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Responsible Practices: Self-Declaration Certificate for Ads

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has made it mandatory for advertisers to submit a self-declaration certificate before an advertisement is broadcast or published. This requirement will be applicable to advertisements released after June 18.

As per MIB’s notification, the self-declaration certificate should confirm that the advertisement does not make any misleading claims and complies with the applicable regulatory guidelines. It has to be signed by an authorised representative of the advertiser and submitted through the Broadcast Seva Portal before the advertisement is telecast on TV channels. When it comes to print or digital advertisements, the certificate has to be uploaded to the Press Council of India (PCI) portal.

Further, advertisers are required to share proof of uploading the self-declaration with the concerned broadcaster, printer, publisher, TV channel or electronic media. An obligation has been cast on broadcasters and publishers to make sure that the self-declaration certificate is uploaded before releasing the advertisement.

This new requirement has been put in place following the decision of the Supreme Court in Indian Medical Association & Anr. v. Union of India & Ors. [WP(C) No. 645/2022] wherein the Court took note of the absence of a robust mechanism to ensure that advertisers comply with the Guidelines for Prevention of Misleading Advertisements and Endorsements of Misleading Advertisements, 2022. Through this order, the Court directed that a self-declaration should be submitted by advertisers or advertising agencies, based on the advertising code contained in Rule 7 of the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994, before an advertisement is released.