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Govt. has issued new guidelines to prevent misleading advertising; bans surrogate ads

The Indian government has issued a new set of guidelines to avoid deceptive commercials, such as those that target youngsters or make false claims in order to entice consumers. The guidelines also state that while endorsing in advertisements, proper diligence must be performed. The Consumer Affairs Ministry’s new guidelines, which went into effect immediately, also prohibit surrogate advertisements and make disclaimers in commercials more transparent.

“Advertisements have great interest for consumers,” Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh said when announcing the guidelines. The CCPA Act has procedures for dealing with misleading advertisements that harm consumers’ rights.

The restrictions will apply to all types of advertisements, including print, television, and internet. Violations of the new guidelines will be dealt with in accordance with the terms of the Central Consumer Protection Act (CCPA). The Secretary stated that while these guidelines will not bring about immediate change, they will provide a framework for industry stakeholders to prevent misleading ads, even if they are done inadvertently, and will also empower consumers and consumer organisations to file complaints against misleading ads.

These guidelines, according to the Secretary, would also apply to government advertisements. In addition, the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) will develop self-regulatory advertising guidelines.

According to her, the new standards define “misleading advertisement” and establish several criteria for what constitutes a valid and non-misleading commercial. It also clarifies the definitions of ‘bait’ and ‘free claims’ advertisements, while prohibiting ‘surrogate’ or indirect advertisements. A bait advertising is one in which items, products, or services are advertised for sale at a low price in order to entice customers. Furthermore, the recommendations establish standards to be followed when issuing bait advertisements and free claims advertisements, as well as a list of things to consider when publishing ads aimed at minors.

Source: PTI

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