Misleading ads: Comply with rules or will refer violators to CCPA for action, says Govt
Noting that several “alcoholic spirits and beverages” are being advertised under the guise of “music CDs, club sodas, and packaged drinking water”, the Center has asked the International Spirits and Wines Association of India (ISWAI) to deal with its violators. warned for. Guidelines on misleading advertisements with “iron hand” or it will refer such cases to the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) for “suitable stern action” against the violators.
According to sources, Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh has given this information to ISWAI CEO Neeta Kapoor.
“It has been observed that many alcoholic spirits and beverages are being advertised under the guise of music CDs, club soda, and packaged drinking water while chewing tobacco and gutkha have veiled fennel and cardamom. In addition, many such brands are hiring prominent personalities for advertising which among others adds to the negative impact on influential youth,” Singh said in a letter to Kapoor.
Singh asked them to ensure compliance with the Guidelines for Prevention of Misleading Ads and Support for Deceptive Ads, 2022. These guidelines were issued by the CCPA in June this year.
“In addition, there are instances of direct advertising of alcoholic beverages on social media platforms as well. It is pertinent to note here that the above guidelines apply to a manufacturer, service provider, or trader whose goods, product, or service is the subject of an advertisement, or to an advertising agency or endorser whose service is the subject of such advertisement. is taken for goods, products or services, regardless of the form, format or medium of advertisement,” Singh said in the letter dated August 31.
“Therefore, given the above, you are directed to advise the concerned parties to ensure strict compliance with the guidelines and deal with the violators and otherwise we shall be bound to refer such matters to the CCPA. Appropriate stern action against the violators,” Singh said.
Meanwhile, the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution stated on Wednesday saying that the Consumer Department
Affairs have “directed” to Advertising Association of India, Indian Broadcasting Foundation, Broadcasting Content Complaints Council, News Broadcasters and Digital Association, Advertising Standards Council of India, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Confederation of Indian Industry, ASSOCHAM, International Spirits & Wines Association of India, and Indian Society of Advertisers to ensure “strict compliance” of the guidelines for the prevention of misleading and surrogate advertisements.
“The department has stated that it has been observed that these guidelines are not being strictly followed by the concerned entities and banned goods are still being advertised through surrogate goods and services,” the statement said. Several examples of such surrogate advertisements were seen on television globally.
“The department also cautioned the Advertisers’ Associations that in case of failure to ensure strict compliance of the guidelines by the concerned parties, the CCPA will take over the reins and take suitable stringent action against the violators,” the statement said.
“Several instances of direct advertising of alcoholic beverages on social media platforms were also noticed by the department,” the statement said.
“Relevantly, the Guidelines apply to a manufacturer, service provider or trader whose goods, product or service is the subject of an advertisement, or an advertising agency or endorser whose service is availed of for advertising such goods, product or service. is taken, irrespective of the form, format or medium of advertisement,” it said.
As per the guidelines, no surrogate advertising or indirect advertising shall be made for goods or services whose advertising is otherwise prohibited or prohibited by law, bypassing such prohibition or restriction, and shall be construed as advertising of other goods or services. has been depicted. which is not prohibited or restricted by law.