Supreme Court Asks Centre to Discuss Issues Raised by Media on Ad Self-Declaration Mandate: Report

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, which will conduct these meetings, must submit its recommendations within three weeks.
Supreme Court
Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has instructed the Centre to organise a meeting with various media stakeholders to address issues related to advertisements. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, which will conduct these meetings, must submit its recommendations within three weeks. This is as per a report by LiveLaw. 

The issue pertains to the recent judgment where the court asked advertisers to give a self-declaration based on the nature of their ads. The court had said, “No advertisement will be permitted to run on television, print media, or the internet without a valid self-declaration certificate." It was mentioned that television broadcasters must submit these ads to the Broadcast Seva Portal before airing them. 

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

Following the order of the Supreme Court, a new feature was added by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on the Press Council of India's portal for print and digital/internet advertisements, as well as the Broadcast Seva Portal of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) for TV and radio advertisements. 

"We are also of the opinion that the industry should not suffer in any manner...The idea is not to burden anybody, but to ensure that there is a regime and that it is operational and put in place in a proper manner,” said Justice Hima Kohli as per Live Law. 

The bench, comprising Justices Hima Kohli and Sandeep Mehta, reportedly added, "We also think the industry (the advertising industry) should not suffer in any manner." The focus of this Court has already been highlighted in previous orders and needs no repetition. The Ministry is directed to continue the churning of ideas, have further meetings in this direction, and file an affidavit making its recommendations," the bench observed in the order.” As per the Economic Times, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs can also be a part of the brain-storming exercise. 

The observation was made by the bench while issuing notices on several applications filed by the Internet and Mobile Association of India, the Association of Radio Operators for India, the Broadband India Forum, the Indian Newspaper Society, and others. The entire issue started after Patanjali Ayurved was under scrutiny for its misleading advertisements. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has also asked Patanjali if its misleading advertisements have been taken down from social media. 

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