Regulations and Standards for Advertisement in UAE – Online ads are now more popular. With high frequency of people in using internet and social media, brands shift their focuses in making the ads. They may still use the printed media for ads, but they now prioritize the online media as the platforms to promote products and services. It is not something surprising and it is proven more effective. However, brands should follow regulations stated by the country in making the ads. There are some countries and nations that may have quite easy regulations so it is like giving more freedoms in exploring the creativity in the ads. However, there are also countries with quite strict regulations, such as the ones found in United Arab Emirates or UAE. Brands should really pay attention to the regulation when they want to publish the ads so there will be no consequences given by the government because of the violation in regulation.
In this case, UAE has established the Advertising Standards. There are some important points that should be considered properly by brands. In this case, the government makes the specific standard with some goals. One of them is to respect the local religious, social, cultural, and ethical values in societies. In UAE, people have different values and mostly it is related to the Moslems. The religious values in Islam become essentials so the ads should never violate the values that may bring bad influences for the people who see and enjoy the ads. Next, the standard is established by the government because it is still necessary to uphold freedom of expression in media. Having regulations and certain values to follow do not mean that freedom of expression is suppressed. Government still guarantees it as long as it does not have any forms of violations. Then, the standards are necessary to support economic development in UAE. It cannot be denied that ads are essentials for brands and these also have impacts on the economy in UAE. In this case, government also states that the advertisement contents should uphold values, such as impartial and truthful. Then, the ads should also have respect in individual privacies and should not bring bad influences to the society.
As what is mentioned before, there are some important points regarding the standard. One of them is to respect the religious values. In fact, it is not only to show respects to the values, but the ads should also respect religious and political institutions. The Islamic values should be upheld and respected in the content so there should be no violations and even acts of disrespect to the religion and its institution. Next, ads should never show any prohibited products and services. Alcohol, tobaccos, and even smoking are things that cannot appear in the ads. This is very important. As for the services, betting and gambling, prostitutions, and banner narcotics should never appear or be promoted in any advertisement contents.
Still about the contents, there are some prohibitions. Nudity and pornography are prohibited. In this case, the standard will be the Islamic value so it will be quite different from general standard of pornography and nudity. These are not only limited to the pictures and videos, but concepts and even words in the advertisement contents should never portrays those prohibitions. Next, it is about privacy. Rumors and misleading news are prohibited. Even, ads should never shows and publish incorrect information. Fraud and fabricated facts or information is prohibited so customers and people will not be misled by the wrong information in the ads.
Consumer protection should get attention and in this case, illegal monopolies of products and even anti-competitive contents are prohibited. In other words, ads can influence the consumers, but they still have the right choose products and services without any monopolies. For any violations of these standards, there will be penalties. Government through related bureaus can penalize the brands and associated parties in the production of ads when there is violation. Penalties can be different depending on degree of violations. Thus, it is highly recommended for brands to have consultants to make sure that the advertisement contents do not violate the rules. It is necessary to check the contents before it is published broadly in UAE.
Next, it is about social media influencers. In many countries, the influencers are popular nowadays. Mostly, they are social media users who have high numbers of followers and traffics or engagement in certain social media platforms. Brand can contact the social media users so later the users can promote the products or services. In some countries, there is no specific regulation for the social media influencers. However in UAE, there is something different. Government recognize the influencers so they are not prohibited to promote brands, However, it is important for them to follow the regulation and even they should get licenses from government before they start being active influencers. This is considered necessary so the influencers do not promote the brands, ads, or products that violate the regulation and even the standards.