Centre limits self-declaration certificate for ads of food, health sectors | News

The Centre on Wednesday issued an advisory limiting the mandatory self-declaration certificates (SDCs) for advertisements to food and health sectors.


It also announced that the facility for uploading the certificate by advertisers/advertising agencies for TV and radio ads has been made operational on the Broadcast Seva Portal. For print and digital ads, SDCs will have to be uploaded on the website of the Press Council of India (PCI).

“In light of the directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, and in supersession of previous advisories dated June 3, 2024, and June 5, 2024, advertisers/advertising agencies issuing advertisements for products and services related to food and health sectors are advised to upload an annual self-declaration certificate on the above-mentioned portals, as applicable, and make available the proof of uploading the self-declaration to the concerned media stakeholders, such as TV channels, newspapers, entities involved in publishing advertisements on the internet, etc., for the record,” the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting said in the advisory.

The self-declaration norms came into effect on June 18 following an order by the Supreme Court, which directed that before printing, airing, or displaying any advertisement, the advertiser or the advertising agency must submit a self-declaration to the Broadcast Seva Portal of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting.

“No advertisements shall be permitted to be run on the relevant channels and/or in the print media/internet without uploading the self-declaration as directed above,” the court had ordered.

Following this, industry bodies the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), the Indian Newspaper Society (INS), and the Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA) wrote to the ministry saying that this requires attention, consideration, and resolution before implementation.

On Wednesday, Manisha Kapoor, chief executive officer and secretary general of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), said the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has “taken cognisance of the various issues related to the working of the portal, the manner in which digital advertising functions, as well as noting that the court had expressed concern with the food and health sectors primarily.”

“Commitment to honest advertising remains paramount and the industry must continue its commitment to being compliant with all applicable laws,” she said.

“Advertising is under increased regulatory scrutiny and advertisers and agencies should take the required steps to ensure compliance. This is true across sectors,” Kapoor added.

First Published: Jul 03 2024 | 9:06 PM IST

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