Coaching Sector Advertisements Under the Scanner: CCPA’s New Guidelines

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New Delhi, 9th January 2024: The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) convened the inaugural meeting of the Committee tasked with formulating guidelines addressing misleading advertisements in the coaching sector on January 8, 2024.

Chaired by Rohit Kumar Singh, Secretary Department of Consumer Affairs and Chief Commissioner of CCPA, the Committee, including members from various organizations such as the Ministry of Education, National Law University (NLU), Delhi, FIITJEE, Khan Global Studies, and Ikigai Law, discussed the draft guidelines.

Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh emphasized CCPA’s commitment to safeguarding consumer interests, particularly in addressing aspects related to coaching sector advertisements. He underscored the necessity for clarity and affirmed CCPA’s dedication to preventing false or misleading advertisements that violate the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.

The guidelines, applicable to all coaching institutes, whether online or physical, cover all forms of advertisements. They outline conditions under which an advertisement by a coaching institute is deemed misleading, including concealing vital information related to successful candidates’ chosen courses, duration, etc.

The guidelines prohibit coaching institutes from making false claims about success rates, guaranteed job placements, or guaranteed success in preliminary or mains examinations. Specific do’s and don’ts for advertisements were also outlined, including the requirement to display essential information about successful candidates prominently.

The guidelines clarified that penalties for misleading advertisements in the coaching sector would be governed by the Consumer Protection Act, 2019. They serve as clarifications to stakeholders, with violations continuing to be governed by existing provisions.

The Committee recognized the urgent need to issue the guidelines, and the discussed draft is expected to be released promptly. Previously, CCPA took suo moto action against misleading advertisements by issuing notices to 31 coaching institutes, imposing fines on 9 of them. The authority observed deliberate concealment of important information and misleading claims, such as 100% selection and job guarantees, by certain coaching institutes.