Centre releases fresh guidelines for advertisements, bans surrogate ads

The Centre on Friday released the Guidelines for Prevention of Misleading Advertisements and Endorsements for Misleading Advertisements, 2022, which prohibits surrogate advertising and prescribes conditions for bait advertisements and commercials targeting children.

The guidelines, notified on June 9, were released by consumer affairs secretary Rohit Kumar Singh and additional secretary Nidhi Khare at a press conference. The guidelines have come into force, Singh said. Addressing the press conference, Khare said the guidelines will apply to “all advertisements regardless of form, format or medium.”

The guidelines will be applicable to “a manufacturer, service provider or trader whose goods, product or service is the subject of an advertisement, or to an advertising agency or endorser whose service is availed for the advertisement of such goods, product or service.”

As per the guidelines, “surrogate advertisement” refers to an advertisement for goods or services, whose advertising is otherwise prohibited or restricted by law. It states, “No surrogate advertisement or indirect advertisement shall be made for goods or services whose advertising is otherwise prohibited or restricted by law, by circumventing such prohibition or restriction and portraying it to be an advertisement for other goods or services, the advertising of which is not prohibited or restricted by law.”

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