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MIB’s new advisory limits the self-declaration certificate mandate to the Food and Health sectors only

The advisory has also directed the advertisers from the two sectors to submit annual self-declarations.

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has released a new advisory regarding the self-declaration certificate (SDC) mandate. The new advisory directs the Food and Health sectors to upload an annual self-declaration certificate. 

As per the advisory, only the advertisers pertaining to the Food and Health sectors will be required to upload an annual self-declaration certificate. Before any advertisement is printed, aired, or displayed, advertisers or advertising agencies must submit a self-declaration.

“Accordingly, in light of the directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, and in supersession of previous Advisories dated 03.06.2024 and 05.06.2024, advertisers/advertising agencies issuing advertisements for products and services related to Food and Health sectors are advised to upload an annual self-declaration certificate on the above-mentioned portals, as applicable, and make available the proof of uploading the self-declaration to the concerned media stakeholders, such as TV channels, newspapers, entities involved in publishing of advertisements on the internet, etc. for the record,” the advisory reads. 

Advertisers must upload the self-declaration on the Broadcast Seva Portal for TV and radio advertisements and on the Press Council of India (PCI) portal for print and internet advertisements. Proof of this upload must be made available to the relevant broadcasters, printers, publishers, or media channels.

The Ministry has also clarified that it is the responsibility of advertisers and advertising agencies to ensure that every advertisement issued adheres to applicable Indian laws, rules, and regulations in both letter and spirit.

Speaking on the new advisory, Manisha Kapoor, CEO and secretary general, Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), said, “As per MIB advisory dated 3rd July which supersedes its earlier advisories on the self- declaration certificate requirements, advertisers/advertising agencies issuing advertisements for products and services related to Food and Health sectors are advised to upload an annual self-declaration certificate on the above mentioned portals, as applicable, and make available the proof of uploading the self-declaration to the concerned media stakeholders, such as TV channels, newspapers, entities involved in publishing of advertisements on the internet, etc. for the record. MIB has taken cognisance of the various issues related to the working of the portal, the manner in which digital advertising functions, as well as noting that the court had expressed concern with the food and health sectors primarily."

"Commitment to honest advertising remains paramount and the industry must continue its commitment to being compliant with all applicable laws. Advertising is under increased regulatory scrutiny and advertisers and agencies should take the required steps to ensure compliance. This is true across sectors,” she added.

Self-declaration certificate mandate was ordered by Supreme Court on May 7 amidst the misleading ad's case of Patanjali. On June 3, the MIB complied with the court’s directive, and mandated the requirement of self-declaration from all advertisements to be published on June 18 and beyond.

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