Supreme Court and MIB mandate preparation of Self-declaration Certificates for Advertisements

author Parag Singhal

calender June 8, 2024

Supreme Court and MIB mandate Submission of Self-declaration Certificates for Advertisements

The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) issued a press release on June 3, 2024 announcing the introduction of a self-declaration certificate requirement for advertisers and advertising agencies across print, broadcast as well as digital media platforms (‘Advertisers’). The press release was issued following the Supreme Court’s Order dated May 7, 2024, in the case of Indian Medical Association & Anr. vs. Union of India [Writ Petition (Civil) No 645/2022], concerning misleading advertisements published by Patanjali Ayurveda.

During the course of proceedings, a bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah identified the lack of a “robust mechanism” to oversee whether advertisers/advertising agencies comply with the obligations mandated under the Guidelines for Prevention of Misleading Advertisements and Endorsements for Misleading Advertisements, 2022, released by the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA). Therefore, to ensure stricter adherence to these guidelines, the two judge bench of the Hon’ble Supreme Court directed that Advertisers must submit a ‘Self-Declaration Certificate’ before publishing, printing or broadcasting any advertisement. 

As per the MIB’s press release, every advertiser/advertising agency will be required to submit a self-declaration certificate to certify that the advertisement does not contain any sort of misleading information or claims and is in line with relevant regulatory guidelines, including those stipulated in Rule 7 of the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994 and the Norms of Journalistic Conduct of Press Council of India.

Further, Advertisers are required to provide proof of uploading the Self-Declaration Certificate to the relevant broadcaster, printer, publisher, or electronic media platform for their records, in line with the directive issued by the Hon’ble Supreme Court, no advertisement will be allowed to air on television and digital or print media, without a valid self-declaration certificate.

To ensure streamlined submission of these certificates and compliance with the Supreme Court directions, on June 4, 2024, the MIB has launched dedicated portals to enable Advertisers to submit self-declaration certificates (duly signed by an authorized representative of the advertiser/advertising agency) for TV and radio advertisements as well as for print and digital Advertisements.

While Self-declaration certification is not required for ongoing advertisements, it is mandatorily required for all new advertisements set to be issued, telecasted, aired, or published from June 18, 2024 onwards. Hence, the authorities have provided an additional buffer period of two weeks for stakeholders to familiarize themselves with these new self-certification norms.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court’s directive is a welcoming step towards ensuring transparency and responsible advertising practices, thereby enhancing consumer protection against misleading advertisements.

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