MIB calls stakeholders meeting on 'self-declaration certificate'; more than 26K SDC uploaded

Amid advertisers in large numbers continuing to comply with the mechanism while juggling between the concerns raised, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has called for a meeting of the industry stakeholders on June 25th. The affidavit submission to the Supreme Court is due on July 9th.

By  Akanksha NagarJun 24, 2024 9:20 AM
MIB calls stakeholders meeting on 'self-declaration certificate'; more than 26K SDC uploaded
Although the MIB will present a document to the top court on July 9 detailing the actions taken thus far on SDC, advertisers have repeatedly voiced a number of concerns over the mechanism.

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) will conduct a meeting of the advertising industry stakeholders and executives on Tuesday, June 25th, industry sources have told Storyboard18. The meeting will present a window of opportunity for the advertisers to share their experiences so far with the 'self-declaration certificate' mechanism, and the challenges they continue to face, before the Ministry submits an affidavit to the Supreme Court on July 9th.

The Ministry last met the stakeholders on June 11th and discussed representations from the Indian Broadcasting and Digital Foundation, Advertising Standards Council of India, Digital News Publishers of India (DNPA), Google, and senior media executives including Sam Balsara. Chaired by MIB Secretary Sanjay Jaju, stakeholders raised their concerns about the viability of the SDC mechanism and its impact on the media landscape but saw no resolution.

On July 9 the Ministry will submit an affidavit on the actions taken so far on SDC in the top court. It will also have the opportunity to present reactions of stakeholders to the mandatory SDC directive and mechanism, and their representations.

The SC had issued a directive in its order on SDC on May 7, 2024. Following which, the MIB introduced a new feature on the Broadcast Seva Portal (BSP) for TV and Radio Advertisements and on the Press Council of India’s (PCI) portal for Print and Digital/Internet Advertisements. The certificate, signed by an authorised representative of the advertiser/advertising agency, needs to be submitted through these portals.

So far, the PCI portal has seen around 24,000 SDC submissions and around 3,000 on the BSP portal.

While this does demonstrate a remarkably high degree of brand conformity, advertisers and advertising agencies told Storyboard18 that the volume of advertisements has been impacted significantly. Mainly because many are still finding it challenging to navigate through the whole process of uploading SDC for multiple ads and the portal lags. Advertisers and agencies are also cautious, partly because of clients' confidentiality as well.

Many advertisers and ad agencies also hinted at pausing their ad activities and adopting a wait-and-watch approach for the initial days. Thus impacting the volume of advertising activity, particularly digital, until complete clarity and consensus are achieved.

That apart, advertisers have called it "unviable" and the industry fears the mechanism will also thwart innovation and stifle creativity, and in its place create 'extreme bureaucracy'.

Meanwhile, D2C brands, which are heavily skewed towards digital, shared that they will require additional time and effort to ensure compliance compared to those more focused on traditional media; whereas the influencer marketing ecosystem is not yet fully aware of the purview.


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First Published on Jun 24, 2024 9:08 AM

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