Advertising Council invokes ‘suspension of pending investigation’ rule against Layer’r ad

The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has released a statement stating that it has invoked a special procedure called “Suspended Pending Investigation” (SPI) against Layer’r whose controversial advertisements have been banned by the Ministry of Information and broadcasting today. The department ordered the suspension of the fragrance brand’s two controversial deodorant ads for its new ‘Shot’ body spray.

The council said it wrote to the advertiser on June 3 advising of the decision to suspend advertising, and invited the advertiser’s response which would be filed with the Consumer Complaints Council in the coming days.

He said that in exceptional circumstances such as these, when it appears that an advertisement seriously infringes his rights and that its continued transmission may cause public harm or that its continuation is contrary to the public interest, then the council , pending the investigation, would order the advertiser or the advertising agency or the management and the media concerned to suspend the advertisement.

The council added that it had received confirmation that the channel that originally aired the ad had already taken it down. He also noted that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had intervened to ensure that the advertisement was also removed from social media channels.

In most cases, where indicated, the advertiser has the opportunity to present their case before a recommendation is provided on the ad. The council said it was alerted to the advertisement for the deodorant product Layer’r which was potentially in serious breach of “Chapter II” of its code against offensive advertising.

It added that its Consumer Complaints Board must decide whether or not the ad breaches the code and pass the appropriate order accordingly, after giving a reasonable opportunity to hear from the advertiser whose ad has been suspended.

The ad, he added, is in potential violation of its chapter which states that advertisements must not contain anything indecent, vulgar, especially in the depiction of women, or anything repugnant that is likely, in light of generally prevailing standards of decency and propriety, to cause serious and widespread offense.

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