Education sector has surfaced as the “single largest violative sector” in the report submitted by the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI). Out of the total complaints received, 33 per cent of the complaints were by enraged consumers who subscribed to edtech platforms or invested in association with educational institutions such as coaching centres, private institutes, among others.
The ASCI carves out regulatory guidelines for various sectors and ensures safeguard of consumers from misleading and objectionable content. In its report, the organisation found that the highest number of complaints regarding advertisements were received in the education sector, followed by healthcare and personal care.
While healthcare received 16 per cent of the complaints, personal care received 11 per cent. Crypto, gaming, food and beverages are 8 per cent and fashion at 6 per cent. The report concocted by ASCI consisted of data collected during the fiscal year 2021-22.
The report also mentioned that these misleading and objectionable advertisements were most published on digital platforms, followed by print, and then television. The ASCI report also noticed the emergence of two new sectors that received a substantial share of 8 per cent of all the complaints. These were the crypto and gaming sectors. Among the violators were also influencers that are key to digital advertisement, especially on platforms like Instagram. The report found that the most violations done by influencers were in the crypto sector, followed by personal care and fashion.
“Education is a service that goes across to every citizen of this country and particularly in an area that is of high concern and importance to parents,” Manisha Kapoor, CEO, ASCI, told Business Insider. She added, “A lot of private institutes and tuitions cater to local and regional audiences with promising claims like job guarantees.”
The findings of the report were based on a review of a total of 5,532 advertisements from various sectors. ASCI chose these ads based on the complaints received by consumers, by other industry players, and by government organisations. But mostly, the ads were picked based on Suo moto investigation.