Advertising Policy and Guidelines for JioCinema

This comprehensive guide outlines the principles and guidelines essential for fostering a positive, secure, and transparent digital advertising ecosystem. By closely following these policies, User (as defined under Terms of Use) contribute to the creation of a trustworthy environment that benefits end-users, agencies, advertisers, and publishers alike.

Introduction to Digital Advertising Guidelines:

In the realm of digital advertising, the following guidelines are established to ensure transparency, fairness, and honesty in promotional practices. These principles are crafted to be applied across various digital platforms, safeguarding the interests of consumers, and promoting ethical advertising standards.

Drip Pricing:

Quoted prices in advertisements and on e-commerce platforms are required to be inclusive of non-optional taxes, duties, fees, and charges applicable to a majority of buyers. This precautionary measure aims to combat the practice of drip pricing, wherein certain elements of the total price are concealed until the final stages of the purchasing process or post-confirmation. By revealing the complete price upfront, these guidelines aim to eliminate ambiguity and facilitate easy comparisons, considering incomplete price representations at the outset as potentially misleading.

  1. Example:
    1. A consumer orders a snack online with a displayed price of Rs. 100, only to find the final amount payable is Rs. 175, inclusive of taxes, delivery fees, platform convenience fees, and similar charges. If these charges are common for most consumers, they must be incorporated into the prices displayed in the initial listing ad.

Bait and Switch:

This guideline addresses situations where an advertisement or a component thereof implies one outcome based on the consumer's action but delivers an alternative result, which is considered misleading. Examples include presenting a product at a certain price, only for the consumer to access it at a higher price. Another instance involves promoting an appealing product and later revealing it is out of stock, offering an alternative. Additionally, changing the meaning of key symbols, like misleadingly using an 'X' to signify acceptance instead of closure, is considered deceptive.

  1. Examples:
    1. A consumer selects a product at a specified price but is later redirected to the same product at a higher cost.
    2. An attractive product is advertised, but upon interaction, it is disclosed to be out of stock, presenting an alternative.
    3. Misleading use of symbols, such as an 'X' commonly understood to mean “close,” instead indicating “accept/proceed.”

False Urgency:

Any statement or implication suggesting limited quantities of a product or service, such as airline seats at a certain price, more restricted than the actual availability, is deemed misleading. In case of complaints, advertisers must demonstrate that the stock levels at the time of the limited quantity message genuinely justified the urgency communicated, preventing misleading claims.

Disguised Ads:

Advertisements designed in a format resembling editorial or organic content must explicitly disclose their promotional nature. This applies to influencer posts, paid reviews, and ads strategically placed to mimic editorial content, ensuring consumers are informed of the advertising intent.

These digital advertising guidelines are formulated to uphold integrity, provide clarity, and protect consumer interests in an evolving digital landscape. Adhering to these standards fosters a trustworthy and ethical advertising environment.

Specific Policy Highlights:

  1. Sexual Content:
    • Policy Overview:
      • Advertisements must align with user preferences and legal regulations.
      • Limited promotion based on user demographics, laws, and search queries.
      • Products in the sexual wellness space need to comply with laid-down laws, including schedules in Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954, Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, and Rules, 1945 & Ayush Prakashan Parishad Guidelines.
    • Examples of Restricted Content:
      • Visible genitalia, explicit sexual imagery, hook-up dating, sex toys, strip clubs.
    • Compliance Requirements:
      • Responsible advertising without targeting minors or violating local laws. All Sexual Wellness Products will be targeted to U/A 16+ only.
  2. Alcohol & Tobacco:
    • Policy Overview:
      • No direct alcohol advertisement are permitted
      • Adherence to local laws and industry standards is mandatory.
      • Only Genuine Brand Extensions for Alco-Bev and Tobacco are allowed if they meet policies, avoid targeting minors, and focus on regions allowing alcohol ads.
    • Examples of Restricted Content:
      • Beer, wine, spirits, Champagne, non-alcoholic variants, and drinks resembling alcohol.
    • Compliance Requirements:
      • Strict compliance with policies to ensure responsible alcohol- related advertising. Refer to ASCI Guidelines for Qualifications for Brand Extension-product or service.
      • Only Genuine Brand Extensions for Alco-Bev and Tobacco are allowed.
  3. Brand extension requirements for Above Products:
    • Policy Overview:
      • The brand extension genuineness verification process ensures that all brand extensions adhere to the established criteria and regulations outlined by ASCI to maintain authenticity and integrity in advertising. To verify the genuineness of a brand extension, certain essential documents and information are required.
    • Compliance Requirements:
      1. CA Certificate:
        • Brands existing for over two years must provide a CA certificate validating a sales turnover exceeding Rs. 5 crore nationally or Rs. 1 crore per state.
        • Brand extensions under two years must demonstrate a monthly net sales turnover of Rs. 20 lakhs, excluding sales to subsidiaries.
      2. Trademark Certificate:
        • Submission of a valid trademark certificate in the class relevant to the brand extension to verify the ownership and authenticity of the brand.
      3. The advertisement should focus solely on the product being promoted and should not include any depiction of prohibited products (i.e. alcohol) in any form.
      4. Avoid any direct or indirect references to prohibited products in the advertisement.
      5. Refrain from using nuances or phrases that promote prohibited products.
      6. Do not incorporate colors, layouts, or presentations associated with prohibited products.
      7. Avoid situations typical for the promotion of prohibited products when advertising other products.

      By fulfilling these compliance requirements, advertisers ensure transparency, credibility, and adherence to regulatory standards in brand extension advertising outlined in the Advertising Code and ASCI’s Code for Self- Regulation.

  4. Copyrights and Intellectual Property:
    • Policy Overview:
      • Viacom18 prioritizes the protection of copyright holders' rights.
      • Unauthorized use of copyrighted content in ads is strictly prohibited.
    • Requirements and Processes:
      • Legal authorization required for using copyrighted content.
  5. Gambling and Games:
    • Policy Overview:
      • Responsible gaming advertising is supported in compliance with local laws and industry standards.
      • Gambling-related ads are prohibited under the laws of the land and are outright prohibited.
    • Examples of Restricted Content:
      • Physical casinos, betting on poker, bingo, roulette, sports events, lotteries.
    • Compliance Requirements:
      • Strict adherence to policies to ensure responsible gaming advertising.
  6. Healthcare and Medicines:
    • Policy Overview:
      • Advertisements related to healthcare and medicines must adhere to advertising regulations.
      • All healthcare-related content is restricted for all scheduled drugs and drugs that are non-OTC.
    • Compliance Requirements:
      • Compliance with various laws and their schedules focusing on prohibiting misleading or exaggerated advertisements.
      • Compliance with the following laws and their schedules will be considered while assessing compliance:
        1. Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954
        2. Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006
        3. Consumer Protection Act, 2019
        4. Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Rules, 1945
        5. Ayush Prakashan Parishad Guidelines
  7. Political Content:
    • Policy Overview:
      • Responsible political advertising is supported, complying with local campaign and election laws.
      • The policy includes adherence to legally mandated election “silence periods.”
    • Examples of Political Content:
      • Promotion of political parties or candidates, political issue advocacy.
    • Compliance Requirements:
      • Adherence to local campaign and election laws.
      • Election Commission MCMC Certified content will only be permitted.
  8. Financial Services:
    • Policy Overview:
      • Users must provide adequate information for users to make informed financial decisions.
      • Compliance with state and local regulations is mandatory, including specific disclosures required by local law.
    • Scope of Financial Products:
      • Related to the management or investment of money and cryptocurrencies and virtual digital assets.
    • Compliance Requirements:
      • Users are expected to do their own research on local regulations for the areas their ads target and guidelines issued by ASCI and other regulatory bodies viz. SEBI.
  9. Charitable Causes:
    • Avoiding Emotional Manipulation:
      • Advertisements must refrain from overtly suggesting that individuals not supporting the cause are neglecting their responsibility or should feel ashamed.
    • Respect for Dignity:
      • Advertisements should not disrespect the dignity of those on whose behalf an appeal is made.
    • Consideration in Digital Advertising:
      • In digital advertising, images causing undue distress must be appropriately blurred.
    • Transparency in Fund Allocation:
      • The advertisement must transparently disclose potential fund allocations for other purposes or beneficiaries.
    • Clear Communication of Fees:
      • If a crowdsourcing platform collects a fee, the advertisement must state the amounts involved.
  10. Counterfeit Goods:
    • Policy Overview:
      • Viacom18 strictly prohibits the sale or promotion for sale of counterfeit goods.
      • Counterfeit goods are defined as those containing a trademark or logo identical or substantially indistinguishable from another brand.
      • The imitation of brand features is not allowed to pass off as a genuine product of the brand owner.
      • Applicable to both the content of the ad and the associated website or app.
  11. Dangerous Products or Services:
    • Policy Overview:
      • A commitment to ensuring the safety of individuals both online and offline.
      • Prohibition of the promotion of products or services that can cause damage, harm, or injury.
    • Examples of Dangerous Content:
      • Recreational drugs (chemical or herbal), psychoactive substances.
      • Equipment facilitating drug use, weapons, ammunition, explosive materials, and fireworks.
    • Compliance Requirements:
      • Strict adherence to policies to prevent harm or injury.
  12. Enabling Dishonest Behavior:
    • Policy Overview:
      • Emphasis on honesty and fairness in advertising practices.
      • Prevention of the promotion of products or services designed to enable dishonest behavior.
    • Examples of Enabling Dishonest Behavior:
      • Hacking software or instructions, services artificially inflating ad or website traffic.
      • Fake documents, academic cheating services.
  13. Inappropriate Content:
    • Policy Overview:
      • A commitment to diversity, respect, and the avoidance of content that may offend users.
      • Prohibition of ads or destinations displaying shocking content or promoting hatred, intolerance, discrimination, or violence.
    • Examples of Inappropriate or Offensive Content:
      • Bullying or intimidation of individuals or groups, racial discrimination.
      • Hate group paraphernalia, graphic crime scene or accident images.
      • Cruelty to animals, murder, self-harm, extortion or blackmail.
      • Sale or trade of endangered species, ads using profane language.

These comprehensive highlights provide a detailed understanding of the specific policies, examples, and compliance requirements governing various content areas on JioCinema Ads. Users are encouraged to thoroughly review and adhere to these guidelines to ensure responsible and compliant advertising practices.