Centre tightens norms for celebrity endorsers; makes ‘material connection’ disclosure must

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The Central government has tightened norms for endorsers, including celebrities and sports persons, as they are now required to make material connection disclosure and due diligence while endorsing in advertisements. 

New Delhi: The government has tightened norms for endorsers, including celebrities and sports persons, as they are now required to make material connection disclosure and due diligence while endorsing in advertisements. As per the new guidelines released by the Consumer Affairs Ministry issued on Friday, endorsements must reflect the honest opinions, belief or experience of endorsers. The endorsers have to make material connection disclosures, failing to do so will attract penalty under the Consumer Protection Act (CPA).

Material disclosures means any relationship that materially affects the weight or credibility of any endorsement that a reasonable consumer would not expect. (ALSO READ: US inflation at new 40-year high as price increases spread)

“If there exists a connection between the endorser and the trader, manufacturer or advertiser of the endorsed product that might materially affect the value or credibility of the endorsement and the connection is not reasonably expected by the audience, such connection shall be fully disclosed in making the endorsement,” the guidelines said. (ALSO READ: Paytm starts levying ‘convenience fee’ on mobile recharges: All you need to know) 

Violation of these guidelines will attract a penalty of Rs 10 lakh for first offence and Rs 50 lakh for subsequent offence, under the Consumer Protection Act.

The new guidelines ‘Prevention of misleading advertisements and necessary due diligence for endorsement of advertisements’, which came into effect from June 10, 2022, have been issued to prevent misleading advertisements.

It provides various criteria for an advertisement to be considered valid and non-misleading, gives clarity on bait advertisements, surrogate advertisements and free claims advertisements. 

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