K.V. Thomas Committee: Ad monitoring committee to draft guidelines to safeguard consumer interest from false advertisements

The Central Consumer Protection Council (CCPC) under the chairmanship of minister K V Thomas set up a sub-committee to draft guidelines to safeguard consumer interest from false advertisements in the country.  

Objective: To issue guidelines to monitor the advertisements. At present, there is no any legal protection cover available for consumers against false advertisements.

  • Formed to see how to regulate false statements made in the advertisements in the name of scientific claims. (Maximum false claims are made in health-related fields).
  • Will have the powers to (take) corrective actions and (impose) compensation.
  • Proposal: To hold everyone engaged in the production of advertisement responsible for its contents. This will include the manufacturer, advertising agency, artists, actors and the media platform, be it print or electronic.
  • The committee will submit its recommendations by the end of February 2014. 

For instance, if the claims made by whitening creams proved unphenomenal as advertised, Consumer should have right to claim compensation not only from the advertisers but also from the celebrities endorsing the product.

Note: The immediate push for regulation has come from the Madhya Pradesh High Court. The court ordered the consumer affairs ministry to set up an ad-monitoring panel as recommended by the Vibha Bhargava Commission. The commission had submitted its report in 2005 and it underlined the urgent need to regulate false claims by advertisers of different products.

About Central Consumer Protection Council
  • The apex body is appointed by the Central Government in accordance with provisions of the Act.
  • Objective: To protect and promote the interest of consumers viz. the right to be protected against the marketing of goods and services which are hazardous to life and property; the right to be informed about the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of goods or services, as the case may be so as to protect the consumer against unfair trade practices, etc.
  • Lies under the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs.
  • The CCPC consists of the minister in charge of the consumer Affairs as chairperson, minister in charge of States, members of parliaments, representative of the government departments, consumer organization, women members, representatives of trade, industries and consumers.

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