Short enough to draft but are strong enough to plead the case. Carries authority of law. Even an untrained employee would to it. Documents that secures you in trouble.
The IPC, vide an array of provisions, prohibits obscene, defamatory publication, publication of a lottery and statements creating or promoting disharmony/ enmity in the society. While it is not implicitly written, any advertisement that related to an offence, like hiring a contract killer or inciting violence, terrorism or a crime is illegal and will be punished under IPC or other applicable provisions.
The Section 6 of this Act grants consumers the right to be informed about the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of goods or services, as the case may be to protect the consumer against unfair trade practices. Section 2(r) of the Act, under the definition the term “unfair trade practice”, it also covers the gamut of false advertisements including misrepresentations or false allurements. And to redress against such unfair trade practices on false advertisements may be sought under the Act.
According to the ASCI Code, advertisements addressed to minors shall not contain anything, whether in illustration or otherwise, that might result in their physical, mental or moral harm, or that exploits their vulnerability. For example, advertisements may not feature minors promoting tobacco or alcohol-based products; show minors using or playing with matches or any inflammable or explosive substances; or show minors playing with or using sharp knives or guns, the careless use of which could lead to cuts, burns, shocks or other injuries.
Under section 3 of the Drugs and Magical Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, there are specific laws that prohibit the advertising of certain drugs for the treatment of certain diseases and disorders. The Act also prohibits any individual or company from claiming they can cure diseases. The Act states that, unless prescribed by a registered medical practitioner, no person or company shall take part in the publication of an advertisement referring to any drug that claims to:
The Food Safety Standard Authority of India also checks many products for misleading adverts. Section 24 of the Foods Safety and Standards Act states that:
Advertising alcoholic beverages has been banned in India as per the Cable Television Network (Regulation) Amendment Bill, which came into effect on 8 September 2000. Private channels often permit alcohol companies to advertise using surrogate means, such as selling the brand name for soda or water or music.
According to clause 6 of the ASCI Code, tobacco products, alcohol and gambling are prohibited from being advertised. Advertisements for these products are made indirectly sometimes by purporting to be advertisements for other products. Indirect advertisement for these products and services is prohibited.
Further, the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products Act prohibits advertisement of such products per se.
With specific reference to gambling, advertisements for gambling in India are highly regulated on account of specific laws such as the Indian Contract Act 1872, the Lotteries (Regulation) Act 1998, the Public Gambling Act 1867 and the Indian Penal Code 1860. State governments have the power to promote or prohibit lotteries within their territorial jurisdiction.
Chapter III, Clause 6 of the ASCI states that an indirect advertisement for gambling (gaming) services is prohibited.
In judging whether an advertisement is an indirect advertisement for a product that is prohibited, attention must be paid to the following:
the visual content of the advertisement must depict only the product being advertised and not the prohibited or restricted product in any form or manner;
the advertisement must not make any direct or indirect reference to the prohibited or restricted products; and the advertisement must not create any nuances or phrases promoting prohibited products.
The Lotteries Act provides a framework for organising lotteries in the country. Under this Act, the state governments have been authorised to promote as well as prohibit lotteries within their territorial jurisdiction. This Act also provides for the manner in which the lotteries are to be conducted and prescribes penalties in cases of breach of its provisions. Lotteries not authorised by the state have been made an offence under the Penal Code.
Indian law does not prohibit sales promotions by advertisers. However, sales promotions must meet the requirements of the ASCI Code. By making no express bar to ‘sales promotions’, the ASCI advises that advertisements shall not be framed so as to abuse the trust of consumers or exploit their lack of experience or knowledge. No advertisement shall be permitted to contain any claim so exaggerated as to lead to grave or widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers. For example, as per the ASCI Code, advertisements inviting the public to take part in lotteries or prize competitions permitted under law or that hold out the prospect of gifts shall state clearly all material conditions so as to enable consumers to obtain a true and fair view of their prospects in such activities.
There is no specific law in India that bars or governs product placement. The ASCI Code is also applicable to product placement. The Cable Television Network Rules, the Code for Commercial Advertising on Doordarshan and All India Radio and the Norms for Journalist Conduct issued by the Press Council of India, prohibit any advertisement directly or indirectly promoting the production, sale or consumption of tobacco products, alcohol or other intoxicants. However, some states allow advertising through billboards, signboards, etc, but this is subject to many restrictions. Also, the ASCI Code prohibits the use of minors for advertising alcohol products. Products that are banned from advertising may not be used to provide any kind of sponsorship. Also, misleading representation of sponsorship is an unfair trade practice under the Consumer Protection Act.
Products and services that may not be advertised are the following:
All descriptions, claims and comparisons that relate to matters of objectively ascertainable facts should be capable of substantiation. Advertisers and advertising agencies are required to produce such substantiation as and when called to do so by the ASCI.
Where advertising claims are expressly stated to be based on or supported by independent research or assessment, or the results of a survey, the source and date of this should be indicated in the advertisement under the ASCI Code. Surveys should be conducted by a reliable source so as to be credible and should be backed by evidence to prove their authenticity.
Comparative advertising is allowed to some extent in India. A trader is entitled to compare his or her goods with the goods of another trader and to establish the superiority of his or her goods over that of others, but while doing so, the courts in India have upheld that the advertiser cannot say that the goods of the competitor are inferior, bad or undesirable. If any such statement is made, it would be an act constituting ‘product disparagement’, which is not allowed. The ASCI Code also requires that advertisements shall not make unjustifiable use of the name or initials of any other firm, company or institution, or take unfair advantage of the goodwill attached to the trademark or symbol of another firm or its product, or the goodwill acquired by its advertising campaign.
Section 29(8) of the Trademarks Act states that a registered trademark is infringed by any advertising of that trademark if such advertising:
However, section 30(1) creates an exception to such infringement, namely that a trademark is not infringed where the use of the mark is in accordance with honest practices in industrial or commercial matters or the use is not such as to take unfair advantage of or be detrimental to the distinctive character or repute of the trademark.