The Advertising Standards Council of India (“ASCI”) has unveiled guidelines aimed at addressing the issue of online deceptive design patterns in advertising, commonly known as "Dark Patterns." These patterns encompass advertising practices that compel consumers to make decisions against their best interests, often achieved through digital architecture elements like user interfaces that obscure free choices and seek to undermine consumer autonomy.
The comprehensive guidelines address advertising-related concerns associated with online deceptive patterns, including drip pricing, bait-and-switch tactics, false urgency, and disguised advertising. The guidelines provide clear definitions for these patterns, summarized as follows:
The intent behind these guidelines is to precisely define the contours of these dark patterns, offering guidance to industry members. By prioritizing user-centric experiences and combating deceptive design practices, the advertising industry can contribute to fostering a more ethical and trustworthy online environment.