All advertisers to come under ASCI purview, rules Delhi district court

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 20, 2019 Published on August 20, 2019

The decisions taken by the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) are applicable not only to advertisers who are its members but also non-members, a district court has ruled. This ruling from Delhi’s Tiz Hazari District court comes on the heels of Parliament passing the Consumer Protection Bill recently.

In its judgment in the Primordial Systems Pvt Ltd versus ASCI case, the court gave the verdict in favour of the advertising self-regulatory body. In a statement, ASCI said until now a large number of advertisers avoided becoming members under the mistaken notion that they would then not have to abide by its decisions.

“The court affirmed that ASCI, has the power to, after following due process, provide recommendations to the advertiser to modify or remove the advertisement containing claims that are considered as misleading by the ASCI’s independent Consumer Complaints Council (CCC),” it stated.

D Shivakumar, Chairman, ASCI, said,“It is a very significant judgment passed by the Delhi court as it clarifies that all advertisers come under the purview of ASCI’s guidelines. It also sends a clear message to the entire industry that investing in honest advertising is effective as dishonest advertising is not going to work. Clearly, for the consumers it is a big win as all the industry members, whether they are part of ASCI or not, can no longer deceive them with misleading advertising.” In the past, the Supreme Court has also held that ASCI looks into specific complaints regarding violation of programme code hence prima facie it cannot be said that the complaint is entertained without due process.

ASCI is the advertising self-regulatory body that works closely with the Department of Consumer Affairs, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, the Ministry of Ayush as well as the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

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Published on August 20, 2019
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