Law governing False Advertising

Niharika Behl 26 Sep 2017

Law governing False Advertising

Law governing False Advertising


Advertisements play a very important role as they directly influence one’s choice by invading his/her mind. Though advertisements help in making informed choices, but misleading advertisements not only disrupt consumer’s confidence but also make them lose lofty amount.Various laws and regulations govern faulty advertisements and prevent exploitation of consumers as there is no single law for the same

Some of these legislations include-

• Consumer Protection Act- It has been enacted to ensure speedy and cheaper redressal to the consumers. A complaint to the Central, State and District forum can be made for unfair trade practice, defect in goods, deficiency in services, charging in excess of price displayed etc. 
• Constitution of India- The media’s freedom of speech and expression is restricted by imposing reasonable restrictions under Article 19(2).
• Food Safety & Standards Act (FSSA) – This act prohibits advertisements related to food products which are deceiving and misleading and prescribes a punishment which may extend to ten lakh rupees.
• The Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954 - The Act prohibits advertisements relating to a drug, if the advertisement contains any matter which gives a false impression or makes a false claim for the drug or is otherwise falseor misleading in nature and also prohibits the advertisements of magic remedies for treatment.
• The Competition ActIt replaced the MRTP act and is designed to prevent anti competitive agreements and unfair trade practices.


Apart from the legislations, regulatory agencies also ensure that misleading advertisements are not circulated. IRDA lays down strict guidelines for the advertisements issued by insurers while TRAI, ASCI, RBI, SEBI among others also prevent misleading advertisements. Plethora of laws exists to fight this menace but they can only be successful with empowered consumers and strict enforcement.






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