A proposal to ban celebrities from endorsements if found guilty of being part of a misleading advertisements is being considered by the Consumer Affairs Ministry, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said today.
Paswan was however non-committal on a Parliamentary panel recommendation for jail term to celebrities found guilty.
A group of ministers, headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had in late August, asked the ministry to look at laws of other countries related to misleading ads by celebrities before finalising the amendments to the Bill based on the recommendation of the Parliamentary Standing Committee.
The Committee had recommended a jail term of up to five years and a fine of Rs 50 lakh for celebrities endorsing misleading advertisements.
“We will take action against celebrities endorsing misleading advertisements. We have studied the laws prevailing in other countries on celebrities for misleading ads. There are penalties in some country. There is a provision for ban of three years for celebrities in some country and life time ban in case of repeat offence,” Paswan told reporters.
“All these suggestions are under consideration. We will soon go to the Cabinet,” he said on the sidelines of an Assocham event ‘National Summit & Awards on FMCG’.
He declined to comment whether the ministry will accept the Parliamentary panel’s recommendation of jail term for celebrities.
Paswan said his ministry is preparing a cabinet note for moving additional amendments to the new Consumer Protection bill 2015, which has already been introduced in Lok Sabha to repeal the 30-year-old Consumer Protection Act.
“We hope the bill will be passed in the coming session of Parliament,” he said, adding that the new law would have stringent provisions for adulteration.
Paswan asked the industry not to indulge in misleading ads and said that celebrities should endorse only what is mentioned on the products.