NEW DELHI: At the request of the nation's advertising industry, the Indian government has given legal backing to the Advertising Standards Council of India's voluntary code for TV commercials.

Effective immediately, the law states: "No advertisement which violates the Code for Self-Regulation in Advertising, as adopted by the Advertising Standards Council of India . . . shall be carried in the cable service."

Says ASCI chairman Ram Poddar: "This has been a long standing request of ASCI and I would like to place on record our grateful thanks and appreciation to the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting . . . for helping to make the advertising self-regulatory movement in India stronger and more effective."

ASCI is urging the public to complain against advertisements which they consider to be false, misleading, offensive or unfair.