ASCI's draft guidelines ensure honest environmental ads

ASCI's draft guidelines ensure honest environmental ads

These guidelines aim to ensure that advertisements are free from greenwashing practices.


Mumbai: The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), has proposed draft guidelines for environmental claims in advertising. The draft guidelines are open for public feedback until 31 December 2023, post which they will be finalised. Developed by a multi-stakeholder task force, including environmental experts, these guidelines aim to ensure that advertisements are free from greenwashing practices. The draft guidelines establish a clear framework for advertisers to present truthful and evidence-based environmental claims.

Environmental claims include claims that suggest or create an impression that a product or a service has a neutral or positive impact on the environment, is less damaging to the environment than a previous version of the same product or service or a competitive product, or has specific environmental benefits.

Environmental/Green claims can be explicit or implicit. They can appear in advertisements, marketing material, branding (including business and trading names), on packaging or in other information provided to consumers.

The draft guidelines target greenwashing – the deceptive practice of making misleading environmental claims. ASCI emphasizes the paramount importance of substantiated, comparable, and verifiable claims to combat misinformation. In its ad-surveillance ASCI has found that several terms are loosely used to communicate environmental benefits, giving an impression that the product is greener than it actually is.

Notable Industry experts have given their opinion regarding these guidelines.

Edited excerpts

Leads Brand Connect managing director Richa Khandelwal

ASCI guidelines on the environment are a powerful tool in promoting sustainable advertising practices. By adhering to these guidelines, brands can demonstrate their commitment to protecting our planet and inspire positive change. It's all about creating advertisements that are not only impactful but also mindful of their environmental footprint. We embrace ASCI drafted guidelines to foster more responsible advertising where thoughtful creativity and sustainability go hand in hand.