COVID-19 is creating a havoc atmosphere all over the world and took many lives taking it under consideration all the Indian companies are trying to find a vaccine to cure the virus where it seeks the total attention. Where yoga guru Ramdev the founder of Patanjali Ayurvedic Limited, an Indian consumer company declared a cure medicine for the COVID-19 positive patients that it cures a total of 100% to them. The founder Ramdev had named it as “Coronil”. And this company has been publishing their advertisements until the Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) had ordered to stop the publicity of the product until ” the issue is exclaimed”.
Advertising is one of the major key role for of the business field. Advertising helps the audience to know the clear detail about the product. The main intention of advertising is to give information about the product which gives clear figure and helps to buy. However, the advertising industry has been accused of not fulfilling its responsibilities and rather misusing the power to suit the needs. There are multitudinous case filed against misleading advertisements in India. These advertisements will violate many basic rights of consumers like right to information, right to stop publishing unsafe, unhealthy goods like prohibition of publishing Smoking and Tobacco Ads ; Act 2003 ( “CTP ACT” ). The CTP act
( Compulsory Third Party ) prohibits the advertising of publishing of cigarettes and any other kind of tobacco products.( section 5 of CTP act ) Advertising these tobacco products leads not only to punishment and also leads to imprisonment up to 1 year or a fine of 1,000 INR or will be both. Which might extend up to 5 years of imprisonment or find up to 5,000 INR or both will be applied. The CTP Act also provides authorized personnel, the power of search, seizure, forfeiture and confiscation in respect of any advertisement of cigarettes or any other tobacco products (Sections 12, 13, 14, and 23 of the CTP Act).
B. The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI).
“a voluntary, self-regulatory and non-statutory” council called the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) controls the advertising market. ASCI has adopted a code named ASCI CODE which was accepted by individuals and associations concerned with the practice of advertising. According to ASCI CODE complaint can be filed against any product advertisement by any person or an industry. According to the Consumer Complaint Council ( CCC ) they consider complaints and decides on sending notifications regarding the advertisement and advertiser incase if they didn’t react they well take a ex party decision as the ASCI members are bound to the CCC. The ASCI doesn’t have any statuary powers.
CCC takes up to six weeks of time to have a look on. And also for ASCI’s to answer the CCC that to edit or withdraw the advertisement project. The ASCI and the ASCI Code lacks the required ability, power, and status to actually regulate the advertising sector.
C. The CONSUMER PROTEST Act, 2019
The consumer protest Act, 2019 has brought many changes and safety measures regarding the publishing of misleading advertisements like Smoking and Tobacco and also charges high amount of penalty. Whereas the Patanjali advertisement has brought under same act the Legal Metrology Act, 2009 was passed to standardize weights and measures and regulate trade in the same. The law seeks to prohibit advertisements for “remedies alleged to possess magic qualities”. It is mandatory of mentioning retail price , commodity and net weight.
The list of these legislations is long and includes Cable Television Networks (Regulations) Act, 1995, The Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, 1978, The Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1994, Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper
Use) Act, 1950, Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986 and so on.
It can be concluded that India does need an extensive legislation for the advertising industry. Having uniform and single legalisation will give a greater and good clarity of the growth of advertising companies. This will help to create a better and safer market for both consumers and business entities.