MAM

Misleading ads: Govt moots proposal to penalise celeb endorsers

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2016/08/31/ads.jpg?itok=wzRzadq5

NEW DELHI: “Strongly feeling” that misrepresentation of a product, especially a food product should be taken very seriously considering the influence of celebrities and high net worth individuals or companies, a Parliamentary Committee has proposed stringent provisions to tackle this as well as to fix liability on endorsers/celebrities.

In its report on the Consumer Protection Bill, which was introduced in Parliament last year in August, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Consumer Affairs said the existing laws are not deterrent enough to discourage manufacturers or publishers from using celebrities for misleading advertisements.

However, a Group of Ministers that met yesterday here to debate the regulatory initiatives was undecided. Some of the ministers, according to government sources, were not sure how some provision of the Bill, if enacted into a law, could actually enforce penalties relating to celeb endorsers.

The Parliamentary Committee has recommended that for first time offence, the offender may be penalized with either a fine of Rs 10 lakh and imprisonment up to two years or both, for second time offence a fine of Rs 50 lakh and imprisonment for five years, and for subsequent offences, the penalties may be increased proportionately based on the value of sales volumes of such products or services.

At the outset, the Committee noted that several eminent public personalities or celebrities who are honoured with National Awards such as Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Bharat Ratna for excelling in various walks of life are often engaged as brand ambassadors for promoting various products and services.

Such personalities are deployed to make advertisements “that are often misleading by making unrealistic claims” and consumers tend to believe such advertisements promoted by eminent personalities or celebrities blindly.

However when the unfair trade practices are exposed, the celebrities are quick to disassociate themselves with the products/companies they were hitherto representing.

The Committee wanted the definitions relating to misleading, false and objectionable advertisements under the provision 2 (41) (f) of the relevant Act to be clearly defined so as to avoid any ambiguity by evolving suitable code in this regard to be followed by the advertisers before releasing the advertisement in the print and electronic media.

It agreed with the proposal of the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) that the words 'electronic intermediary' should have the same meaning as defined in Section 2 (i) (w) of The Information Technology Act 2000.

The Committee said the words "endorsement" had not been included in the body of the Bill. In order to make the provisions of the Bill more inclusive, the Committee suggested that the DCA should insert a clause to incorporate the word "endorsement" in the definition of the Bill at the appropriate place(s). The word 'endorsement" should also be clearly and comprehensively defined so as to leave no room for any misinterpretation and ambiguity, the panel observed.

DCA proposed that definition of an advertisement may be modified to make it more comprehensive and modified as following: “2(1) `advertisement’ means any oral or written audio or visual publicity, representation or pronouncement made by means of any light, sound, smoke, gas, print, electronic media, internet or website and includes any notice, circular, label, wrapper, invoice or other documents"

Secretary DCA informed the parliamentary panel that celebrities/VIPs supporting and advertising products without knowing anything about it has been taken care to a certain extent. In the unfair trade practices this concept has been included by making it clear that misleading advertisement is also an unfair trade practice. The definition of unfair trade practice clearly sets out what constitute unfair trade practice, including misleading advertisement.

The Secretary stated that “when megastar Amitabh Bachchan endorses a product or Ms Hema Malini says ‘buy Kent RO’, rural people will feel that that RO must be very good because she is endorsing it. It is because the film stars or sportspersons nowadays have a certain level of credibility”.

The Committee noted that in its 26th Report, it had envisioned a progressive instrument and urged the DCA to strengthen the (relevant) Act to enable effective interventions for consumer protection. The recurring theme in consumer protection has been the need to deploy effective measures to prevent unfair trade practices.

Consumer markets for goods and services have undergone profound transformation since the enactment of the Consumer Protection Act in 1986. The modern market place contains a plethora of increasingly complex products and services. The emergence of global supply chains, rise in international trade and the rapid development of e-commerce have led to new delivery systems for goods and services and have provided new opportunities for consumers. Equally, this has rendered the consumer vulnerable to new forms of unfair trade and unethical business practices.

Misleading advertisements, tele-marketing, multi-level marketing, direct selling and e-tailing pose new challenges to consumer protection and will require appropriate and swift executive interventions to prevent consumer detriment. There is a need for an executive institution, to make interventions when necessary, including through class action, to counter unfair trade practices. Simply put, there is need to modernise the Act to address the myriad and constantly emerging vulnerabilities of the consumer in the market economy extant.

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/04/22/velocity.jpg?itok=NHLTjtv_
Viacom Velocity: 68% millennials trust online pals more than news or govt

Viacom Velocity, the in-house branded content agency within the Marketing & Partner Solutions group, has released findings from a study exploring how popular culture is shaped as lines between brands, celebrities, fans, and mass media have faded. The research is the basis of Velocity’s original...

MAM Marketing MAM
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/04/22/universala.jpg?itok=vPYjGYgb
DD invites short films on Govt schemes, 'DAVP producers' preferred

Doordarshan has invited proposals from experienced producers for five Hindi documentaries on five different programmes of the incumbent government.

MAM Marketing MAM
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/04/22/Shantanu_Purandare-Chris_Ezekiel_0.jpg?itok=TbwVzRc_
Creative Virtual bags Queen’s Awards for Enterprise: Innovation

MUMBAI: Creative Virtual, a global leader in customer and employee engagement, knowledge management and self-service solutions, is the winner of the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise: Innovation 2017. The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise is the UK’s most prestigious business award for British companies....

MAM Marketing MAM
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/04/21/sahil%20%281%29.jpg?itok=f7NRCUYe
iCubesWire wins Central Park’s digital marketing mandate

After a multi-agency pitch, iCubesWire recently bagged the title of digital agency on records for Central Park, an ultra-luxury realty brand providing luxury residential spaces in Gurgaon NCR. The entire digital mandate covers social, ORM, listening, search, website, digital creative, performance...

MAM Media and Advertising Account
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/04/21/airtel%20%281%29.jpg?itok=D5dwsHmF
Airtel ties up with Baahubali 2 for special experience

Bharti Airtel and ‘Baahubali 2 – The Conclusion’ has tied up to roll out special products for the fans of the forthcoming epic mythological film.

MAM Marketing Brands
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/04/21/Earth%20day_0.jpg?itok=rBUa8X_k
Youth drive #Breathe clean air campaign

MUMBAI: To address the alarming air pollution in the capital, city’s youngsters have organised ‘#Breathe’ - a 12 day clean air campaign in New Delhi on the occasion of Earth Day, observed on 22 April.

MAM Media and Advertising Ad Campaigns
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/04/21/T-S-Kalyanaraman_0.jpg?itok=XPUcfWmf
30 Audis to be won in Kalyan global campaign

MUMBAI: Kalyan Jewellers has unveiled a unique global campaign with 30 Audi A3’s on offer. Such an initiative is an industry first, wherein customers across India and the GCC will get an opportunity to win 30 Audi A3s on their purchase at any Kalyan Jewellers showrooms. The Kalyan Jewellers-Audi...

MAM Media and Advertising Ad Campaigns
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/04/21/Wizcraft.jpg?itok=-vCqX0By
Wizcraft ties up with Tussauds S'pore for interactive IIFA

MUMBAI: As the audience awaits for the upcoming IIFA Festival New York 2017 in New York City, IIFA exclusively partners with Madame Tussauds Singapore to Celebrate Bollywood with the world’s first permanent IIFA Awards Experience.

MAM Marketing Brands
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/04/20/ajay-sudesh.jpg?itok=-v0zpeFs
Dentsu Webchutney appoints Ajay Ahluwalia as ECD

MUMBAI: Dentsu Webchutney, the digital agency from Dentsu Aegis Network, has roped in Ajay Ahluwalia as executive creative director. He will be based out of the agency’s Gurgaon office. His last stint was with Contract Advertising where he handled some of the biggest brands in the country including...

MAM Media and Advertising People

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories