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Post at: Sep 01 2022

New Rules for Advertisements and Endorsements

  • Valid and truthful advertising is part of consumer rights.For ensuring the consumer rights and to deliver some responsible advertisements,The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA),issued “The Guidelines for Prevention of Misleading Advertisements and Endorsements for Misleading Advertisements, 2022”.

The Guidelines for Prevention of Misleading Advertisements and Endorsements for Misleading Advertisements, 2022

  • Issued in-June,2022
  • Issued by-The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA), under the Consumer Affairs Ministry.
  • Objective-To protect consumers interest through bringing in more transparency and clarity in the way advertisements are being published.

New guidelines:

  • The guidelines will be applicable to advertisements published on all platforms like print, television and online.
  • The guidelines have introduced the need to have “disclaimers in advertisements” to clarify a claim made in such advertisement.
  • The advertiser must not attempt to hide material information with respect to any claim made in such advertisement.
  • The disclaimer must be put in a prominent area where it can be seen by people with normal vision and be read attentively by customers.
  • The rules place obligations on the manufacturers, service providers, and advertising firms to refrain from making claims and comparisons in advertisements that are related to topics of objectively verifiable facts.
  • The commercial must be constructed to win customers' trust rather than to abuse their trust or take advantage of their inexperience or ignorance.
  • The recommendations have addressed the difficulties in enforcing the current advertising regulations by imposing hefty fines. Penalties range from Rs. 10 lakh for the first offence to Rs. 50 lakh for consecutive offences.
  • The guidelines have sought to define ‘valid or non-misleading advertisement and lay down the conditions for Surrogate and non-misleading or valid advertisements. 

What is Surrogate Advertising?

  • Surrogate advertisement refers to the advertisement of goods in the shadow of other goods. For example, the advertisement of tobacco in the garb of pan masala. 
  • Manufacturers and advertisers have been able to circumvent the regulation through the gray area created by a surrogate advertisement. 

What is ‘Valid’ or non-misleadingAdvertisement?

  • If a product is accurately and honestly represented in an advertising and its accuracy, scientific validity, or practical utility or capacity is not exaggerated, the advertisement is not deemed Misleading.
  • In case of unintentional lapse, the advertisement may still be considered as valid if the advertiser has taken prompt action in letting the consumer know the deficiency.

Need of these guidelines

  • It has been much too long since there has been any real resolution to the issue of deceptive, bait, surrogacy, and child-targeted advertising.
  • There hasn't been a lasting solution to the problem of misleading, bait, surrogacy, and child-targeted advertising for far too long.

Significance

  • The guidelines ensure significant consumer protection gaps while explicitly outlining advertiser duties.
  • The guidelines also try to discourage the promotion of illogical consumerism aimed at children. 
  • The recommendations play a crucial role in harmonising the Indian regulatory system with global standards and norms.

Conclusion

  • The given standards play a crucial role in arming consumers against sneaky marketing. The advertisers must learn from the rules and implement self-regulation in order to follow them. Although the recommendations are a positive move, it is imperative to guarantee that they are carried out in the same spirit.

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