Whilst the COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) pandemic continues to upset every sphere of human activity in an unprecedented manner, the Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore (‘ASAS’) has noted that some local consumer-facing enterprises have attempted to aggressively advertise products and services that are intended for personal health and protection. While ASAS is heartened to note that a vast majority of enterprises have been responsible advertisers; a small minority have attempted to circumvent applicable laws and regulations. ASAS has accordingly issued an advisory to enterprises, reminding them to advertise ethically in these trying times. The ASAS has reminded enterprises to bear in mind the following when they advertise:
1. Put out messages that contribute positively to the Singapore Government’s management of the crisis.
2. Ensure that the terms and conditions of promotions are indicated in the advertisement in an upfront and transparent manner.
3. Use only honest and truthful claims about products and services that are capable of robust substantiation.
4. Avoid spreading misinformation that originates from sources that are not reliable.
5. Check and comply with the Singapore Code of Advertising Practice, the ASAS’s advisories and all relevant national legislation.
The ASAS has also reminded stakeholders to take note of the Health Sciences Authority Advisory on products claiming to prevent or treat COVID-19, which include: (i) to avoid buying health products from unknown websites, online forums, blog shops and flyers sent via email, and unlicensed or unknown pharmacies, and (ii) to report any suspicious sale or advertising of health products.
By: Denise Mirandah
A version of this article first appeared on the GALA Blog. For more information, please visit http://blog.galalaw.com/.