MIB Issues New Advisory Limiting Self-Declaration to Food and Health Ads 

This new update comes after the ministry reportedly conducted several meetings with industry groups.
MIB Issues New Advisory Limiting Self-Declaration to Food and Health Ads 

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, MIB, has issued a fresh advisory where it has urged the sponsors of commercials and advertising agencies promoting goods and services in the food and health industries to post an annual self-declaration certificate on the platforms set up for that purpose. This is as per several media reports. 

Other sectors and industries do not have to file such self-declarations. This comes after the ministry reportedly conducted several meetings with industry groups. The new update, announced on Wednesday, now changes the previous rules from June. 

The Ministry reportedly said, “In light of the directions of the Supreme Court of India and in supersession of previous advisories dated 03.06.2024 and 05.06.2024, advertisers and advertising agencies issuing advertisements for products and services related to the food and health sectors are advised to upload an annual self-declaration certificate and make available the proof of uploading the self-declaration to the concerned media stakeholders for the record.” 

Further, it will be the responsibility of the ad agencies and advertisers to ensure that all the advertisements are in line with the norms and regulations. The declarations can be uploaded to the Press Council of India’s portal for advertisements in online, print media, and the online space. Advertisers should upload the declaration to the SEV portal of the Ministry for radio and television ads. 

These new regulations are coming into effect following a May Supreme Court decision in the Patanjali Ayurved case. The case relates to misleading advertisements by Patanjali that include the company mentioning that its drugs could cure diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid, arthritis, and asthma. The Managing Director of Patanjali, Acharya Balakrishna, has issued an unconditional apology to the Supreme Court and mentioned that these ads won’t be issued in the future. 

The apology issued to the court said, “The defendant will ensure that such advertisements are not issued in the future. By way of clarification, not as a defense, the deponent begs to submit that its intention is only to exhort the citizens of this country to lead a healthier life by consuming products of the respondent no. 5, including products for lifestyle ailments, through the use of age-old literature and materials supplementing and backed by ayurvedic research." 

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