Supreme Court Mandates Self-Declaration by Advertisers/ Advertising Agencies Before Releasing Advertisements

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The Hon’ble Supreme Court, in Writ Petition Civil No. 645/2022-IMA & Anr. Vs. UOI & Ors. has issued directive in its Order dated 07.05.2024, that all advertisers/ Advertising Agencies must submit a ‘Self-Declaration Certificate’ before publishing or broadcasting any advertisement. Following the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s directive, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has introduced a new feature on the Broadcast Seva Portal of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) for TV and Radio Advertisements and on Press Council of India’s portal for Print and Digital/Internet Advertisements. The certificate, signed by an authorized representative of the advertiser/advertising agency, needs to be submitted through these portals.

The portal will be activated on 4th June, 2024. The Self- Declaration Certificate is required to be obtained by all advertisers and advertising agencies for all new advertisements that will be issued/telecast/aired/published on or after 18th June, 2024. A buffer period of two weeks has been kept for providing sufficient time to all stakeholders to familiarize themselves with the process of self- certification. Ongoing advertisements do not require the self-certification currently.

The self-declaration certificate is to certify that the advertisement (i) does not contain misleading claims, and (ii) complies with all relevant regulatory guidelines, including those stipulated in Rule 7 of the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994 and the Norms of Journalistic Conduct of Press Council of India. Advertiser must provide proof of uploading the Self-Declaration Certificate to the relevant broadcaster, printer, publisher, or electronic media platform for their records. As per the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s directive, no advertisement will be permitted to run on television, print media, or the internet without a valid Self-Declaration Certificate.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court directive is a step towards ensuring transparency, consumer protection, and responsible advertising practices. The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting urges all advertisers, broadcasters and publishers to adhere to this directive diligently.

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