Government Warns Industry Bodies To Comply With Surrogate Advertisement Guidelines

The guidelines stated that no surrogate advertisements or indirect advertisements shall be made for goods or services whose advertising is otherwise prohibited or restricted by law

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The department of consumer affairs, on Wednesday, has directed industry bodies CII, Ficci, Assocham and those related to advertising and broadcasting to ensure strict compliance of the existing guidelines for the prevention of misleading advertisement especially the provisions pertaining to surrogate advertisements.

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"It has been noticed that these guidelines are not being strictly complied with by the concerned entities and the prohibited goods are still being advertised through surrogate goods and services. During the recent sports events that were televised globally, many instances of such surrogate advertisements were noticed," said the commerce affairs ministry, in a statement.

The guidelines stated that no surrogate advertisements or indirect advertisements shall be made for goods or services whose advertising is otherwise prohibited or restricted by law.

"It has also been observed that many alcoholic spirits and beverages are being advertised under the garb of music CDs, club soda and packaged drinking water whereas the chewing tobacco and gutkha has taken the veil of fennel and cardamom. Moreover, many such brands are employing major celebrities that accentuate the negative impact on the impressionable youth amongst others. Several instances off direct advertisement of alcoholic beverages on social media platforms were also observed by the ministry," the statement added.

The ministry warns the advertisers' associations that failures to ensure compliance of the guidelines by the concerned authorities would lead to the central consumer protection authority (CCPA) taking the reins and take suitable stern action against the violators.

As per reports, the guidelines are applicable to manufacturers, service providers or traders whose goods, products or service is the subject of an advertisement of an advertisement, or to an advertising agency or endorser whose service is availed for the advertisement of such goods, product or service regardless of the form, format or medium of the advertisement.