ASCI, a self-regulatory body for the advertising industry, on Wednesday broadened its code to make discrimination on the basis of aspects like gender identity and sexual orientation as a violation for ad-makers.
The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) maintained that its code already required ads to not deride anyone on the basis of race, caste, creed, gender or nationality.
“However, new areas of possible discrimination or derision have now been included such as gender identity and sexual orientation, body shape, age, and physical and mental conditions. Advertisements that mock or deride anyone on these bases will now be considered in violation of the ASCI Code,” an official statement said.
ASCI said it has to keep up with the evolving society and changing concerns of consumers, who do not appreciate unfavourable depictions of certain sections of society, to ensure that advertising keeps in sync with the expectations.
The changes to the code were approved by the board of the self-regulatory body recently.
The body’s chief executive and secretary general Manisha Kapoor said it has witnessed consumers call out ads that mock or deride people, or portray them in unfavourable ways, and feels advertising ought to become more inclusive and sensitive.
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