Govt cracks the whip over misleading advertisements

Govt cracks the whip over misleading advertisements
Posted on 11-06-2022

Govt cracks the whip over misleading advertisements

In News:

  • To safeguard people from being victimized or impacted by false advertising to protect consumers from being harmed or abused by misleading advertisements, and to ensure that people are not harmed by false advertisements Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has notified new guidelines to stop ads on all platforms regardless of their shape, format or media and has imposed an end to all surrogate advertisements.

The contents of today's news article:

  • About CCPA (Mandate, Powers, Functions, Consumer Protection Act 2019)
  • News Summary (CCPA Guidelines 2022)

About Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA):

  • The CCPA is a statutorily-created institution established by Section 10 of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.
  • Mandate to protect the rights of consumers by securing the rights consumers against unfair trade practices, as well as false and misleading ads which harm the consumer's interests and the consumers.
  • Concerned Ministry: Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution

Powers & Functions of CCPA:

  • To recall products or to stop the provision or revocation of service that is "dangerous, hazardous or unsafe";
  • Send an order to refund the price of the items or services that are recalled to buyers of such items or services.
  • The discontinuation of practices that are unlawful and harmful to the consumer's interests;
  • Impose penalties on manufacturers/endorsers/publishers of misleading advertisements.

Consumer Protection Act, 2019:

  • Consumer Protection Act, 2019 Consumer Protection Act, 2019 replaces the Consumer Protection Act, of 1986 and aims to broaden its reach in dealing with consumer concerns.
  • The new law allows for offenses that include providing false details about what is the quantity or quality of the product or service, or fraudulent advertisements.
  • It also provides for actions to be taken in the event that goods or services are found to be "dangerous, hazardous or unsafe".
  • The Act was in force from July 2020. It is expected to enable consumers and assist them to safeguard their rights with the various laws and regulations.

News Summary:

  • Recently, the Central government has issued a notice of stricter guidelines for large-scale advertisements on television, print, and social platforms under the Consumer Protection Authority (Prevention of False Advertisements and Necessary Due Diligence for endorsement of Advertisements) Guidelines 2022.

Principal Highlights of the guidelines are:

  • Accountability of Celebrities :
    • Celebrities who endorse products or services may be held accountable and may be punished for their appearance in misleading advertisements.
    • Celebrities who promote misleading advertisements could be fined as high as Rs 10 lakh by the authority for consumer protection.
    • For repeated offenses, authorities may be able to impose fines of as much as Rs50 lakh and the possibility of a prison sentence that can last up to five years.
    • These guidelines are coming at a time when a number of popular actors and cricketers are supporting gambling and gaming apps, as well as chewing tobacco.
  • Set Criteria :
    • A public advertisement will be deemed genuine and legitimate only if it meets the guidelines outlined in the updated rules.
    • They include "truthful representations" that don't "exaggerate accuracy, scientific validity or practical usefulness or capability or performance".
  • Ban on Surrogate Advertising :
    • The new guidelines prohibit surrogate advertising, which is a method in which a vendor promotes an item whose advertising isn't permitted by disguising it as a different item.
    • The ads for liquor typically engage in these kinds of practices under the pretense of selling CDs, soda, and even Christmas gifts.
  • Certain advertisements are banned from children :
    • Advertising for junk food like chips, carbonated drinks, and other drinks and snacks drinks, should not be aired in a program specifically designed for kids or on channels designed specifically for children.
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