The Union government has accepted the recommendations of a parliamentary panel to impose accountability on celebrities for endorsing products and for misleading advertisements, according to recent reports. The changes are expected to be cleared in a Cabinet meeting in the coming week.
Now celebrities will have to think twice before endorsing products that make unrealistic claims, it will not only make them end up in jail for up to five years, but they will also have to pay Rs 50 lakh as penalty.
The issue of ‘celebrity endorsement’ came under the public attention after there was a social media outrage over Amrapali real estate not being able to deliver projects on time. Facing social media backlash, MS Dhoni, the endorser quit and ended his contract with the company. When the Maggi controversy happened last year, endorsers like Amitabh Bachchan and Madhuri Dixit were also dragged and an FIR was filed against them.
Commenting on this, N. Chandramouli, CEO, TRA said, “Celebrity brand ambassadors have been forced to think twice before endorsing a product making unrealistic claims.With the decision to eschew wrong endorsements, creating a more ethical environment for brands and safe environment for consumers, the current move will force transparency. Because of this move only the trusted brands will find celebrity endorsements. However, what is really important is that when a celebrity endorser is made liable, the brand too must be made liable automatically. After all, if anything, there is common responsibility in this.”