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SC: Govt need to act on FMCG firms using misleading ads


Why is it in the news?

  • The Supreme Court has instructed the government to take action against Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) firms that engage in misleading advertising practices.
  • The Court has requested Union Ministries to provide details of actions taken to combat deceptive advertising, emphasizing its negative impact on public lives.

About Misleading Advertisements

  • Misleading advertising is characterized by any published claim that provides consumers with an incorrect understanding of the product or service.
  • Under the Consumer Protection Act 2019, advertisements are misleading if they falsely describe a product/service, provide false guarantees, represent unfair trade practices, or deliberately conceal important information.

Impact:

  • Violation of consumers’ right to information and choice.
  • Potential for consumer financial loss and mental distress.
  • Severe repercussions on consumer health and safety, particularly with advertisements promoting drugs or medical devices of questionable efficacy.
Initiatives to Combat Misleading Advertisements

·        The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has issued the ‘Guidelines for Prevention of Misleading Advertisements and Endorsements for Misleading Advertisements, 2022’.

·        The Drugs and Magic Remedies Act, 1954 prohibits advertisements for remedies alleged to possess magical qualities, aiming to prevent deceptive advertising in the healthcare sector.

·        The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 establishes CCPA to regulate matters related to misleading advertisements, empowering it to take action against violators.

·        The Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 imposes penalties for misleading advertisements related to food under this Act, further strengthening consumer protection measures.

 

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