Let’s start with knowing what is misleading advertisement. According to section 2(28) of the consumer protection act 2019, misleading advertisements are
1)which falsely describe any product or Service.
2)gives a false guarantee to or is likely to mislead the consumers as to the nature, substance, quantity or quality of such product or service.
3) or it conveys an express or implied representation which if made by the manufacturer or seller or service provider thereof would constitute an unfair trade practice or it deliberately conceals important information.
Now what consumers need to know?
We as consumers, we have the right to know of what we are consuming or what we are being given the name of something that we want and something that we get. The consumers need to have one thing in their mind, that is if it seems to be true it probably isn’t and they need to clearly understand the laws that are made for their benefit. The certain laws and acts relating to misleading advertisement are : The consumer protection act 2019 it’s sub section 3 of section 1 chapter 3 that is section 10 to 27 set up a central consumer protection authority to promote protect and enforce the rights of consumers.
We need to know about the press council of India act 1978. We need to know about the cable television regulation act 1955 and cable television amendment act 2006. It tells an advertisement should strictly follow the ambit prescribed under the amendment act. Also we need to know about the establishment of the ASCI that is advertisements time council of India 1985. The restrictions on advertising under the cigarettes and other tobacco products There was a recent example where we had Amitabh Bachchan and Ranvir Singh were advertising for a mouth freshener.
Now what these companies do is that they keep everything the same. They just change the product from inside and write in very small writing that what they are selling. What the advertisement shows is a mouth freshener but what they might give is the tobacco or something, so this was a whole controversy. We also need to know about the advertising regulations under Drug and Magic remedies act 1954 and Drugs and Cosmetics act 1915. One more act, that is advertising restrictions under parental diagnostic techniques, regulation and prevention of misuse act 1994 and young person’s harmful publications act 1956. What are the suggestions that can be made for saving yourself from misleading advertisements is increasing more awareness among yourselves and your peers.
This can be done on a very basic level on a very small level but the laws should also be implemented properly. This is something that the authorities need to have in mind. Also the holding people or businesses accountable for not abiding to the rules is also must.
There are certain important cases with respect to misleading advertisement. The first one is the Hamdard Dawakhana vs Union of India 1960. It was held that advertisement is no doubt a form of speech but its true character is reflected by the object for the promotion of which it is employed. It assumes the attributes and elements of the activity under article 19(1) of the constitution but it seeks to aid by bringing it to the notice of the public. The next case is Reckitt & Colman Of India Ltd. vs Kiwi T.T.K.1996. Here advertisement can declare their goods are the best in the world and this may or may not be true i.e. it may be untrue as well. For example a goods company or a face wash company says that we have the best product in the world. It might not be true as there are many other products in the world. But they can say it irrespective that they are true or not. Also advertisements can compare goods of their competitors but any information that is false can amount to defamation.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
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