Section 1. DISPARAGEMENT
a. Advertisements shall not directly or indirectly disparage, ridicule, criticize or attack any natural or juridical person, groups of persons or any sector of society, especially on the basis of gender, social or economic class, religion, ethnicity, race or nationality.
b. Maliciously ridiculing or denigrating religion, culture, customs and traditions is prohibited.
c. References to minority groups should not be stereotypical, malicious, unkind or hurtful.
d. References to religious or political beliefs should not be offensive, belittling or hurtful, and the use of religious themes should be treated with extreme care.
e. Those who have physical or sensory impairment, or intellectually or mentally challenged persons should not be demeaned or ridiculed.
f. Advertisements should not directly or indirectly disparage, ridicule or unfairly attack competitors or non-competitors, competing or non-competing products or services,
including distinguishing features of their advertising campaigns such as specific layout, copy, slogan, visual presentation, music/jingle or sound effects.
g. Advertisements shall not make any presentation that brings advertising into disrepute both as a profession and as a business activity.
h. Use of humor to disparage another brand/product or service is not allowed.
Section 2. COMPARISON ADVERTISING
a. A comparison of competitive products or services must provide a clear, substantiated and verifiable bases for any comparative claim favorable to the advertiser.
b. An unqualified, sweeping or superiority claim may be permitted only if proven to be true on all material respects in relation to all products or services whether competitive or non-competitive.
c. Indirect comparison advertising may be permitted provided it does not use symbols, slogans, titles, or statements that are clearly identified or directly associated with competitive brands.
d. Competitive claims inviting comparison with a group of products or with other product categories (without identifying any specific brands) may be allowed provided these are adequately substantiated.
e. Direct comparison advertising is allowed only in product categories that have clear, definite, accepted technology benchmarks. In particular:
a. Product features/attributes being compared should be verifiable, measurable and/or definable
b. Comparison must be quantitative rather than qualitative
f. Comparison must not be misleading, disparaging, exaggerated.
g. Direct comparison is limited to products intended for the same purpose or belonging to the same class or category. Subjects of direct comparison must be clearly identified without violating Intellectual Property Rights.
h. Direct comparison advertising shall be allowed only in the following product categories:
a. Automotive vehicles excluding automotive products
b. Consumer durables (Appliances, Audio-visual Equipment, Electronic gadgets)
c. Airline and Shipping Lines
d. Musical instruments, Entertainment
e. Mobile products e.g. cellular handsets, tablets, laptops & netbooks
i. Parity claims are allowed provided they are properly qualified and substantiated.
Section 3. “BEFORE” AND “AFTER” COMPARISONS
a. “Before” and “After” situations must reflect truthful and factual comparisons. Comparisons of the “antecedent” situation with the “subsequent” situation must not be exaggerated or misleading.
b. Advertisements comparing “before” and “after” situations should cite with prominence the specific time elapsed between the two situations.
Section 4. USE OF “NEW” OR “IMPROVED”
a. The word “new”, “improved” or “introducing” or similar words which connote ‘new-ness’ or an ‘improvement’ of a product may be used in advertisements only for a period of one (1) year from the time the new or improved product/service has been introduced in the market, excluding reasonable test market periods.
b. Where claimed improvement relates not to the product’s basic utility or function but to one of its other features, such as appearance, fragrance, color or packaging, the word “new” or “improved” may be used only if clearly limited to the specific change (e.g., “new fresh fragrance” or “new plastic/bottle”).
Section 5. SUGGESTIVE BRAND NAME ADVERTISING
Advertisements for any product whose brand name may suggest a different product, commodity or product form or nature should contain a clear statement of the true nature of the product represented by that brand name (e.g. “Juice and Juice drink product, True-Milk, A Filled-Milk Product).
Section 6. PRE-EMPTIVE RIGHTS AND PLAGIARISM
Advertisements shall not violate established pre-emptive rights and shall not constitute plagiarism. Guidelines are provided in Annex “B” hereof.