“Advertising is the foot on the accelerator, the hand on the throttle, the spur on the flank that keeps our economy surging forward”
Robert W. Sarnoff
We live in the era of globalization where new products are being marketed within a splash of time. So in this competitive environment, every representation of a product or service is unique and is all about what ‘others are not’. These practices indeed raise questions about truthfulness and fairness of representation of products and services. If a person is about to start a business, even it’s a product or service or magazine or newspaper, the first thing he look into it is how he can market it. The basic idea behind advertising is that it is just a presentation, which may be oral or written, to induce consumption to make people buy things which they actually do not want. When it comes to India, advertising has a profound impact on how people understand life, the world and themselves, especially with regard to their values, choices and behavior.
It is a naked truth that advertising is a business strategy which is in fact a powerful tool for enhancing, maintaining and developing brand equity. Therefore, it is crucial enough for companies to protect the content of an advertisement and to ensure that it is in line with the applicable laws. Even now many won’t realize the fact that which are the applicable laws governing advertising in India. At this point of time, it is pertinent to note that as far as India is concerned there is no as such law is there for regulating advertisement in any media. All one has to look into is a series of legislations and regulations relating to advertisements. But the fact is a common man should show pretty good amount of patience by going through all these rules and regulations as these will not as such constitute a complete structure on what one has to abide on the matter of advertisements.
ADVERTISING LAWS OF INDIA
As mentioned earlier the Government of India has not set up a regulatory body in India to regulate advertisements. But as in due course depending on the nature of the grievances, the power to regulate advertisements may be exercised by a vast variety of authorities, including the courts, Central and State Governments, tribunals or the police authorities. In addition to that numerous legislations also deal with advertisement provisions in part not in toto unfortunately. The rules, regulations and legislations include the following:- 1. Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI)
2. Constitution of India
3. Consumer Protection Act, 1986
4. Information Technology Act, 2000
5. Indian Penal Code, 1860
6. The Young Persons (Harmful Publications) Act, 1956 7. Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986 8. The Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 9. The Cigarettes (Regulation of Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 1975 10. The Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1955 11. The Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940
12. The Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950 13. Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) (Stock-brokers and Sub-brokers) Rules, 1992 - Code of Conduct for Stock-brokers 14. Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) (Prohibition of Fraudulent and Unfair Trade Practices relating to Securities Market) Regulations, 1995 15. Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) (Mutual Funds Regulation), 1996: SEBI Guidelines for Advertisements by Mutual Funds 16. Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) (Disclosure and Investor Protection Guidelines), 2000 17. The Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1994 18. The Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994