CCPA cracks down on firms with misleading advertisements
Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has taken cognizance of the erring companies under the various sections of the Consumer Protection Act and has given notices and financial penalties amounting to Rs.10 lakh, the government said on Friday.
The CCPA has taken 113 actions, of which 57 are notices for misleading advertisements, 47 notices relate to unfair trade practices and nine are for violation of consumer rights.
Additional Secretary, Consumer Affairs, Nidhi Khare said, “Subsequent to notice, 14 companies had withdrawn their advertisement, of which maximum companies had claimed more than 99 percent efficacy against Covid/ germs. Three companies have issued corrective advertisements after this.”
One company changed its refund/ replacement policy for the benefit of consumers and also made penal provisions for its sellers in case of any deficiency found.
Three companies have imposed a penalty of Rs.10,00,000 each for their misleading advertisements while three others were imposed similar penalties for unfair trade practices.
The known brands that received notices from CCPA include Naaptol for its misleading advertisements and unfair trade practice, Khare said.
Naaptol, through its Live TV and YouTube broadcast, was using unfair methods to promote its products by falsely stating that “the product is available for a limited time to pressurize consumers to make an immediate decision and depriving consumers of sufficient time to make an informed decision”.
Other advertisements that made false claims regarding their product without any scientific credibility/ reports include magnetic knee support ads for instant pain relief for knees, acupressure yoga slippers/ acupressure massage slippers, and even some gold jewellery for Rs.200, making consumers purchase “Gold jewellery of Rs.200” and misleading by its name.
“The company’s response was that the price (of that jewellery) itself is enough for layman customers to understand that it is not real gold, in a way, to say, they are not misleading,” Khare added.
These were imposed a penalty of Rs.10 lakh each while three advertisers were ordered to discontinue advertisements as product quality was unclear and claims could not be proved.
The CCPA also asked the industry associations to advise the manufacturers/ traders to desist from issuing misleading advertisements about protection from COVID-19.
It also said it issued new guidelines late Thursday night and are effective from Friday itself which has clearly outlined the penalty for violating the guidelines. The CCPA can impose a penalty of up to Rs.10 lakh on manufacturers, advertisers, and endorsers for any misleading advertisements. For subsequent contraventions, it may impose a penalty of up to Rs.50 lakh.
The Authority can prohibit the endorser of a misleading advertisement from making any endorsement for up to one year and for subsequent contravention, prohibition can extend up to three years, it said.
[With Inputs from IANS]
PGurus is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with all the latest news and views
For all the latest updates, download PGurus App.
- Udaipur horror: Islamists behead Hindu shopkeeper for allegedly supporting Nupur Sharma; post video on social media threatening PM Modi - June 28, 2022
- Karnataka CM Bommai says Bengaluru to host 9 meets related to G20 Summit - June 28, 2022
- PM Modi, EU Commission President Ursula von Der Leyen hold talks in Germany - June 28, 2022