Complaints against misleading advertisements increased from 641 in 2015 to 3,302 in 2017
The information was highlighted in Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Rajyavardhan Rathore's reply to a question in Rajya Sabha pertaining to the rise in misleading advertisements in TV programmes
According to official data, the number of complaints against misleading advertisement has risen sharply from 641 in 2015 to 3,302 in 2017.
Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Rajyavardhan Rathore said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha that the Department of Consumer Affairs had informed that it has launched a portal, Grievance Against Misleading Advertisements (GAMA) which will address complaints related to misleading advertisements.
The Minister's response was in relation to the question on whether the government was cognisant of the increase in misleading advertisements in television programmes.
In his reply, the Minister also said that GAMA had entered into an MoU with the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), a self-regulatory body, to process any such complaints of misleading advertisements, whether in print of electronic media, which were received on the GAMA portal. The ASCI processes complaints based on its code, and if the advertisement is found to be misleading, it asks the concerned companies to modify or withdraw the advertisement.
Advertisements broadcast on private television channels are required to adhere to the Advertising Code prescribed under the Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995. Minister Rathore also added that according to the existing regulatory framework, there is no pre-censorship on advertisements and that action is taken whenever a violation of the advertising code is brought to the ministry's attention.
Stating that, Rule 7 (5) of the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994, specifically provides, "No advertisement shall contain references which are likely to lead the public to infer that the product advertised or any of its ingredients has some special or miraculous super natural property or quality, which is difficult of being proved".
Minster Rathore also added that the Ministry had established an inter-ministerial committee to take suo-moto cognisance or examine specific complaints in relation to content telecast on private TV channels including advertisements.
Over the last three years, GAMA portal received 641 complaints in 2015, 2,032 in 2016, 3,302 in 2017.
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