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GUIDELINES ON PREVENTION OF MISLEADING ADVERTISEMENTS AND ENDORSEMENTS FOR MISLEADING ADVERTISEMENTS, 2022’

11th June, 2022 POLITY AND GOVERNANCE

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Context - The Union Government has released the ‘Guidelines on Prevention of Misleading Advertisements and Endorsements for Misleading Advertisements, 2022’.

 

Details

  • The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) under the Department of Consumer Affairs has announced the ‘Guidelines for Prevention of Misleading Advertisements and Endorsements for Misleading Advertisements, 2022’.
  • The main objective of the guidelines is to regulate advertisements and protect consumers from misleading advertisements.
  • The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has stated that misleading advertisements violate several rights of consumers.
    • The CCPA has been established under the Consumer Protection Act, of 2019.
  • Misleading advertisement has already been defined under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.
    • The current guidelines define “bait advertisement”, and “surrogate advertisement” and provide what comprises “free claim advertisements”.
  • The guidelines have been formed by keeping in view the sensitiveness and vulnerability of advertisements in the Children’s minds.

 

Key points of the Guidelines

  • It prohibited advertisements from magnifying the features of a product or service in such a manner that promotes unrealistic expectations.
  • Prohibited the advertisements of such products or services that claim any health or nutritional benefits without being scientifically recognized by an authentic body.
  • Advertisements targeting children should not show any personalities from the field of sports, music or cinema for products that require a health warning or cannot be purchased by children.
  • Disclaimers in advertisements must not hide any information about the products and services.
  • Clear Guidelines are laid for manufacturers, service providers, advertisers and advertising agencies.
  • It aims to protect consumers’ interests by ensuring more transparency and clarity in published advertisements, so that, consumers could make informed decisions based on facts rather than wrong narratives and exaggerations.
  • CCPA can impose a penalty of up to 10 lakh rupees on manufacturers, advertisers and endorsers for any misleading advertisements.
    • It may increase a penalty up to 50 lakh rupees for repetitive violation of the guidelines.
    • It can prohibit the endorser of a misleading advertisement.

 

Consumer Protection Act, 2019

  • The Act defined a consumer as a person who buys any goods or avails of service for final use.
    • It does not include a person who buys a good for resale or a good or service for commercial purposes.
  • It covers transactions through all modes including offline, and online.
  • The Act clearly defined 6 Rights of consumers:
    • Right to be protected against the marketing of goods and services which are hazardous to life and property.
    • Right to be informed about the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of goods or services.
    • Right to Choice among a variety of goods or services at competitive prices.
    • Right to be heard
    • Right to seek Redressal against unfair or restrictive trade practices.
    • Right to Consumer Awareness
  • Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) to promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers.
    • It functions under the guidelines of The Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution
    • It regulates matters linked to the violation of consumer rights, unfair trade practices, and misleading advertisements.
    • The CCPA has an investigation wing; they may conduct an inquiry or investigation into the case of violations of rules.
  • Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) functions;
    • Inquiring into violations of consumer rights, investigating and taking appropriate action.
    • It could pass orders to recall goods or withdraw hazardous services, and refund the price paid.
    • It Issues directions to the concerned trader/ manufacturer/ endorser/ advertiser/ publisher to either discontinue a false or misleading advertisement.
    • It imposes penalties on a manufacturer or an endorser of up to Rs 10 lakh and imprisonment for up to two years for a false or misleading advertisement. In case of a subsequent offence, the fine may extend to Rs 50 lakh and imprisonment of up to five years.
    • It Issues safety notices to consumers against unsafe goods and services.
  • Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions (CDRCs) at the District, State, and national levels.
    • Appeals from the State CDRC will be heard by the National CDRC.
    • The final appeal to the Supreme Court.
    • The District CDRC will entertain complaints where the value of goods and services does not exceed Rs 1 crore.
    • The State CDRC will entertain complaints when the value is more than Rs 1 crore but does not exceed Rs 10 crore.
    • Complaints with a value of goods and services over Rs 10 crore will be entertained by the National CDRC.

 

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https://www.pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1832906

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