This article on ‘Advertisement Laws In India: All You Need to Know’ is written by Sai, an intern at Legal Upanishad.
This article helps to know about the laws that are governing advertisement in industries and it make us understand what are the elements that are involved to constitute an advertisement with no legal complications. The basis of the laws and reason to lay down such will be well explained. The origin and history of the laws enacted is explained along with the comparison of current situation in that particular area. Let’s also discuss why is it so important to regulate advertisements in India.
What are advertisements?
Advertisements are basically a channel through which the sellers could transfer the information to the consumers. The information passed to through this channel would be expected to bring them profits as they attract the consumers as much as they can. Advertising is form of a marketing which is been followed since a long time. Advertisements are usually made through various forms like, digital and printed with the help of Television, radio, newspaper, internet etc.
What are all the Advertisement Laws In India?
The necessity for the enactment of Advertising laws came out with regard to issues arising from such industry. There has been a vast development of the advertising industry in the past few decades and as a part the scope has been widened. Apparently, the issues were increased which needed to be curbed to ensure fairness in the industry, safety of the public from the hazardous products and also to suppress the advantages obtained by the Unethical Advertisers.
Although there is no core law which regulate all the issues regarding the advertisement industry there are set of enactments which govern the issues relating to specific aspects individually.
They are as follow:
- The Press Council Act 1978
- Cable Television Network Rules, 1994
- Code for Commercial Advertising on Door Darshan and All India Radio
- Electronic Media Monitoring Centre (EMMC)
- Norms for Journalist Conduct issued by the Press Council of India
- Code of Conduct of the News Broadcasters Association
CONSUMER SAFETY LAWS
- Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950.
- Young Persons (Harmful Publications) Act, 1956.
- Companies Act, 2013.
- Standards of Weight & Measures Act, 1976.
- Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986.
- Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
- Trade Marks Act, 1999.
- The Copyright Act, 1957.
SPECIFIC INDUSTRIES LAWS
- The Drugs and Cosmetic Act, 1940.
- The Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994
- The Drugs and Magical Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954
- The Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1994
- Advocates Act, 1961
- Infant Milk Substitutes, Feeding Bottles and Infant Foods (Regulation of Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 1992
- Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992
- The Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, 1978
- Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003
- Public Gambling Act, 1867
- The Lotteries (Regulation) Act, 1998
- The Prize Competitions Act, 1955
- Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002 and;
- The Food Safety & Standards Act, 2006
Importance & Applicability in India
India is a country which specifically has largest population as a known fact. During the recent times Advertisement has been the strongest device in spreading awareness not only in India but to whole world. Generally, it is used for some kind of communication or a kind of information to the prospective consumers; normally when we speak of advertisement then it speaks of some kinds of advertising the firms, the qualities of the product, availability of the place and all.
It is always under wrong conception that advertisement means it’s for buyers only but in reality, it is for both buyers and sellers; further it can be said that this will very much important to sellers when it is compared with buyer. In the present situation if we think in terms of sellers, it is very difficult sale their materials or products without proper advertisement as it has gained much importance because of technology and tough competition in the market world.
The major laws that have impactful applicability in this industry would be like relating to any products and services that are banned or considered as unlawful. Such as:
- Tobacco: The products relating to tobacco has been prohibited to ensure the safety of the public and avoid bad influence on children under (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 (“Tobacco Prohibition Act”).
- Transplantation: No person can be influenced to transplant his or her organ, it must come out self willingness. Hence, such advertisements are prohibited by The Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994.
- Magical Remedies: The drugs and Magical Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954 prohibits advertisements of drugs and remedies that claim to have magical properties and consider it has a cognizable offence.
It is a known fact that advertisements are the soul for the expression of information regarding the product that a seller wants to bring in to the market. And it is rightly pointed out that advertisements are those which are the main objective to lay down the laws governing advertisements is to avoid unethical advertisements and promote truthful advertisements which ensure the consumer safety and fairness among the advertisers, India is a country where every issue has to dealt with due diligence as the issues are susceptible over here.
As it has been already mentioned above India does not have a central legislation which uniformly govern the issues relating to advertisements but there is Self-regulatory authority ASCI which provide guidelines for the ethical and professional conduct in advertising.
- Slyvine, Laws governing advertisements in India < https://blog.ipleaders.in/laws-governing-advertisement-india/ > (23 December 2016).
- Global Jurix, Advertising Law in India – Part 1 < https://www.mondaq.com/india/advertising-marketing-branding/192384/advertising-law-in-india–part-1> (17 August 2012).