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Celebs And Influencers will be held Liable for Misleading Ads, Warns SC

The Supreme Court on Tuesday warned that celebrities, social media influencers and advertisers will be equally responsible and liable if they endorse and publish deceptive and misleading ad campaigns or services related to food and health products.

It is the shared responsibility of advertisers and endorsers, including celebrities and influencers, to ensure the accuracy of advertisements, the court said.

“Endorsements by public figures, Influencers, celebrities etc. go a long way in promoting a product and it is imperative for them to act with responsibility when endorsing any product in the course of advertisements,” a bench comprising Justices Hima Kohli and Ah sanuddin Amanullah observed.

It asked the advertisers to submit self-declaration forms confirming their compliance with cable TV rules and advertising codes before airing ads. Besides, television broad- casters must upload these declarations onto the Broadcast Seva Portal prior to airing the ads, it ordered.

The ministry concerned has been asked to establish a portal for advertisers to submit self-declarations for print media ads within four weeks. The judges, however, clarified

that “we don’t want a lot of red tape there (in submission of self- declarations by advertisers). We don’t want to make it difficult for advertisers to advertise. We only want to make sure there is responsibility”, Noting that there are guidelines that call for influencers to be trans- parent about paid endorsements, the bench said that the government needs to set up a specific procedure to encourage the consumer to lodge a complaint and the same has to be taken to logical conclusion instead of simply being endorsed or marked.

The direction came after the counsel informed the SC that since July 2020 to April 2024, the Central Consumer Protection Authority had issued 163 notices for misleading advertisements of which 58 were closed and the rest 106 were stated to be under process.

It then directed the ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution to file a fresh affidavit on the actions taken by the consumer body against false or misleading ads, particularly in the food and health sectors.

Modi, who has been in prison in London for over five years, on Tuesday made a new bail application which was rejected by a UK judge who ruled that he continued to pose a “substantial risk of absconding justice. The 52-year-old, who lost his extradition battle to face fraud and money laundering charges in India, did not appear for the bail hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court in London but his son and two daughters were present in the gallery. District Judge John Zani said: “I am satisfied that there remain substantial grounds against bail. There continues to be a real, substantial risk that the

applicant [Nirav Modi) would fail to attend court or interfere with witnesses.” PTI

S-ET Image Source: Google

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