Guidelines on Prevention of Misleading Advertisements and Endorsements for Misleading Advertisements, 2022
The Central Consumer Protection authority (CCPA) under the Department of Consumer Affairs has notified ‘Guidelines for Prevention of Misleading Advertisements and Endorsements for Misleading Advertisements, 2022’ with an objective to curb misleading advertisements and protect the consumers, who may be exploited or affected by such advertisements.
The guidelines seek to ensure that consumers are not being fooled with unsubstantiated claims, exaggerated promises, misinformation and false claims. Such advertisements violates various rights of consumers such as right to be informed, right to choose and right to be safeguarded against potentially unsafe products and services
Keeping in view the sensitiveness and vulnerability of children and severe impact advertisements make on the younger minds, several preemptive provisions have been laid down on advertisements targeting children. Guidelines says that advertisement targeting children shall not feature any personalities from the field of sports, music or cinema for products which under any law requires a health warning for such advertisement or cannot be purchased by children
Guidelines also 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.
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.