NEW DELHI: With celebrities facing flak over brand endorsements, the Central Consumer Protection Council (CCPC) on Tuesday said they should be made liable for “misleading advertisements”.
“The Council’s view was that celebrities should be responsible for misleading advertisements,” Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said after the CCPC meeting.
Paswan, who is the CCPC chairman, said the Council was also of the view that there should be guidelines for brand ambassadors.
Celebrities should think twice before endorsing any product/service, the minister said, adding that “one should use common sense approach while endorsing. If an advertisement says a person can get taller in six months using this particular product. Is it possible?”
Consumers are getting misled because they tend to listen and believe that the particular product/service endorsed by celebrities must be of good quality, he added.
Some celebrities have come under fire recently for endorsing brands misleading consumers.
Indian cricket team captain MS Dhoni last week resigned as brand ambassador of realty firm Amrapali, days after the unhappy residents of a housing project in Noida launched a social media campaign asking the cricketer to dis-associate himself from the builder.
A Parliamentary Standing Committee — headed by Telugu Desam Party MP J C Divakar Reddy — is looking into the misleading ads issue and is soon expected to submit a report to Parliament.
According to sources, the panel may recommend a hefty penalty and a jail term of up to five years for celebrities endorsing misleading advertisements.
For a first-time offence, the panel is planning to propose a Rs 10 lakh fine or imprisonment up to two years or both. A second offence could attract Rs 50 lakh fine and imprisonment for five years, the sources added.
Credits ET Realty