The Central Consumer Protection Authority (“CCPA”) is a body that has been established under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 to safeguard, advance, and uphold consumer rights.

On 9th June, 2022, the CCPA issued guidelines, being the ‘Guidelines for Prevention of Misleading Advertisements, 2022’ (“Guidelines”) to provide for the prevention of false and misleading advertisements.

The Guidelines place restrictions on advertisers from misleading customers. The Guidelines are intended to safeguard customers from falling victim to the ambiguous advertising tactics used by advertising agencies to attract consumers.

Application of the Guidelines:

The Guidelines apply to all advertisements, regardless of form, structure, or medium.

They apply to manufacturers, traders and service providers whose goods, products or services are advertised and to the advertising agencies and endorsers whose services are used to promote such goods, products and services.

Some salient features of the Guidelines are:

Conditions for Non-Misleading and Valid Advertisements

The Guidelines lay down certain conditions under which advertisements are considered to be non-misleading. For instance, if an advertisement contains a truthful and honest representation and does not mislead consumers by exaggerating the benefits of the services or goods advertised, it would be considered valid.

The Guidelines go on to clarify that in cases where there is an occasional and unintentional lapse in the fulfillment of an advertised promise whilst carrying out mass manufacture and distribution of goods or services, this lapse does not necessarily render the advertisement invalid, if certain conditions are fulfilled.

Conditions for Bait Advertisements

The Guidelines lay down certain requirements which must be fulfilled by bait advertisements.

For instance, bait advertisements must not entice consumers to purchase products and services without a reasonable prospect of selling such advertised goods or services at the price offered. Also, the advertiser must ensure that there is enough supply of the goods or services being advertised in order to satisfy the foreseeable demand generated by the advertisements. Furthermore, the advertisement should not mislead consumers about the market conditions with respect to the goods and services so as to induce consumers to purchase such goods and services at conditions less favorable than normal market conditions.

Prohibition of Surrogate advertising

The Guidelines prohibit surrogate or indirect advertisements that are made for goods or services whose advertising is prohibited by law by portraying it to be an advertisement for goods or services for which advertisements are not prohibited by law.

Children targeted advertisements

The Guidelines lay down certain restrictions for advertisements that address, target or use children. For instance, such advertisements should not condone or encourage behaviour that could be dangerous for children or exaggerate features of goods or services in such a manner so as to lead children to have unrealistic expectations of such goods or services.

The Guidelines also prohibit children from being featured in advertisements that promote alcohol or tobacco-based products or any other advertisement prohibited under law.

The Guidelines further go on to state that children targeted commercials should refrain from promoting a negative body image in children or give the impression that the goods being advertised are better than natural or traditional food.

Disclaimers in advertisements

The Guidelines also lay down provisions for disclaimers in advertisements, stating, inter alia, that disclaimers may expand or clarify a claim made in an advertisement or may make qualifications or resolve ambiguities, but shall not contradict any material claim made in the advertisement or contradict the main message conveyed by the advertiser or change the dictionary meaning of words.

The Guidelines also lay down requirements that disclaimers in advertisements must fulfill, in terms of language, font, placement, clarity, among others.

Some other features of the Guidelines are:

Besides the above, the Guidelines also lay down conditions for free claim advertisements, the duties of manufacturers, service provides, advertisers and advertising agencies and conditions for due diligence required for endorsement of advertisements.

 The Guidelines also state that in addition to the other advertisements prohibited under the Guidelines, any advertisement for goods or services which are prohibited under any law, rule or regulation, are not permitted.


Through the Guidelines, the CCPA has effectively created a comprehensive framework for addressing concerns and issues surrounding misleading advertisements, with an aim to safeguard consumers’ interests.

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