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Supreme Court Mandates Self-Declaration Certificate for Advertisements in India

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The Supreme Court of India, in a landmark decision, has mandated that all advertisers and advertising agencies must submit a ‘Self-Declaration Certificate’ before publishing or broadcasting any advertisement. This directive, issued on May 7, 2024, in the case of Writ Petition Civil No. 645/2022-IMA & Anr. Vs. UOI & Ors., aims to ensure transparency, consumer protection, and responsible advertising practices across all media platforms.

Why the Self-Declaration Certificate?

The directive stems from a concern about misleading advertisements and a need to ensure compliance with advertising regulations. The Supreme Court aims to promote transparency, consumer protection, and responsible advertising practices through this initiative. Misleading advertisements can have detrimental effects on consumers, leading to loss of trust and potential harm. So, by implementing this self-declaration process, the Supreme Court is taking a proactive approach to safeguard consumer interests and maintain the integrity of the advertising industry.

When Does This Take Effect?

The Self-Declaration Certificate requirement applies to all new advertisements released from June 18, 2024, onwards. Also, to provide stakeholders with ample time to adapt to this new process, a two-week buffer period was established. During this time, advertisers and advertising agencies are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the submission process and ensure they have all the necessary documentation in place.

What Does the Self-Declaration Certify?

Advertisers and advertising agencies must certify that their advertisements:

  1. Do not contain misleading claims.
  2. Comply with all relevant advertising regulations, including Rule 7 of the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994, and the Norms of Journalistic Conduct of the Press Council of India.

This certification process is designed to hold advertisers accountable for the content they produce and ensure that all advertisements meet the required standards of truthfulness and fairness.

How to Submit the Self-Declaration Certificate

The process involves submitting the certificate through designated portals:

These portals became active on June 4, 2024, allowing advertisers to begin the submission process well in advance of the effective date.

What Information is Required?

Here’s a breakdown of the details needed when submitting the certificate:

  • Advertiser/Advertising Agency Information
  • Product/Service Advertised
  • Advertisement Title
  • Brief Description of the Advertisement (100-200 words)
  • Full Script of the Advertisement (PDF)
  • Advertisement Audio/Video URL (TV/Radio/Internet) or PDF of Print Ad
  • Proposed Date of First Broadcast/Publication

Documents Required

  • Letter of Authorization: For the representative submitting the certificate.
  • Full Script of the Advertisement: (PDF)
  • Advertisement Video/Audio File URL
  • CBFC Certificate (if applicable)

Optional Information

  • CBFC Certificate
  • GST Details (related to the advertised product/service)

Letter Of Authorisation- Sample Format

Important Points to Remember

  • All mandatory fields must be filled accurately before submission.
  • Incomplete or inaccurate information may lead to rejection or delays.
  • Advertisers must provide proof of uploading the certificate to the relevant broadcaster, printer, publisher, or electronic media platform.

Conclusion

So, the Self-Declaration Certificate is a positive step towards ensuring responsible advertising practices in India. By requiring advertisers to take accountability for the claims they make, this regulation empowers consumers and fosters trust in the advertising industry. This initiative is expected to enhance transparency, reduce the prevalence of misleading advertisements, and ultimately protect consumer interests.

For further queries or information, advertisers and advertising agencies may contact:

Additionally, for detailed guidelines and to access the submission portals, visit:

By adhering to these new regulations, the Indian advertising industry is set to achieve greater transparency and accountability, benefiting both consumers and businesses alike.

FAQs on the Supreme Court Mandate for Self-Declaration Certificate for Advertisements

1. What is the purpose of the Self-Declaration Certificate for advertisements?

The Self-Declaration Certificate aims to ensure that advertisements do not contain misleading claims and comply with all relevant regulatory guidelines. This promotes transparency, consumer protection, and responsible advertising practices.

2. When does the requirement for the Self-Declaration Certificate come into effect?

The requirement applies to all new advertisements released from June 18, 2024. Furthermore, advertisers had a two-week buffer starting June 4, 2024, to familiarize themselves with the new process.

3. Which platforms require submission of the Self-Declaration Certificate?

Advertisers must submit the certificate on the Broadcast Seva Portal for TV/Radio advertisements and on the Press Council of India Portal for print and digital media advertisements.

4. What information is required to submit the Self-Declaration Certificate?

To submit the certificate, advertisers need to provide details such as the advertiser/advertising agency information, product/service advertised, advertisement title, brief description, full script (PDF), advertisement audio/video URL or PDF of the print ad, and proposed date of first broadcast/publication.

5. What documents are necessary for the Self-Declaration Certificate submission?

Required documents include a letter of authorization for the representative, the full script of the advertisement (PDF), and the advertisement video/audio file URL. Additionally, a CBFC certificate and GST details are optional but can be provided if available.

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