Advertising industry's self-regulatory body ASCI on Wednesday said there has been a steep jump in complaints against celebrities and many of the endorsers failed to provide any evidence of due diligence before signing up for a campaign.
The fiscal year also saw the real-money gaming industry surpass the education sector to emerge as the most violative sector.
According to ASCI, complaints against celebrities witnessed an 803 per cent jump in FY23 to 503 ads, as against 55 in the year-ago period.
“In spite of the Consumer Protection Act now legally requiring celebrities to do their due diligence when they appear in ads, in 97 per cent of cases processed by ASCI featuring celebrities, they failed to provide any evidence of due diligence," the report said.
Cricketer M S Dhoni tops the list of celebrities who have failed to do necessary due diligence as he featured in ten counts of non-compliance, the body said, adding that he was followed by actor-comedian Bhuvan Bam who had seven counts of non-compliance.
Gaming, classical education, healthcare and personal care were found to be the top violative categories, accounting for over half of the problematic content, the ASCI report said.
Real money gaming, which is already under the regulatory cloud. moved from fifth to first place, Asci said.
An astounding 92 per cent of gaming advertisements reviewed by ASCI for FY 2022–23 did not adhere to the guidelines for real money gaming, and also failed to inform consumers about the risks of financial loss and addiction, the body said.
Advertising industry's self-regulatory body received 8,951 complaints in FY23, of which it reviewed 7,928 advertisements across media formats for potential violations, and three-fourths of the ads processed were on digital media front.
"This (violation on digital media) raises serious concerns about the safety of consumers in the online space," the body said. A fourth of the complaints processed by Asci involved influencers, with personal being the top violating category.