The Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Niranjan Jyoti in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today informed that, in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 18 of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, the Central Consumer Protection Authority has notified Guidelines for Prevention of Misleading Advertisements and Endorsements for Misleading Advertisements, 2022 on 9th June 2022, with the objective to curb misleading advertisements and protect the consumers, who may be exploited or affected by such advertisements.
According to these Guidelines, endorser includes an individual or a group or an institution making endorsement of any goods, product or service in an advertisement whose opinion, belief, finding or experience being the message which such advertisement appears to reflect.
These Guidelines state that due diligence is required for endorsement of advertisements such that any endorsement in an advertisement must reflect the genuine, reasonably current opinion of the individual, group or organization making such representation and must be based on adequate information about, or experience with, the identified goods, product or service and must not otherwise be deceptive. It clarifies that where, Indian professionals, whether resident in India or otherwise, are barred under any law for the time being in force from making endorsement in any advertisement pertaining to any profession, then, foreigner professionals of such profession shall also be not permitted to make endorsement in such advertisement.
In case of false or misleading advertisement, as per section 21(2) of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, CCPA may impose fines on manufacturer or endorser up to ₹10 lakhs or ₹50 lakhs in case of repeated violations.