What do strong Advertisements mean?

What do strong Advertisements mean?

Introduction

It is factual that the products’ success largely depends on its advertisements. But does this give the right to the owners to manipulate customers with, in the simplest terms, wrong advertisements? No right, for this we need some laws to protect the customers against these market players. But what is there to be protected from? There are various issues that arise with advertisements like fraudulent advertisements, misleading, setting devious mindsets, using stats in the wrong manner, misrepresentation, etc.

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The first thing which brings the product or service to customers’ notice is an advertisement. So, by saying that advertisements are basically the first impression of any product we won’t be off beam. It helps in product differentiation and gives the seller a stake above other competitors. It plays a vital role in setting a company’s image. If so much depends on a mere advertisement of the product then it should be fair to the customers too.

Over years new problems with advertisements were arising and to bring them in control there were various laws, regulations, and rules which were laid down. Companies pay around seventy thousand crores in the name of advertisements each year.  With increasing misuse such as the promotion of alcohol, the promotion of toxic substances such as cigarette tobacco forced the government to come into the picture so that they can keep a check on such sought of advertisements.

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Legislations in India

  • Press Council of India Act, 1978[1]

This Act provides the freedom to press and also maintain rather, increase the standard of media. Under this act, an autonomous, statutory quasi-judicial body is formed which functions as stated in the law.

  • Cable Television Networks Regulation Act, 1955[2]

This Act gives the government the right to regulate what goes and what not goes on air on television. It covers shows and advertisements both in their ambit.

  • Establishment of ASCI (Advertising Standard Council of India), 1985[3]

This is a non-governmental body that was established in 1985. It is a self-regulatory voluntary organization. It takes over all the cases that include complaints against such as Print, TV, Radio, Hoarding, SMS, Emailers, Internet/website, product packaging, brochures, and promotional material.

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  • The Consumer Protection Act, 1986[4] and Advertising

The act gives the consumers the right to be protected against the marketing of goods and services which are hazardous to life and property. Also, have the right to be informed about the exact quality, quantity, potency, purity, and standard of products or services.

  • Restrictions on Advertising

Advertising production, sale, or consumption of tobacco, cigarettes, wine, liquor, and other intoxicants are banned. Professionals such as Chartered Accountants, Company Secretaries & Cost Accountants are not allowed to solicit clients or professional work by advertising. Sale and purchase of Firearms, Weapons, and Ammunition without a government license is prohibited. Advertisement related to sexual services is illegal in India.

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Sometimes advertisements come out so strongly that they give rise to some major misconception in the market. These can be a result of existing wrong notions that are given support by advertisements or paving way for a whole new belief. These circumstances can be hard for large sections of society and also can make them lose their sense of belongingness.

Some companies feel that playing with words can act as a shield to them in case of disputes but it’s high time we realize that advertisements are a lot more than words and can definitely have huge impacts on the minds of the people.

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On the contrary, history talks that for many countries to grow in the Indian market all it took was changing their advertising strategies. They targeted the culture and the common beliefs which already prevail in the market and it has done wonders for those companies. False claims by the advertisements can result in the opposite interests of the owners.

Conclusion

We can safely say that advertisements are useful weapons and can be used against both parties. They have a lot of control over the success or waste of the product. The companies need to be sensible enough but also importantly sensitive enough towards the needs, rights, and beliefs of the consumers. Our laws have adequate punishments for the promotion of goods that directly cause harm to the consumers’ body but somewhere fails to mark out the indirect harm. However, we have the right to go against these advertisements and get the needful.

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It now depends on the public what they want. They can be ignorant and not take these issues seriously or else take a stand and make this clear that this behavior is not to be encouraged. The companies need to work according to the needs of the consumers and not the other way round. Also, just by playing with words, they cannot put an end to this issue.

In the end, we would just like to bring this to the notice of our readers that if you see you are the one paying for these advertisements indirectly. You spend your money on either buying a hard copy or internet or electricity and this is what you are spending it for. You can not change this fact but at least take the decision of spending on what it is worth, into your hands.

Also Read: Consumer Protection in India- Empowering the Indian Consumer

 

Written by Rudrakshi Sharma

(Writer, The Legal State)

 

– Edited by Palak Katta

(Editor, The Legal State)

 

References:

  1. https://insights.som.yale.edu/insights/how-do-foreign-companies-market-to-india
  2. https://blog.ipleaders.in/laws-governing-advertisement-india/
  3. https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1569253/

[1]Press Council of India Act, 1978

[2]Cable Television Networks Regulation Act, 1955

[3] Establishment of ASCI (Advertising Standard Council of India), 1985

[4] The Consumer Protection Act, 1986

1 thought on “What do strong Advertisements mean?”

  1. Very well written article.
    Intact much needed today.
    It’s so sad that any one that sells a particular product or service can show anything they feel like in an advert. This must be addressed very very good subject matter !!

    Reply

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