In its order dated May 7, 2024, the Supreme Court mandated that all advertisers and advertising agencies submit a ‘Self-Declaration Certificate’ before publishing or broadcasting any advertisements. To comply with this directive, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has introduced a new feature on the Press Council of India’s portal for print and digital/internet advertisements, and on the Broadcast Seva Portal for TV and radio advertisements. This certificate must be submitted through these portals and signed by an official representative of the advertiser or ad agency.

What does the self-declaration entail?

The portal is set to go live on June 4, 2024. From June 18, 2024, all advertisers and advertising agencies must obtain the Self-Declaration Certificate for any new advertisements they plan to release, broadcast, air, or publish. A two-week buffer period has been provided to allow all parties to familiarize themselves with the self-certification process. Self-certification is not required for ongoing advertisements.

The purpose of the self-declaration

The self-declaration certificate serves to confirm that the advertisement (i) does not make any deceptive claims, and (ii) complies with all applicable legal requirements, such as those in the Press Council of India’s Norms of Journalistic Conduct and Rule 7 of the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994. Advertisers must certify that they have uploaded the Self-Declaration Certificate to the appropriate publisher, printer, broadcaster, or electronic media platform. According to the Supreme Court’s directive, no advertisement will be permitted to air on television, print media, or the internet without a valid Self-Declaration Certificate.

Ensuring transparency and ethical advertising

This step aims to enhance openness, consumer protection, and ethical advertising practices. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has urged all publishers, broadcasters, and advertisers to strictly adhere to this directive.

Anupam Mittal criticizes the self-declaration mandate

Anupam Mittal, founder and CEO of People Group and, has criticized the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting’s requirement for advertisers and advertising agencies to obtain a Self-Declaration Certificate. He voiced his concerns on X, highlighting the challenge for digital advertisers who run hundreds of ads per month to comply with this rule. Mittal warned that the mandate would increase costs and hinder growth, ultimately affecting the sector’s global competitiveness in the digital space.

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