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Centre issues new guidelines to prevent misleading ads, bans surrogate ads

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New Delhi, Jun 10: Centre of Friday issued a fresh guidelines for advertisement days after the Ministry of information and Broadcasting ordered social media platforms to take down a controversial ad by perfume brand Layer'r for their body spray 'Shot'.

The Central Consumer Protection authority (CCPA) under the Department of Consumer Affairs has issued the guidelines with an objective to curb misleading advertisements and protect the consumers, who may be exploited or affected by such advertisements.

Centre issues new guidelines to prevent misleading ads, bans surrogate ads

"The CCPA has been established under section 10 of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 for regulating matters relating to violation of the rights of the consumers, unfair trade practices and false or misleading advertisements which are prejudicial to the interests of public and consumers and to promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers as a class," Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution said in a statement.

"Disclaimers in advertisements play a pivotal role from consumer perspective since, in a way it limits the responsibility of the company. Therefore, guidelines stipulates that disclaimer shall not attempt to hide material information with respect to any claim made in such advertisement, the omission or absence of which is likely to make the advertisement deceptive or conceal its commercial intent and shall not attempt to correct a misleading claim made in an advertisement. Further, it provides that, a disclaimer shall be in the same language as the claim made in the advertisement and the font used in a disclaimer shall be the same as that used in the claim," the statement said.

Similarly, clear Guidelines are laid for duties of manufacturer, service provider, advertiser and advertising agency, due diligence to be carried out before endorsing and others. Guidelines aims to protect consumer's interest through bringing in more transparency and clarity in the way advertisements are being published, so that, consumers are able to make informed decisions based on facts rather than false narratives and exaggerations.

Penalty for violating the Guidelines are also clearly outlined. "CCPA can impose penalty of upto 10 lakh rupees on manufacturers, advertisers and endorsers for any misleading advertisements. For subsequent contraventions, CCPA may impose a penalty of upto 50 lakh rupees. The Authority can prohibit the endorser of a misleading advertisement from making any endorsement for upto 1 year and for subsequent contravention, prohibition can extend upto 3 years," it concluded.

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