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January 24, 2023 01:06 pm | Updated 01:06 pm IST


ASCI updated guidelines after it observed that 80% of respondents did not notice disclaimers. | Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) on Tuesday updated its Guidelines for Disclaimers made in supporting, limiting or explaining claims made in advertisements.

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In the past three years, ASCI has processed over 800 advertisements which were found to be in violation of the disclaimer guidelines.

In a recent survey carried out by ASCI with 130 consumers, it was observed that 80% of respondents did not notice the disclaimer, 33% could not understand the disclaimers clearly even after adequate exposure time had been provided, and 62% of respondents felt that the disclaimer was excessively long.

The Consumer Complaints Council (CCC), have also observed that sometimes, the frame of the advertisement that contains the disclaimer was very crowded, and distracted the viewer’s focus.

To address these issues, the Guidelines for Disclaimers made in supporting, limiting or explaining claims made in advertisements have been amended by ASCI after consultation with stakeholders.

As per new guidelines, the use of disclaimer should be kept to a minimum. Long or otherwise complex disclaimers with large blocks of text and difficult words are a deterrent to viewers attempting to read the contents of the disclaimer. In such cases advertisers should modify the headline claim to reduce the need for further qualification through disclaimers.

In TV commercials or any other video advertisement on digital media, all disclaimers should be clearly readable to consumers.

There should not be more than one disclaimer, The disclaimer should be restricted to two full length lines and remain on screen for more than 4 seconds for every line.

“While ASCI has had disclaimer guidelines since 2016, it was observed that over-use of disclaimers made it difficult for consumers to understand all the information presented in the ad. This is evident from our survey where 80% of consumers did not even notice the disclaimers. Hence, it is important that claims are crafted in a way that minimizes the need for qualificatory disclaimers. Where disclaimers are needed, they should be presented in a manner that someone who is interested in reading them has the opportunity to do so,” said Manisha Kapoor, CEO and Secretary-General ASCI.


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