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MIB frames norms for central govt ads on websites

MUMBAI: The policy norms of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting have emphasised that only websites that are owned and operated by companies incorporated in India will be considered for empanelment by the government’s Directorate of Advertising & Visual Publicity (DAVP).

However, websites owned by foreign companies or those of foreign origin could still be empanelled if such companies have branch offices which are registered and have been operating in India for at least one year.

The policy also includes guidelines for empanelment of suitable agencies, besides fixation of rates for central government advertisements. It is aimed at devising principles and instruments to streamline their release on websites.

The policy has stipulated eligibility criteria for websites to get empanelled with DAVP. These include unique users per month data, which will be cross-checked and verified by internationally accepted and credible third-party tools that monitor website traffic in India. These guidelines seek to ensure that the visibility of government advertisements online go up by strategically placing ads on websites with a higher number of unique users per month.

The policy requires websites to run government advertisements through a third-party advertisement server (3-PAS) engaged by the DAVP for providing all relevant reports linked with online billing and will be used for verification of bills for payment.

MIB frames norms for central govt ads on websitesThe unique user data of each empanelled websites will be reviewed in the first week of April every year. The guidelines have categorised unique users per month data of websites into three categories.

Category A would constitute websites with 5 million unique users and above, Category B would constitute websites with 2 million unique users to 5 million unique users, while Category C would constitute websites with unique users of 0.25 million to 2 million per month.

Key features of the policy guidelines include different rates for different advertising properties like standard banners on a cost-per-thousand impressions (CPTI) basis and a minimum click-through rate (CTR) of 0.30, video advertisements per five-second videos, fixed banners on home pages with a minimum display size of 300 X 250 pixels in a time frame on six-hour slots (6 am–12 noon, 12 noon–6 pm, 6 pm–12 midnight and 12 midnight–6 am) and fixed video advertisements for 24-hour time slots on home pages.

The policy has emphasised that DAVP would be the nodal agency for all central government ministries and departments for advertising through DAVP-empanelled websites. However, autonomous bodies and public sector units may directly release advertisements, but at DAVP rates and to agencies empanelled with the DAVP.