Voices Wednesday, June 11, 2014 - 05:30
The News Minute| June 11, 2014| 10.00 am IST A young girl who appears for a job interview and is turned back as she is dark, diffident! Then she applies the most 'reliable' fairness cream for days and comes back looking fair and confident, and gets the CEO's job! Sounds familiar? Well, these ads that have invaded our psyche for years may become a thing of the past as new guidelines specifically disallow them. A big chunk of advertisements has always reinforced stereotypes. There has been much outrage over the stereotyping that fairness products industries have propagated over the years and now the Advertising Standards Council of India has stepped in and said that such ads are not welcome any more. The ASCI has released a draft guidelines for ads that come out on fairness and skin lightening products. The ASCI already has a section stating that advertisements should not openly discriminate against a particular “race, caste, color, creed or nationality”. But since that was not good enough, the body decided to frame more specific guidelines. The new guidelines say that ads should not reinforce negative social stereotyping on the basis of skin color. Specifically, advertising should not directly or implicitly show people with darker skin as unattractive, unhappy, depressed or concerned. This means more than half the ads in the market will need to be pulled back. (we hope so) The guidelines also say no more artificially enhanced beautiful faces on ads. So mno more eerily fair model smiling at you as the advertisement ends. The guideline also says that the expression of the model/s pre and post usage of the product both in the real and graphical representation should be the same. ASCI is “a self-regulatory voluntary organization of the advertising industry”, and is committed “to the cause of Self-Regulation in Advertising, ensuring the protection of the interests of consumers”.

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