Policies prohibit substitute advertising. In addition, advertising directed at children must not promote negative body image in children or give the impression that the product being advertised is superior to the natural or traditional foods that children may consume.
“No substitution advertising or indirect advertising shall be made for any goods or services, the advertising of which is otherwise prohibited or restricted by law, by circumventing such prohibition or restriction and presented as advertising other goods or services, the advertising of which is not prohibited or restricted by law restricted,” the guidelines say.
Bait advertisements promoting offers such as “half price” and “sales” must ensure that there is a sufficient supply of goods, products or services to meet the foreseeable demand generated by such advertisements and when the estimated demand exceeds supply, they must make it clear that supplies of the goods or services are limited.
The Department of Consumer Affairs announced the guidelines late Thursday, so they go into effect immediately. These apply to ads published across all platforms such as print, television and online.
Per policy, disclaimers should be in the same language and similar font size as the ad itself. Similarly, in the case of audio, the disclaimer must have the speed of the rest of the advertisement.
“Advertising is of great interest to consumers. The Central Consumer Protection Act contains provisions on how to deal with misleading advertising that undermines consumers’ rights and fair advertising with effect from today (Friday),” said Consumer Minister Rohit Kumar Singh.
Singh said these guidelines would apply to manufacturers, advertisers, advertising agencies and sellers of all products and services, including government advertising.
Nidhi Khare, additional secretary at the ministry, said the Central Consumer Protection Agency has so far issued 113 notices, 57 of which are for misleading advertising, 47 for unfair trading practices and 9 for violations of consumer rights. Following the announcements, 14 companies withdrew their advertisements.