Commercials now can’t show actors in military fatigues without Army nod

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on August 13, 2019 Published on August 13, 2019

Companies and ad agencies need to be cautious when it comes to showing actors in army uniform in ad campaigns. They will now need to take prior approval from the Defence Ministry before releasing such commercials in public domain.

The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) in a tweet on Tuesday said: “In a new advisory, the Additional Directorate General of Public Information has stated that ads depicting #actors in military fatigues will need approval from them prior to release.”

Industry sources said such an advisory came after some consumers complained regarding an ad released by a pan masala brand which depicted actors in camouflaged uniform of the army personnel while chewing the brand.

Of late, many brands have started showing actors as soldiers in a bid to cash in on the patriotic fervour in the country. This has not been just done on TV or print but also in digital marketing and promotions.

Brand experts believe such a move was needed. Brand expert Harish Bijoor said: “Military fatigues are not mere uniforms. They are a symbol of national pride. There needs to be clear guidelines of do’s and dont’s on this issue.”

N Chandramouli, CEO, TRA Research, said that this directive is in the right direction as the intent of advertisers using actors wearing military uniforms in their ad campaigns is after all for commercial purposes to sell or promote a brand.

ASCI is a self-regulatory body that that works closely with the Department of Consumer Affairs, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, the Ministry of AYUSH as well as the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB).

Published on August 13, 2019
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