Indonesia: Advertising And Marketing - Advertising Law

Last Updated: 10 February 2016
Article by Eddy Leks


There is no single law aiming to provide compehensive regulation of advertising in Indonesia. Regulation on advertising is set out in several laws, the most important of which are as follows.

  • Law Number 8 of 1999 on Consumer Protection (the Consumer Protection Law) covering general aspects of advertising
  • Law Number 40 of 1999 on the Press (the Press Law) concerning advertising using print and electronic media in the form of text, sound, image, sound and image, and data and graphs
  • Law Number 32 of 2002 on Broadcasting (the Broadcasting Law) covering broadcast media, particularly television and radio
  • Law Number 11 of 2008 on Information and Electronic Transactions (the ITE Law) concerning advertising using electronic media in the form of digitally transmitted information, electronic transactions, information technology, electronic documents, and electronic systems

Moreover, there are Local Regulation of DKI Jakarta Number 12 of 2011 on Advertising Tax and Local Regulation of DKI Jakarta Number 7 of 2004 on Implementation of Advertising (Local Regulations of DKI) on ads in the form of billboards, large electronic displays (LED), fabric advertisements, stickers, flyers, and other media. The local regulations were issued with an aim to promote and oversee sources of advertising tax revenues for the local government of DKI Jakarta.

Industry-Specific Regulations

Some laws regulate advertising of specific products and services. Among these are:

  • Annex III of Minister of Health Decree Number 386/MEN.KES/SK/IV/1994 on Advertising Guidelines of Drug-Free Traditional Medicine, Medical Devices, Cosmetics, Health Household Supplies and Food-Beverage (hereinafter the Medicine Advertising Guidelines)
  • Minister of Health Regulation Number 1787/MENKES/PER/XII/2010 on Advertising and Publication of Health Care (hereinafter the Health Care Advertising Regulations)
  • Government Regulation Number 69 of 1999 on Food Labeling and Advertising (hereinafter the Food Advertising Regulations).


  • Gambling
  • Sexual services
  • Category C liquor (liquor with high alcohol content)
  • Firearms, weapons, and ammunition


Alcohol (Beer and Wine)

No specific restrictions

Alcohol (Spirits)

The Broadcasting Law prohibits broadcasting of commercial advertisements promoting liquor or addictive substances. It applies to advertisements broadcast on radio or television.

The Medicine Advertising Guidelines state that advertisements for liquor may not:

  • Affect or stimulate people to start drinking liquor
  • Describe the use of liquor in activities that require concentration (its use could endanger safety)
  • Be intended for children under 16 years old or for pregnant women, or depict them in the ads
  • Advertise C category liquor (with an alcohol content of 20 to 55 percent); advertisements for hard liquor are banned

Firearms, Weapons, and Ammunition

As noted above, advertising of firearms, weapons, and ammunition is prohibited completely.


Food advertising is regulated under the Food Advertising Regulations. The law requires packaged foods sold in Indonesia to bear a label that is easily seen and read and is affixed in such a way that it is not easily faded, separated from the package, or damaged. It is prohibited to make false or misleading statements or representations, whether through text, images, or other means, in advertisements or on labels.

Manfacturers and importers of food for sale in Indonesia are responsible for the truth of statements that the food is halal (suitable per Muslim dietary laws). Food that is halal should include the word "halal" on the label.


Advertising of gambling activities is prohibited completely per the Broadcasting Law.

Legal Service

Law Number 18 of 2003 on Advocates (Advocate Law) does not prohibit advertisement. However, the Indonesian Advocate Code of Conduct states that:

  • Advertising that is designed to attract people's attention is prohibited, including use of signboards of excessive size.
  • Attorneys are not justified to seek publicity through the mass media or to attract attention to their actions as advocates in cases they are handling or have handled, unless the information provided is intended not for self-promotion, but to uphold and foster the rule of law and the standards of the legal profession

Medical Devices

Under the Food and Drug Advertising Guidelines, medical devices, cosmetics, and personal-care products may be advertised if the product has obtained a registration number from the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia. Advertisement contents must comply with registration data and other information that was approved upon registration.

  • An advertisement for medical devices, cosmetics, and personal-care products is required to be: Objective, stating facts in accordance with reality
  • Not misleading and without exaggeration as to the origin, nature, quality, quantity, composition, usability, security, and restriction of medical devices, cosmetics, and health household supply.
  • Complete, which includes not only information about the utility of the product and instructions for its use, but also warnings and advisories that should be considered by the user, such as ways to cope in the event of an accident

Medical Services

Under the Health Care Advertising Regulations, a health-care facility may promote and/or publish its health care services through any and all media. Publication of health care may be in the form of news, banners, text runs, articles, or features. Advertising and/or publication of health care by a health-care facility through the Internet may not be used as a long-range medical consultation (telemedicine).

The issuance of advertising and/or publication as mentioned above must be in accordance with the advertising ethic set out in the Indonesia Hospital's Code Of Conduct, the Health Worker's Code Of Conduct, the Advertisers' Code Of Conduct, and the laws. Advertisements and publications of health-care facilities must meet the requirements set forth in Ministry of Health regulations; statements must:

  • Contain accurate facts
  • Be based on evidence
  • Be informative and educational
  • Be responsible

Advertisements and/or publications as mentioned above which are published in print media, electronic media, or outdoor media must include the name and address of the health-care facility and the date of publication. Advertising and/or publication of health care is not allowed if it:

  • Attacks and/or shows bad taste, for example by demeaning the honor and degree of the health profession;
  • Provides information or statements that are false, deceiving, or misleading
  • Contains information which implies that the health-care facility may obtain health outcomes which cannot be implemented by other health-care facilities
  • Creates an inappropriate expectancy of health care which is given

Nonprofit Fundraising

No specific restrictions

Nutritional Supplements

Per the Medicine Advertising Guidelines, advertising of nutritional supplements may be done only to prevent or to overcome nutritional deficits experienced at times such as after surgery, during pregnancy and breastfeeding or after sickness, and by the elderly.

Also see Pharmaceuticals for requirements as to completeness and accuracy of information.

Occult ("Psychic") Services

No specific restrictions


Under the Medicine Advertising Guidelines, information on the advertising of medical products must comply with the criteria set out in Article 41 Paragraph (2) of Law Number 23 of 1992 on Health, as follows:

Political Advertising

Under Article 76 of Law Number 10 of 2008 on General Election of Members of the House of Representatives, The House Of Representatives District, And House Of Representatives District (the General Election Law), the general election campaign is performed according to the principle of responsibility and is a part of the political education of the society at large.

Under Article 81 of the General Election Law, the campaign material of the political party of a general election candidate has to include the vision, mission, and program of the political party. The same is true for the campaign material of the individual candidate.


The general election campaign as referred to Article 76 may be performed through:

  • A limited meeting
  • A face-to-face meeting
  • Print mass media and electronic mass media
  • Distribution of campaign material to the public
  • Installation of props in a public place
  • General meeting
  • Other activities which do not violate the prohibition of campaign laws and regulations


Organizers, candidates, and officials of a political campaign are prohibited from:

  • Questioning the constitution of Pancasila, the Opening of Constitution Law of the Republic of  Indonesia of 1945, and the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia
  • Engaging in any activity which endangers the integrity of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia
  • Insulting any person, religion, tribe, race, group, candidate, or other election participant
  • Disturbing the public order
  • Inciting to violence or recommending the use of violence against a person, group society members, and/or other general election participants
  • Destroying and/or removing campaign materials (alat peraga) of an opposing candidate
  • Using government facilities, places of worship, and places of education
  • Making use of images or other attributes of opposing candidates
  • Promising or giving money or other materials to the campaigners

The following are prohibited from serving as campaign organizers: The chairman, vice chairman, young junior] chairman, supreme court judge, and judges in any judicial body under the supreme court, and judges on the constitutional court

  • The chairman, vice chairman, or any member of the Financial Examiners Board (Badan Pemeriksa Keuangan)
  • The governor, senior deputy governor, and deputy governor of the Bank of Indonesia
  • Officials of enterprises owned by the state or region
  • Civil servants
  • A member of the Indonesian National Army and Police of the Republic of Indonesia
  • Village heads
  • Village administrative staff
  • A member of a village consultative body (badan permusyawaratan desa)
  • An Indonesian citizen who does not have right to vote

Products Related to Sexuality

Condoms in Indonesia are categorized as a medical device, which is set out in the Medicine Advertising Guidelines, which state that:

  • Condom ads shall not encourage the use of condoms for immoral purposes
  • Condom ads shall be adjusted to the aesthetic and oriental manners
  • Condom ads shall be accompanied be a note reading "FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE"


Advertising of religion in order to offend and/or degrade other religions is prohibited by the Press Law.

Sex (Adult) Services

Law Number 44 of 2008 on Pornography prohibits offering or advertising, directly or indirectly, sexual services.

Tobacco Products

Advertising and promotion may be performed only by a person who produces cigarettes and/or distributes cigarettes into the territory of Indonesia. Such advertising and promotion may be performed through electronic media, print media, or outdoor media. Advertising on electronic media may only be performed from 9:30pm to 5am local time.

Advertisements for tobacco products are prohibited from:

  • Encouraging people to smoke
  • Claiming or suggesting that smoke gives health benefits
  • Showing or describing, in images and/or text, a pack of cigarettes, a cigarette, or people in the act of smoking
  • Displaying, in images and/or text, children, teenagers, or pregnant women
  • Listing the name of product concerned as cigarette
  • Conveying messages contrary to the prevailing norms in society

Each advertisement on electronic media, print media, or outdoor media has to include a mandated warning about the danger of smoking for health. The warning has to be written clearly so that it is easy to read, and it must occupy no less than 15 percent of the total advertising area.

Under the Press Law, a press company (perusahaan pers) may not publish advertisements containing depictions of cigarettes or of the act of smoking The Broadcasting Law also prohibits cigarette advertisements from including depictions of cigarettes.


No specific restrictions

To read this article in full, please click here.

Originally published by AtoZ World Business.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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