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Dept of Consumer Affairs, ASCI Warn Industry Members About Impact of Surrogate Ads on Consumer Rights

The consultation, held on February 22, was aimed at discussing harms to consumer rights, and challenges associated with illegal surrogate ads in India, and ways to ensure strict compliance to advertising guidelines and regulations by the industry stakeholders.

In a consultation with the stakeholders, the Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA) and the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) discussed issues related to advertisement of restricted products like tobacco, alcohol, and gambling—categorised under surrogate advertisements, according to a press release by the ASCI. The DoCA has also issued a press release in this regard. The consultation, held on February 22, was aimed at discussing harms to consumer rights, and challenges associated with illegal surrogate ads in India, and ways to ensure strict compliance to advertising guidelines and regulations by the industry stakeholders. The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) and Trademark Authority, and online gaming associations like All India Gaming Federation and E-Gaming Federation also participated in the discussion. What was prescribed during the consultation? The members emphasised on a clear distinction between the brand extension and the restricted product or service being advertised. The following points were highlighted: The story or visual of the advertisement must depict only the product being advertised and not the prohibited product in any form. The ad must not make any direct or indirect reference to prohibited products. The ad must not contain any nuances or phrases promoting prohibited products. The ad must not use colour, layout, or presentations associated with the prohibited products. The ad must not use situations typical for promotion of prohibited products when advertising the other products. Why it matters: The ASCI pointed out during the meeting that in the last three years,…

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Curious about the intersection of technology with education, caste and welfare rights. For story tips, please feel free to reach out at sarasvati@medianama.com

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