Digiday reported on “The crazy skin-lightening ads that have been banned in India.” According to the article:
On Tuesday, the Advertising Standards Council of India, a self-regulated advertiser group, issued a new set of guidelines that will ban all ads that depict those with darker skin as being inferior in any way.
For years, advertisers of skin-lightening creams and other products have shown people — mostly women — with dark skin as having problems when it comes to finding jobs, getting married and generally being accepted by society. The makers of these ads include behemoths like Unilever, Johnson & Johnson and P&G. The so-called “fairness” cream industry in India was estimated at $432 million a year and growing by 18 percent annually in 2010, by AC Nielsen.
“Advertising should not communicate any discrimination as a result of skin color,” read the new ASCI guidelines, and the expression of the model in the ads should not be “negative in a way which is widely seen as unattractive, unhappy, depressed or concerned.”
Former ASCI chairman Bharat Patel told business news site Live Mint that all advertisers have to comply with the ASCI rules — both in television and print.
Digiday also posted four classic commercials for skin-lightening products.