Supreme Court Mandates Self-Declaration Certificates for Advertisements

Supreme Court of India
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New Delhi, 3rd June 2024: The Supreme Court, in its Order dated May 7, 2024, for Writ Petition Civil No. 645/2022-IMA & Anr. Vs. UOI & Ors., has mandated that all advertisers and advertising agencies must submit a ‘Self-Declaration Certificate’ before publishing or broadcasting any advertisement.

Following this directive, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has introduced a new feature on the Broadcast Seva Portal for TV and radio advertisements, and on the Press Council of India’s portal for print and digital/internet advertisements. Advertisers or their authorized representatives must submit the certificate through these portals.

The portal will be activated on June 4, 2024. All new advertisements issued, telecast, aired, or published on or after June 18, 2024, will require the Self-Declaration Certificate. A two-week buffer period has been provided to allow stakeholders to familiarize themselves with the self-certification process. Ongoing advertisements are exempt from this requirement.

The Self-Declaration Certificate confirms 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 the Press Council of India. Advertisers must provide proof of uploading the Self-Declaration Certificate to the relevant broadcaster, printer, publisher, or electronic media platform for their records. According to the Supreme Court’s directive, no advertisement will be allowed on television, print media, or the internet without a valid Self-Declaration Certificate.

This directive is a significant step towards ensuring transparency, consumer protection, and responsible advertising practices. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting urges all advertisers, broadcasters, and publishers to comply with this directive diligently.