SC Asks Centre To Consult Media Stakeholders On Ad Issues

SUMMARY

As per an ET report, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, which will hold the meetings, is required to file its recommendations within three weeks

The directions were issued in response to several impleadment applications filed by the Advertising Agencies Association, Internet and Mobile Association of India, the Association of Radio Operators, Broadband India Forum, and others

The directive stems from a Supreme Court order in May 2024, which required advertisers to submit a self-declaration before any ad is displayed or aired

The Supreme Court has reportedly asked the government to meet various media stakeholders and resolve the issues related to commercials, aiming to shield the advertisement industry following its earlier orders to advertisers for self declaration on the nature of ads.

As per an ET report, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, which will hold the meetings, is required to file its recommendations within three weeks.

This comes after the MIB announced on Wednesday (July 3) that “self-declaration” certificates will be mandatory only for food and health advertisements.

As per the report, the bench, comprising Justices Hima Kohli and Sandeep Mehta, said, “We are also of the opinion that the industry (advertisement industry) should not suffer in any manner. The focus of this court has already been highlighted in previous orders and needs no repetition.

The ministry shall invite more such parties to understand difficulties being faced by them and see how it can be solved. The ministry is directed to continue the churning of ideas and have further meetings in this direction and file an affidavit making its recommendations within three weeks.”

The ministry of consumer affairs can also participate in the “brainstorming” exercise, it added.

The directions were issued in response to several impleadment applications filed by the Advertising Agencies Association, Internet and Mobile Association of India, the Association of Radio Operators, Broadband India Forum, and others.

The directive stems from a Supreme Court order in May 2024, which required advertisers to submit a self-declaration before any ad is displayed or aired. While passing the order, the SC flagged the absence of a “robust mechanism” to oversee whether advertisers are fulfilling the obligations stipulated under Central Consumer Protection Authority’s guidelines for prevention of misleading advertisements2022.

The court also stressed that influencers and celebrity endorsers should endorse products with a heightened sense of responsibility.

Additionally, the court ordered television broadcasters to upload these declarations on the Broadcast Seva Portal before airing ads, and instructed the relevant ministry to set up a portal for self-declarations on print media ads within four weeks.

Following the SC’s order, the MIB has mandated a “self declaration” certificate for all new advertisements from June 18.

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