio or television.
However, with the passing of the notification dated July 10, 2014,
service tax is to be extended to online and mobile advertising
also. Online advertisements will involve within its ambit
advertisements on internet websites, out-of-home media, on film
screen in theatres, bill boards, conveyances, buildings, cell
phones, ATM, tickets, commercial publications, aerial advertising,
etc. Sale of space for advertisements in print media, however,
would continue to be in the negative list and hence, remain
excluded from the purview of service tax. This change came into
effect from October 1, 2014.
PSA view – This move of the government
has been subjected to great criticism and is being considered
ironical especially when the government is focusing to building a
digital India. A few called this move as regressive in nature, as
it will escalate costs and impact growth.
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Interplay of technologies such as social media, cloud, analytics and mobility is changing the way marketing is done and the digitally savvy consumer is targeted using various mediums at any time of the day and everywhere.
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