Disclosures must be hard to miss and not mixed with a group of hashtags or links: Centre

Need ethical standards in advertising and importance of responsible advertising and consumer protection: Secretary Department of Consumer Affairs

New Delhi: Disclosures must be hard to miss and not mixed with a group of hashtags or links, said Rohit Kumar Singh, Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs, Government of India while virtually delivering keynote address at the #GetItRight Brand Influencer Summit 2023 organized by the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) in Mumbai today. The summit focused on the importance of responsible advertising practices and consumer protection.

The Secretary added that for endorsements in pictures, disclosures should be superimposed over the image, and for endorsements in videos, disclosures should be made in both audio and video formats. In live streams, disclosures should be continuously displayed and prominently placed.

He emphasized on the duty of manufacturers, service providers, advertisers, and advertising agencies to ensure that their advertisements do not mislead consumers. The keynote address provided valuable insights into the importance of responsible advertising and consumer protection.

Sh. Singh highlighted the crucial role of striking a balance between supporting businesses and protecting consumer interests. He echoed the sentiment shared by Hon’ble Prime Minister Modi that both must go hand-in-hand.

He cited the Consumer Protection Act 2019 passed by the Indian Parliament, which provides protection against misleading advertisements. Sh. Singh differentiated between good and bad advertisements and stated that the government’s intention is not to obstruct the growth of businesses but rather to ensure ethical standards are met.

With over 75 crore internet users in India, of which 50 crore are social media users, Sh. Singh noted the paradigm shift from traditional advertising to social media advertising and the importance of conducting it responsibly. He stressed the need for influencers and celebrities to disclose any material connections with advertisers that may affect the credibility of their representation.

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