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Monday, July 15, 2024

New self declaration rules are a hindrance for advertisers.

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In Short:

Ad agencies and advertisers are facing challenges with the new Self-Declaration Certificate (SDC) directive for new advertisements, causing delays and frustrations due to glitches in the process. Concerns have been raised about privacy and creativity being stifled. While some see these issues as temporary and believe they will be resolved, others are hopeful for improvement. Tools have been developed to aid in the SDC process.

Ad Agencies Struggling with New Ad Directive

“In the last few days everything has come to a standstill for a mid-sized agency like ours. We had to release some topical ads which got delayed because we could not complete the Self-Declaration Certificate process in time as we faced errors and glitches,” said N Krishnakumar, CEO of Coimbatore-based Akarsh Advertising Consultants.

Challenges Faced by Advertisers and Agencies

A marketing executive at a jewellery brand added, “It’s a nightmare. We have to do it all ourselves as our ad agency expressed inability. We are struggling with it.”

The new ad regime which requires Self-Declaration Certificate (SDC) directive for new advertisements is turning out to be a mixed bag for advertisers and agencies. Some players have expressed frustration at the long wait time to generate SDCs on the designated portals and said they are facing glitches leading to delays in releasing ads.

Concerns have also been raised about submitting SDCs for different versions of the same ads as well as confidentiality since sensitive details about ad creatives and products have to be detailed out.

Technical Issues and Compliance Challenges

  • Players have been constantly seeing errors while accessing the designated portals
  • Certain steps in the process are making it cumbersome
  • Generating SDCs separately for different sizes and versions of ads

“We release 50-100 ads a day across 40-50 clients and the volumes of ad releases have been impacted. There have been glitches and it takes time but things are improving,” said Siddharth Devnani, Co-Founder and MD of SoCheers.

Industry Response and Hope for Resolution

Some believe the consistent adherence to guidelines and substantiating every claim can stifle creativity and slow down campaign launches. “Balancing transparency with operational efficiency and safeguarding confidentiality is crucial to address these challenges and ensure the mandate’s success without hampering industry innovation,” said Yasin Hamidani, Director, Media Care Brand Solutions.

“Teething Glitches will be there in any new system,” said MVS Murthy, CMO of Federal Bank.

As of Sunday afternoon, over 23,400 SDCs had been generated on the Press Council of India site for print and internet ads.

Industry Bodies Seek Clarity

Industry bodies such as Indian Newspaper Society (INS) and Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) have moved court with impleadment petitions seeking clarity on the SDC directive.

Tools to Aid in SDC Mechanisms

Meanwhile, some firms have also come out with tools to aid companies in the SDC mechanisms. Social Pill said it has developed a custom AI tool built on ChatGPT to reduce time taken to fill in self-declaration forms.

mFilterIt said its TickR, an AI-powered solution, simplifies creative compliance by offering automated checks for adherence to various guidelines.

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