Category Archives: Advertising

Govt extends deadline for submission of newspaper issues under advertisement policy

The government has extended the deadline for the monthly submission of issues of newspapers empanelled with Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity, which they are required to do under the advertisement policy, in view of the prevailing lockdown. Under clause 13 of the Print Media Advertisement Policy of the government, all newspapers empanelled with DAVP shall submit the monthly copies to the body on or before 15th of the subsequent month failing which advertisements shall be stopped to that newspaper.

The government has decided to extend the relaxation in the submission of monthly issues for the month of April 2020 which is scheduled in the month of May 2020 (1st to 15th May 2020) in view of the countrywide lockdown due to COVID-19, a government advisory said.

No publication will be blocked under regularity during the period of lockdown, it said.

A fresh advisory will be issued in this regard post-lockdown

Coca Cola highlight spirit of ‘Human Race’ through its new ad

It’s easy to lose hope in the middle of a pandemic that is currently threatening the world’s population. Instead, Coca Cola wants to take this opportunity to remind us how resillient the human spirit is. Coca Cola’s new international ad aims to pay tribute to the human race and to the frontline workers tirelessly fighting against the pandemic.

The ad shows contrasting human behaviours while reminding us that there is still goodness in the world in the midst of strife. The video displays scenes of panic buying, social distancing, and situations of self-isolation where a person may have to forcefully stay away from their family members. The ad is heavily reminescent of a 2012 ad that uses similar messaging – by attempting to instil a sense of hope by displaying bleak ads.

This 2012 TVC was created by McCann Erickson, and opens with a bunch of kids humming to the strum of a guitar. As the children sing, a montage is flashed on the screen, along with some text and statistics that support the images. Prasoon Joshi, had penned the lyrics of the jingle that accompanied the ad and Bollywood music composer Shantanu Moitra has composed the music. The film was directed by Kaushik Sarkar, and produced by the production house Apostrophe.

In 2010, Coca Cola internationally took up an initiative called ‘The Happiness Machine’. On the surface, it looked like a normal vending machine.

Looked like a normal vending machine but it dispensed more than one coke when the button was pressed, forcing students to share the beverages and initiate conversations.

ASCI investigates 342 advertisements complaints in January

During the month of January 2020, ASCI investigated complaints against 342 advertisements, of which 110 advertisements were promptly withdrawn by the advertisers on receipt of communication from ASCI. The independent Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of ASCI evaluated remaining 232 advertisements, of which complaints against 208 advertisements were upheld. Of these 208 advertisements, 83 belonged to the education sector, 64 belonged to the healthcare sector, eight to personal care, seven belonged to Real Estate sector, five to the food & beverages sector, and 41 were from the ‘others’ category.

ASCI exercised the “Suspension Pending Investigation” (SPI) option to fast track a complaint against an extremely offensive advertisement of an online content app. The advertisement shown as a user uploaded content involved the use of expletive and swear words as well as use of obscene language. The advertiser was instructed to pull down the objectionable advertisement within 48 hours.

ASCI also processed an intra-industry complaint against an advertisement by a pipes and fittings company featuring a famous Bollywood celebrity that misled consumers by implying that they are selling zero defect pipes. The advertisement also violated ASCI’s Guidelines for Celebrities in Advertising.

An FMCG Giant, while presenting their ketchup as an accompaniment to meals was seen discrediting home cooked food and disparaging good food practices by calling it to be “boring” roti-sabji. Two popular alcohol brands were seen using surrogate advertising by promoting a music CD and travel experience, respectively.

In the cosmetic and personal care category, one large FMCG Company was found to fall foul by contravening the ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Skin Lightening or Fairness Improvement products. These were two separate advertisements of their cosmetic bleach brands. Another FMCG company misled consumers by claiming that its soap was recommended by Doctors and is capable of reducing risk of skin problems by up to 95%.

A legacy brand with their sports motorcycle portrayed dangerous acts and manifested a disregard for safety as the visuals were likely to encourage minors to emulate such acts which could cause harm or injury.

For the month of January, the CCC saw misleading advertisements of several IVF hospitals and Fertility clinics guaranteeing success and claiming to be the best. There were also a number of real estate advertisements making leadership claims which were unsubstantiated.

Google ‘task force’ fights bad COVID-19 advertisements

The tech giant Google blocked and removed 2.7 billion bad ads more than 5,000 bad ads per minute and suspended nearly 1 million advertiser accounts for policy violations, the company announced on Thursday.

On the publisher side, Google terminated over 1.2 million accounts and removed ads from over 21 million web pages that are part of its publisher network for violating its policies. “Terminating accounts not just removing an individual ad or page is an especially effective enforcement tool that we use if advertisers or publishers engage in egregious policy violations or have a history of violating policy,” Scott Spencer, Vice President of Product Management, Ads Privacy and Safety, said in a statement.

Google said that it is now closely monitoring advertiser behaviour to protect users from ads looking to take advantage of the COVID-19 crisis. “We have a dedicated COVID-19 task force that’s been working around the clock. They have built new detection technology and have also improved our existing enforcement systems to stop bad actors,” said Spencer.

“We’ve blocked and removed tens of millions of coronavirus-related ads over the past few months for policy violations including price-gouging, capitalizing on global medical supply shortages, making misleading claims about cures and promoting illegitimate unemployment benefits,” he added.

In 2019, Google assembled an internal team to track the patterns and signals of fraudulent advertisers into phishing and “trick-to-click”.

“As a result, we saw nearly a 50 per cent decrease of bad ads served in both categories from the previous year. In total, we blocked more than 35 million phishing ads and 19 million ‘trick-to-click’ ads in 2019,” informed Spencer.

For example, Google saw more bad actors targeting people seeking to renew their passport.

These ads mimicked real ads for renewal sites but their actual intent was to get users to provide sensitive information such as their social security or credit card number. As more consumers turn to online financial services over brick and mortar locations, Google identified an increase in personal loan ads with misleading information on lending terms.

To combat this, it broadened its policy to only allow loan-related ads to run if the advertiser clearly states all fees, risks and benefits on their website or app so that users can make informed decisions. “This updated policy enabled us to take down 9.6 million of these types of bad ads in 2019, doubling our number from 2018,” said Spencer.

Creative agency Blue Vector wins social media mandate for Volvo Cars India

Gurgaon based creative agency, Blue Vector has won the social media mandate for Volvo Cars, India. As their social media outreach partner, Blue Vector will create social media campaigns for Volvo Cars India. Volvo Cars is the latest addition to the 100+ esteemed clients that have chosen Blue Vector as their creative partners.

Piyush Kedia, chief executive officer, Blue Vector, said, “Given how the auto industry is completely transforming, Volvo India is in a place to radically chalk out a massive share of voice as well as well-deserved mind space in the new Indian customer’s considerations. As BV, we’ve had the opportunity to locally contextualise and completely reimagine global-level content for Auto brands before. This combined with our young team and experimental tendencies made us a good fit.”

Charles Frump, managing director, Volvo Cars India, said, “We are extremely happy to appoint Blue Vector after a rigorous process in shortlisting and selecting the right partner for our Social Media outreach. In the recent past, Social Media has gained tremendous traction in building conversations not just to enhance brand equity but also for increased purchase consideration. Volvo Cars ethos of ‘Freedom to Move’ in a Personal, Sustainable and Safe way blends itself seamlessly in generating engagements with Volvo cars fans in Social Media and we are poised to take this to another level with our new partners.”

COVID-19 dent WPP’s revenue for the latest quarter

The world’s largest advertising company, WPP, which owns agencies such as Wunderman Thompson, and GroupM announced that it will execute more rigid plan to have deep costs amid decline in sales of Quarter 1 by 3.3%. March was hardest hit month for the company’s business with net sales declining 7.9%.

The company said it expected the impact from the virus to increase in the short term, but could not say by how much.  It has already set out steps to cut around 2 billion pounds in 2020 to see it through a downturn in client spending, including pulling the dividend and a share buyback. Amongst additional cost saving measures it is taking, it has introduced a voluntary salary sacrifice from over 3,000 senior roles, part-time working and some permanent headcount reductions.

COVID-19 pandemic has forced strict lockdown across globe leading to stagnation of economic activity. Companies are taking hit in sales and weak macro factors has forced them to reduce their advertisement spends.

Facebook and Google may face heat due to weak demand for digital ad

Demand for digital advertising is shriveling after a decade of explosive growth amid the pandemic-fueled downturn. That could complicate things for Google and Facebook, who for the first time may have to contend with revenues that are actually shrinking.

With consumers mostly at home and unemployment soaring, advertisers are slashing promotional spending in some cases, all the way to zero. For Google and Facebook, who together account for 70% of the U.S. market for digital ads, that so far has translated into tighter restraints on spending without the layoffs, pay cuts and furloughs that publishers and other industries have already imposed.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai has already told employees the company will curtail its hiring for the rest of the year and is considering deep cuts in its own marketing budget through 2020, according to internal communications obtained by CNBC that Google confirmed. Facebook warned last month that its business was already being squeezed by the advertising downturn, although it didn’t provide details. In countries hard-hit by the pandemic, it said messaging traffic was up 50% while voice and video calling had doubled, but added that it doesn’t make money on many of those services and that ad business had “weakened” in those regions.

So far, however, it’s not clear how badly the tech giants might be hit. Some of the early clues are expected this week when Google’s corporate parent, Alphabet, and Facebook report their first-quarter financial results. But those results will only give a hint of the impact, given that the pandemic didn’t start to zap the global economy and ad budgets until late February.

That’s one reason analysts polled by FactSet are still predicting a 13% increase in Alphabet’s revenue from the same time last year and a 16% revenue increase in revenue for Facebook. The real test will come in the current April-June quarter, where analysts currently project roughly flat revenue for both companies. That could prove optimistic, though, given that airlines, hotels and other travel-related businesses typically spend heavily on marketing campaigns during the spring and summer.

With most travel frozen by the pandemic, Google and Facebook are likely to see huge sales declines unless the threat of COVID-19 subsides, said Edward Jones analyst David Heger. The good news for Google and Facebook is that digital ad spending can ramp back up as quickly as it declines since it doesn’t require the upfront planning necessary with traditional media.

That means companies might boost digital campaigns at the first sign of recovery, said Tony DiResta, a Washington, D.C., attorney who helps small and large companies promote their brands. Google, at least, has already been through this once as a public company. In the second quarter of 2009 during the Great Recession, its revenue growth slowed dramatically to just 3%, prompting it to reduce its workforce by about 400 employees during that year the only time the company has pared its payroll in its 21-year history.

Since then, Alphabet has added nearly 100,000 employees in a relentless expansion built upon Google’s Android mobile-phone software and other products it continued to develop during the previous downturn. This recession may look quite different. Google, Facebook, and the overall digital market are far larger than they were back then and potentially less nimble.

The digital industry has posted double-digit annual growth for a decade and was on track to hit about $125 billion in 2019 revenue, based on information compiled by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, which hasn’t released final numbers for the year.

For 2020, Magna Research predicts that digital-ad sales growth will slow to 4%, but said revenues won’t shrink despite the tough times. Overall ad sales could fall by 3%, according to Magna, with a flurry of political spending this fall during the U.S. presidential election expected to ease the recession’s blow.

Some analysts believe the current downturn could leave the tech duopoly in an even stronger position once the global economy recovers. Both Google and Facebook have enormous cash reserves $120 billion for Alphabet, $55 billion for Facebook they can use to acquire other potentially attractive services that can’t survive the recession on their own, often for cheap.

Both Google and Facebook are in a good position,” said eMarketer analyst Nicole Perrin. One sign of that buy-low strategy: Facebook last week invested $5.7 billion in India telecom giant Jio. The commitment underscored its resolve to expand into one of the world’s fastest-growing internet markets.

Meanwhile, social distancing and stay-at-home orders appear to have overridden privacy concerns about the companies’ services, which sparked a backlash over the way they vacuum up vast amounts of personal information. Both companies reporting rising usage. “It’s like moths being drawn to a flame,” Heger said. People can’t seem to resist them.