oppn parties Should Celebrities be Punished for Misleading Ads?

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  • In reply to a question in Parliament, the government says it is empowered to lawfully intercept, monitor or decrpyt information stored in a computer resource in the interest of sovereignty or integrity of India
  • Police stop a 12-year old girl on her way to the Sabarimala shrine
  • In Karnataka, the JD(S) indicates that it might support the BJP government if it falls short of numbers after the bypolls
  • Congress pips the BJP in local body elections in Rajasthan, winning 961 wards to the BJPs 737
  • After Airtel and Vodafone-Idea, Jio also indicates that tariffs will be raised from December
  • Sources in Shiv Sena say that they might revive the alliance with the BJP if it offers the 50:50 deal
  • A miffed Sanjay Rout of the Shiv Sena says that it will take "100 births" to understand Sharad Pawar
  • Mobile operators Vodafone-Idea and Airtel decide to raise tariffs from next month
  • Sharad Pawar meets Sonia Gandhi and says more time needed for government formation in Maharashtra
  • Justice S A Bobde sworn in as the 47th Chief Justice of India
  • Supreme Court holds hotels liable for theft of vehicle from their parking area if parked by valet, says "owner's risk" clause is not a shield from such liability
  • Finance Minister says she is receiving feedback from many sectors that recovery is happening as there is lower stress
  • Sabarimala temple opens, but police bar the entry of women below 50 years
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says Air India and BPCL to be sold off by March
  • Media person Rajat Sharma resigns as DDCA president
Two Muslim litigants in Ayodhya refuse to accept the Supreme Court order, say review petition might be filed
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Should Celebrities be Punished for Misleading Ads?

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
The parliamentary standing committee on food and consumer affairs has said that celebrities should be hauled up for endorsing products that do not live up to the claims being made in the advertisements.

It is wrong to pick on celebrities for endorsing products that make tall claims or are misleading. For, any advertisement has more than just the celebrity behind it.

First, it is the manufacturing company. It has several registrations in place from government departments. It is the duty of these departments to verify whether it is producing goods as per the licenses it has been issued. If the company is selling sub-standard products, then government agencies are not doing their work.

Then, it is the advertising agency that conceptualizes and designs the advertisement. If anything, it is here that what is written in the copy or what the celebrity is made to say that is decided. So some amount of blame lies here too. The regulatory body of the profession must have a role in this.

Then, there is the media. It absolves itself by publishing a small boxed item saying that it is not responsible for claims made in advertisements and the public is advised to make their own enquiries. But is it enough?

What if celebrities also do this? Ask companies to flash a similar warning on products they advertise?

If celebrities are being picked upon because it is assumed that it is their drawing power that makes people buy the products, the media is also equally to blame as Indians have immense faith in the media. People are still heard to say that I saw the ad in such and such newspaper or channel, so it must be good.

This is a complex issue and making just the celebrities pay for the misdemeanor of several entities is not the best way.