Taking actions against Misleading Advertisements: Inputs Sought

Misleading advertisements continue in India due to a proper regulatory body to ensure action against the companies. Currently other than a self regulatory industry body which basically takes action against an ad, there is not much to discourage misleading advertisements.

Below are the key issues, root causes and solutions as identified by you in regards to misleading advertisements. Kindly review and share any additional inputs you may have. We will soon put the whitepaper together for submission to key Government stakeholders.

We look forward to your inputs!

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 90 comments Below 90 comments
In India we make so many rules and thereafter we forget and no follow up agency is there.If somebody complaints and he is powerful then only action is initiated and after so many years court ruling will come and the advertiser will be fined very small amount and probably no jail term will be awarded. more  
SCand all Constitutional Bodies set aside the SC and Constitutional Mandate ' that No Right is absolute ' "Everyone is equal before Law" .
THUS CONSTITUTIONAL MANDATES AND OBJECTIVES NEGLECTED BY ALL .
Objective and purpose of President and Supreme Court also not being helpful to either Society or the Nation. THIS IS WHY STRICT REGULATIONS AND REFORMS ARE NECESSARY. more  
Major misleading ads are related to purchase of Flats. The ad shows trees, pathways, greeneries, ponds, clubs, sitting areas, parks, community hall, swimming pool, gym, library, etc. which in most cases are not true. The ad prints in the underneath (small font) that it's an artist impression. mostly it is escaped attention of the readers. A Rule should be made that only actual images and correct location details with nearest landmark and other amenities provided in the housing complex should be mentioned in the ad in case of real estate development. Any false declaration / picture will attract penalty. more  
Before making any ad, it should be certified by the Government that the article/goods advertised are good for the consumers. In the case of edible goods, the role of FASSI is more important. At regular intervals, the FASSI should collect random samples from local market and test them impartially. If found wrong, they should not endorse such goods into the market and impose heavy penalty on the guilty. No ads(including any sponsorship/event organizing) should be on alcohol, tobacco products and Panmasala. In short the Government should take steps to ban production of Tobacco products, alcohol in the country early. more  
Mis leading advertisements are many types .one is celebrity endorsing a product or service or firm which is ineffective,fraudulent and not holding properties as advertised or results in adverse condition.
This is very serious business in the legal sense and should be booked under crochet.
But another type where a baba, astrologer or swamiji boasts that he can cure illnesses or ill effects and has remedy for all .This also is a type of misrepresentation.
Firstly do we have guts in the govt under existing laws to punish these types of people whether celebrity or fake babas? more  
Please make the systems consumer-oriented for lodging complaints and their resolution..... more  
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