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No More Misleading Advertisements: ASCI & FSSAI Team up to Curb False Claims in F&B ads

Sugandh Bhatnagar
Sugandh Bhatnagar
Do you also fall for the misleading advertisements?

HIGHLIGHTS: 

The ASCI and FSSAI have entered into an agreement to protect the consumers against misleading claims in F&B advertisements

In the recent times, there has been a steep increase in the number of complaints against the misleading and false claims in the food and beverage advertisements. Such claims can prove to pose some serious health hazard at times. In an attempt to put an end to such false advertisements the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has partnered with the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to safeguard the consumers against the misleading claims in food and beverage advertisements. 

ASCI will set up a 3 member expert panel to identify the ads which violate provisions of food safety and standards regulations and FSSAI would further investigate these. There has been a marked increase in the number of complaints against F&B ads last year. There were a total of 284 complaints during the pandemic last year. Food and health are important focus areas for ASCI and are under greater scrutiny. 

India’s FMCG sector is growing rapidly and will be spending 14% more on advertising. This further necessitates the monitoring of such advertisements.

ASCI is also planning to tap National Advertising Monitoring Service, which monitors 3000 websites. Further, the regional and local brands will also be examined by the experts with decades of experience in the F&B sector. 

Chairman of ASCI, Subhash Kamath, said that this is a significant collaboration and aims to protect the consumers by curbing the menace of misleading advertising. 

Advertisements are also considered misleading if they create a false impression in an attempt to persuade the consumer to buy it.  

The general rules regarding misleading advertisements

Advertisements are also considered misleading if they create a false impression in an attempt to persuade the consumer to buy it.  

While advertising, the advertiser must ensure the truthfulness and honesty of representations. The advertisement must carry a disclaimer stating “past results are no guarantee of similar future outcomes and results may vary’.  

The font size of the disclaimer should be of the same size as the size of the claim being made in the advertisement and such disclaimers should not be in Italics. 

The disclaimers can explain or clarify a claim, resolve ambiguities, make qualifications but should not contradict the main message conveyed by the advertiser 

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