Govt to bring Advertising Code: Inputs Sought

Many of you are aware that LocalCircles took upon the fight against misleading advertisement in 2015 and several of you have reported misleading, inappropriate, surrogate ads over these years. We are pleased to share with you that last weekend, the Dept of Consumer Affairs issued the draft advertising code of India (attached). Below is the link to our survey on misleading ads that many of you participated in.

Misleading Advertisements - Consumer Pulse

If all goes well and the Government implements the advertising code effectively, many of those real estate, COVID-19, and health and wellness product ads that mislead consumers deliberately will disappear.

Meanwhile do share any inputs and examples you have on Misleading Ads.

Below are the key issues, root causes and solutions as identified by you in regards to misleading advertisements

Misleading Advertisements – Key Solutions

1.Misleading advertisements should be declared illegal
2.Government departments should be created to watch over all print, media and radio ads
3.Strict laws should be made to protect the consumers against misleading ads
4.They should have the authority to get an ad ‘off air’ in case content is found to be inappropriate
5.Consumers should do their research on a product before buying it and should not trust an ad blindly
6.Companies involved in misleading ads should be warned by the department. This could be in form of financial penalties
7.Repeat offenders should undergo criminal proceedings
8.Corporates should also keep their social responsibility in mind while creating advertisements and not run after just profits
9.The system should take strict action against some repeat offenders and make an example out of them
10.Travel companies should be instructed to publish all-inclusive rates only in their ads
11. Media companies should also be instructed to vet the ads before publishing them
12.More consumer awareness programs like Jago Grahak Jago should be used to create awareness and empower the consumers
13.Ministry of Consumer Affairs should take actions on Misleading Advertisement cases posted in Jago Grahak Jago circle
14.There should be a bureau where one can complain about a misleading or indecent advertisement and a decision should be taken and implemented within a week
15.Regulations should be formed to fix compensatory payments with penalties where the items differ in quality or fail decency
16. The agencies should also be taken to task if a misleading advertisement is published
17.Suitable law has to be enacted to make the advertises, the artists working in the ads irrespective of their status and the media equally accountable as criminals for any such ads
18.The Advertising Council of India should be given more powers
19. People should also be empowered to take the companies indulging in misleading advertisements to court.

Misleading Advertisments - Key Root Causes

1.Government departments do not monitor any ads except the ones on television
2.Indian consumers get swayed by extensive publicity
3.They blindly follow their favourite stars who are the brand ambassadors
4.The general perception of the public is that ads are completely true
5.Companies just want to sell their products whichever way
6.Indian judicial system hasn’t taken strict action against companies issuing misleading advertisements in the past
7 Lack of strong laws to prosecute misleading advertisers
8.Travel companies try to generate more inquiries by publishing part-prices in their ads
9.Placing an ad in the newspaper is an easy way to dupe the people in urgent need of job
10.Hitting consumer’s emotional node is an age old advertising gimmick
11.Media companies do not vet the ads before placing them on their mediums
12.Media companies also try to maximize their revenue from advertising and hence motivate all kinds of people and companies to advertise all kinds of things
13.There is lack of awareness among Indian consumers.

Misleading Advertisement - Key Issues

1.Some ads promise treatments which are not supported by medical science
2.Many travel related ads mislead people by giving not quoting the all-inclusive prices
3.Newspapers/channels do not object on publishing misleading ads
4.Misleading advt. cheats the public and causes lot of complications when they use the product
5.Many ads in newspapers promise jobs but people end up getting duped of money
6.Many fake real estate ads promise plots/houses at a low cost
7.Many ads mislead the consumer by targeting their emotional side
8.Many ads mislead by writing the negative things in very small letters
9.Another way in which consumers are misled is advertising by threatening the consumers on possible health hazards
10.Many agencies which are not genuine are easily advertising their products and misleading consumers
11.Many ads objectify women
12.Many ads promise to make you earn a quick buck, but instead they just dupe people of their hard earned money. more  

View all 102 comments Below 102 comments
When there is Lot Of Clauses & articles & Points , there is a window to escape. Still there are useless advertisement are running on TV . Govt. & The Law makers Or the Officers who draw this 10- pages regulations are sleeping ? What about the implementation ? It is not their Duty ? Or It is Not fitting in the drafted Criteria ? more  
A Board comprising 2 Female Judges also is inevitable on ADDS, Provocating Dialogues Expressions Exposures more  
We should implement these at the earliest. Then these should be reviewed periodically to see and result and correct the lacunas. more  
There should be TIME LINE i.e. specific TIME PERIOD wherein the matter/complaint MUST get resolved. more  
1. The performance of any product must be evaluated by a registered agency. Only after getting a certified report, the entity can advertise completely within the bounds of the report.

Any un-certified claim during advertising shall be punishable offense with very hefty fines and jail terms.

2. Celebrities must verify the contents of the certified report of the product and the dates of validity of the report.

Celebrities can endorse the products within the time frame and content of the certified report. more  
The celebrities who endorses the products also should be held accountable with provisions of non bailable clauses & jail terms, not penalties. more  
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