The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) decided to act against 81 advertisements of various online gaming platforms for violating guidelines which require advertisements to not be aimed at minors, not present gaming as a possible source of livelihood, or link it to success.
After releasing guidelines related to real-money gaming, which was effective from December 15, ASCI kept a close look on all the advertisements of various online gaming platforms and had asked them to carry a disclaimer regarding the risk of financial loss and the addictive nature of such games.
However, according to Mint, the regulatory body further found out that as many as 81 advertisements of various online gaming platforms were against the guidelines. The body recieved 75% of the complaints from end consumers while the rest was taken by ASCI suo motu.
Of all the 81 complaints, 15 advertisements were voluntarily withdrawn by advertisers after receiving a communication from the ASCI while in another 27 cases, the complaint was lodged and subsequently, the advertiser had removed the advertisements before they received communication from the ASCI.
Two advertisers decided to contest the case, but the decision was upheld according to the ASCI code. Yet, there are as many as 37 advertisements still under process with the regulator already asking for an explanation.
“We are quite happy to note that consumers have come forward to report advertisements that potentially violate the code. We too are keeping a close eye on such advertisements and, through our association with TAM Media Research, we are monitoring the digital space more efficiently. With such steps, we hope to make advertisements for online gaming for real money winnings more transparent and safer for consumers," said Manisha Kapoor, secretary general, ASCI, reported Mint.
ASCI decided not to divulge the names of the non-compliant companies but added that the majority of the complaints received were regarding ads on Instagram and YouTube.