Indian Advertising Regulation & Law – Hotels & Hospitality

Indian Advertising Regulation & Law – Hotels & Hospitality


1.1. The Indian promoting market has been topic to
constant and powerful development for a while, and this has been
assisted by the adoption of expertise and the huge development in
good units which has facilitated the transition to digital
promoting throughout the subcontinent. India had 1.2 billion good
telephone subscribers in 2021 and about 750 million good telephone customers
which is predicted to develop to 1 billion customers by 2026.1
It is not any marvel then that the promoting sector in India has had
an annual income development charge of 16 p.c and is predicted to be
greater than USD 11.1 billion by the top of 2022.2

1.2. Consistent development within the Indian economic system and the speedy
urbanization of India has resulted within the improvement of an enormous
client market which is constant to develop. Advertising is a key
part of just about each enterprise advertising technique, whether or not to
promote present services or products or to launch new merchandise or
providers, with a purpose to place such services inside
the Indian market. Both home and international corporations providing
services in India should be cognizant of the
regulatory framework and legal guidelines relevant to promoting.

1.3. The goal of this text is to to offer a top level view
of the Indian regulatory system for promoting and among the key
points in Indian promoting legislation at present.


2.1. There are two major parts to the regulatory framework
specifically business self-regulation and statute legislation.

2.2. Historically, a major component of promoting
regulation has been undertaken by the promoting business
itself. This self-regulatory regime is run by the
Advertising Standards Council of India
(“ASCI”) which has important
promoting business help. ASCI is a self-regulatory physique whose
members embrace advertisers, promoting businesses, media (together with
broadcasters and the press), PR businesses and market analysis
corporations. The position of ASCI has been recognised by numerous
authorities our bodies and it has been profitable in regulating and
controlling deceptive ads for a number of many years. ASCI has
developed and administers an exhaustive promoting code together with
promoting requirements and guidelines to be noticed by the business,
which is called the “The Code for Self-Regulation of
Advertising in India” (“ASCI
Code”). The ASCI Code features a broad code for
self-regulation in promoting, in addition to pointers for numerous
particular classes of ads together with “Guidelines
for Celebrities in Advertising”; ‘Guidelines for
Influencer Advertising in Digital Media’; ‘Online Gaming
for Real Money Winnings’; ‘Advertising of Foods and
Beverages’. The ASCI Code not solely incorporates consolidated
pointers for ads but additionally offers an exhaustive
grievance mechanism to handle grievances from customers, client
our bodies, and the business at giant in relation to deceptive
ads. The ASCI Code is mostly accepted and adopted by
advertisers in addition to the business in India. Many of the
pointers and ideas within the ASCI Code are mirrored in
promoting legislations as effectively. For instance, the ASCI Code has
statutory recognition within the Cable Television Rules 1994.

2.3. However, the Government has additionally progressively launched
legalisation to take care of particular points in promoting. As a
consequence, there is no such thing as a single statute governing promoting in India
however somewhat a number of statutes, a few of that are common in
software and others of that are related to particular merchandise,
providers, or media. The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 is essentially the most
latest and it’s a statute which units out common ideas
relevant to promoting. There are additionally topic-particular legal guidelines
together with these which regulate or prohibit promoting of tobacco,
alcohol, medicinal merchandise, and units. Other particular legal guidelines and
rules embrace:

2.3.1. Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 and the
Cable Television Rules, 19943 – which regulates
promoting on cable/satellite tv for pc tv.

2.3.2. For State-run All India Radio, the Code for Commercial
Advertising issued by the Prasar Bharti must be
adopted.4 Prasar Bharti has been empowered by the
Prasar Bharti Act (Broadcasting Corporation of India) Act, 1990 to
make guidelines and rules. The Ministry of Information and
Broadcasting (“MIB”) has mandated the
adherence to the Code for Commercial Advertising issued by Prasar
Bharti by non-public FM radio operators.5

2.3.3. Information Technology Act, 2000 (“IT
Act”) and the Information Technology (Intermediary
Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021
(“IT Rules 2021”) and the 2022
Amendments to the IT Rules 2021 regulate web promoting.

2.4. Therefore, Indian advertisers have to take care of two
parallel regulatory techniques, which generally overlap specifically the
statutory regime and the ASCI regime.

2.5. Consumer Protection Act 2019

2.5.1. The Consumer Protection Act, 2019
(“CPA”) prohibits deceptive
ads and unfair commerce practices together with these involving
disparagement of one other individual’s items / providers on the idea
of false or deceptive info.6

2.5.2. The lately fashioned Central Consumer Protection Authority
(“CCPA”) is tasked to observe any false or deceptive
ads.7 The CCPA has the facility to research
complaints, conduct inquiries, and subject orders. If an individual (which
would come with advertisers, endorsers, manufacturers, producers, and so forth.)
is discovered responsible of publishing a deceptive commercial, the CCPA
has the facility to order such individual to discontinue / modify the
commercial and impose fines which can prolong to INR 10 lakhs
(~USD 12,000) for the primary contravention and INR 50 lakhs (~USD
60,000) for subsequent contravention. Further, on any
non-compliance with the order of the CCPA, the CCPA could order an
imprisonment of upto 6 months and a positive as much as INR 20 lakhs (~USD
24,000). The CCPA may prohibit an endorser of a false or
deceptive commercial from making an endorsement for any product
or service for a most of 1 12 months. While the CCPA regime is pretty
new, it has imposed fines on numerous producers and advertisers.
For instance, in February 2022, it handed an order for
discontinuation of ads made by a toothpaste
model.8 The CCPA had additionally imposed a positive of INR 10 lakhs
(~ USD 12,000) towards a telemarketing and e-commerce web site for
deceptive customers relating to info pertaining to stock
and manufacturing of products.9

2.5.3. In June 2022, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs
(“MCA”) notified Guidelines for
Prevention of Misleading Advertisements and Endorsements for
Misleading Advertisements (“Advertisement
Guidelines”) below the CPA.10 The key
provisions below the Advertisements Guidelines are summarised

Conditions for Permissible Advertisements:
Advertisements needs to be goal and able to substantiation;
ought to make claims based mostly on unbiased analysis; shouldn’t make
deceptive communications and will specify mounted costs / intervals
of assure.

Bait Advertisements: The Advertisement Guidelines
limit ads which entice customers to buy merchandise
at low costs except any situations related to such provides or
limitations on availability of inventory and so forth are clearly acknowledged to
keep away from deceptive customers. There also needs to be no inducement to
buy the great / product / service in market situations much less
beneficial than regular market situation.

Free Claims: What constitutes permissible free claims /
a suggestion for with out cost merchandise and the style of promoting
them are set out. Advertisements mentioning free merchandise should
make clear the extent of dedication a client is required to make to
avail such free provides.

Advertisements Targeting Children: The
Advertisement Guidelines limit ads which typically
search to take advantage of the credulity and inexperience of kids and/or
attempt to promote harmful behaviour, illogical consumerism,
unhealthy consuming habits, and so forth. amongst kids.11

Surrogate Advertisements: The Advertisement Guidelines
clearly state that no ads may be made suggesting
instantly or not directly that it’s for services or products whose
promoting is in any other case prohibited/restricted by legislation.
Circumvention of a prohibition or restriction by portraying an
commercial to be an commercial for different items or providers is

Disclaimers: Disclaimers could broaden, set out phrases or
resolve ambiguities in a declare made in an
commercial.12 Guidelines mandating placement and
visibility of disclaimers, language, specs of the textual content,
voice-overs, and comprehension of disclaimers kind a part of the
Advertisement Guidelines.13

Due Diligence by Endorsers: The Advertisement Guidelines
require that due diligence needs to be undertaken by endorsers and
endorsement shouldn’t be misleading. Endorsements ought to mirror
the real, fairly present opinion of and be based mostly on enough
details about or expertise with the recognized items /
merchandise / providers. Any materials connection between the endorser
and dealer / producer / advertiser that may have an effect on the
credibility of the endorsement must be disclosed.

Class Actions: Notably, the CPA additionally contains the
following within the definition of a “complainant”: “one
or extra customers, the place there are quite a few customers having the
identical curiosity”. Therefore, the place a number of customers have a
widespread curiosity towards any deceptive commercial, they could
proceed with a grievance earlier than the suitable authority as
talked about within the CPA. However, there haven’t been any class
actions in respect of promoting associated claims but.


3.1. Comparative ads contain the comparability of two or
extra competing services or products.14 Understandably,
manufacturers use comparative promoting to speak worth of their
providing and supply customers with a direct level of comparability to
allow choice of merchandise. However, this unregulated technique
has been material of serious quantity of litigation and
Indian courts have persistently held that comparative promoting
is permitted as long as manufacturers don’t point out a competitor’s
items as dangerous whereas saying items of their model are
higher,15 or undervalue the product of a
rival,16 or disparage a rival’s merchandise as unsafe
for customers.17 Judicial precedents, the Advertisements
Guidelines, the ASCI Code, and the provisions of the Trademark Act
1999 (“TMA”) present the framework for
permissible comparative promoting.

3.2. Under the ASCI Code, comparative promoting is permitted
offered that it encourages competitors and public enlightenment,
and fulfils the next situations:

3.2.1. the comparability is factual and able to

3.2.2. the commercial is obvious on the features of the
advertiser’s merchandise being in contrast,

3.2.3. the topic of comparability doesn’t mislead customers,

3.2.4. it doesn’t confer a man-made benefit to the
advertiser’s product,

3.2.5. the commercial doesn’t make unjustifiable use of the
identify / initials of another entity; and

3.2.6. the commercial isn’t just like the final structure of
an earlier run commercial.

3.3. Under the TMA, a registered trademark is infringed when an

3.3.1. takes unfair benefit of and is opposite to sincere
practices in business issues;

3.3.2. is detrimental to the distinctive character of the mark.
For instance, the place a competitor makes a parody or imitation of
one other’s trademark; or

3.3.3. is towards the repute of the trademark, and an individual
makes use of one other individual’s trademark in a disparaging

Any comparative commercial which falls foul of the above,
can be prohibited.


4.1. While the commercial of sure sorts of merchandise is
prohibited by legislation, producers typically make model extensions to
improve recall worth of such merchandise (the promoting of which is
in any other case prohibited). For instance – many alcohol, beverage and
tobacco companies promote membership sodas, music compact discs, and
merchandise to promote the first alcohol model. To that finish,
stakeholders should guarantee compliance with the next in
promoting of merchandise bearing manufacturers equivalent to these used for
tobacco and alcohol:19

4.1.1. The story board or visuals of the ads ought to
solely depict the product being marketed;

4.1.2. The product shouldn’t make any direct / oblique
reference to the prohibited merchandise;

4.1.3. The commercial shouldn’t use specific colors and
structure / shows related to prohibited merchandise; and

4.1.4. Whether the unrestricted product sought to be promoted is
produced and distributed in affordable portions, having regard to
the size of the promoting in query, the media used, and the
markets focused.

4.2. Further, as per an essential communication by the Central
Board of Film Certification of India, an commercial for a model
extension shouldn’t use conditions typical for promotion of
prohibited merchandise and the advertiser ought to fulfil gross sales turnover
necessities for such merchandise.20


5.1. Virtual Digital Assets

5.1.1. In 2018, the Reserve Bank of India
(“RBI”) issued a round prohibiting
banks and different regulated entities from coping with entities
dealing in cryptocurrencies, just about banning
cryptocurrencies.21 Subsequently in 2019, the Supreme
Court of India (“SC”) quashed the
RBI’s ban on cryptocurrencies and held it as
“disproportional to the threats posed by
cryptocurrencies”.22 Therefore at current
there is no such thing as a complete regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies
and different digital property in India reminiscent of nonfungible-tokens
(collectively “VDAs”). The Government of
India additionally imposed tax obligations on transactions involving
VDAs.23 In our view, it’s doubtless that the Government of
India and RBI could search to additional regulate the cryptocurrency
ecosystem together with restrictions on advertising and promotional
actions associated to VDAs.24

5.1.2. However, the variety of buyers and market contributors
on this section has seen regular development in India. Reflecting upon
the unstable nature of VDAs, and the regulatory uncertainty, the
ASCI has revealed the ‘Guidelines for Advertising and
Promotion of Virtual Digital Assets and Services’
(“VDA Guidelines”).25 The VDA
Guidelines mandate disclaimer and placement obligations on
business entities engaged in distribution, buying and selling, and
promoting of VDAs. The VDA Guidelines require ads to
carry the next disclaimer: “Crypto merchandise and NFTs
are unregulated and may be extremely dangerous. There could also be no regulatory
recourse for any loss from such transactions.” Key
provisions below the VDA Guidelines additionally embrace restrictions on
method and placement of the disclaimers in numerous media; utilization of
phrases reminiscent of “forex”, “securities”;
“custodian” and “depositories” as these phrases
are related to regulated merchandise; comparability with regulated
property; and assure of future improve in income.

5.1.3. Further, the Securities and Exchange Board of India
(“SEBI”), the securities regulator of
India, made a illustration to a Parliamentary Standing Committee
on Finance on 6 June 2022 that “Given that crypto merchandise
are unregulated, outstanding public figures together with celebrities,
sportsmen, and so forth. or their voice shall not be used for
endorsement/commercial of crypto
merchandise”.26 While these representations do
not mirror the official place of the Government of India, they
present the regulatory curiosity and concern relating to crypto-forex

5.2. Influencer Marketing

5.2.1. The influencer economic system on social media platforms has
witnessed unprecedented development in claims arising out of influencer
advertising practices and subsequently posed a query over client
safety in instances of battle. Engagement of influencers is a
cheaper and sooner method of reaching the lots than conventional
ads as manufacturers not have to put money into big
manufacturing and distribution prices. That stated, the Indian Government
recognised the necessity for a transparent framework for engagement of
influencers and has set out the next duties on each
advertisers and influencers below the Advertising
Guidelines,27 specifically, that any endorsement should:

be real and mirror the present opinion of the

disclose any “materials connection” between the
endorser and the advertiser which might have an effect on the

(iii) not be misleading;

not endorse a product by the use of international professionals if such
endorsement is prohibited for Indian people; and

carry outstanding disclosures.

5.2.2. Further, the ASCI additionally revealed the Influencer
Guidelines in 202128 which intention to forestall customers from
being misled by lack of or inadequate disclosures by influencers.
The Influencer Guidelines mandate: insertion of adequate
disclosures in content material that’s endorsed; due diligence by
influencers on claims made whereas endorsing merchandise; disclosures of
“materials connection” between the influencers and the
advertisers; and upfront and outstanding placement of

5.3. Gaming

5.3.1. Betting and playing are unlawful in lots of elements of the
nation and are a state topic below the Constitution of India
i.e. each State in India is free to control betting and playing
of their State as per their very own discretion. The Public Gambling
Act, 1867 is the central Act regulating gaming in India. It
prohibits playing however excludes video games of ability as they don’t fall
inside the scope of playing.29 The willpower as to
whether or not sure video games are video games of ability has been performed by courts in
quite a few instances.30 Further, there are particular video games
which, although involving a excessive component of financial danger, have been
deemed as ‘video games of ability’ by judicial
interpretation.31 Lately, there have been many entries
by gamers with digital iterations of ‘video games of ability’ like
on-line rummy, poker, and fantasy-sports activities.32

5.3.2. As a consequence, the ASCI revealed the ‘Guidelines on
Online Gaming’ in 2020 to control video games which include parts
of actual cash and monetary danger and supply for disclaimers to be
added for such video games.33 Key provisions below the
pointers embrace restrictions on (i) engagement of anybody under
18 years to look in any commercial; (ii) suggestion that these
under 18 can play the video games provided; (ii) video games being offered as
an earnings / employment alternative; and (iii) suggesting that
individuals engaged within the gaming actions are extra profitable than

5.3.3. In 2022, the MIB additionally issued advisories towards on-line
sports activities betting and playing platforms working surrogate
ads as information web sites on information channels and over-the-high
platforms.34 The MIB categorised such ads as
a violation of the IT Rules 2021 and the Advertisement Guidelines
and cautioned platforms from internet hosting such promoting content material.


The Indian regulatory framework for promoting and the myriad
of relevant legal guidelines are complicated and testing for advertisers. New
legal guidelines of common software just like the CPA are largely untested and
current a brand new panorama for advertisers to take care of in India.
It’s doubtless that different new statutes will comply with each for
particular sectors like VDA and others of common software. These
elements necessitate steady diligence by advertisers to make sure
that their ads are compliant.

If you have an interest in promoting in India you’ll find
out extra by attending our webinar on the Mondaq platform “Are
you prepared for India’s new promoting legal guidelines” on 10 November
2022 at UTC 3.30pm for which you’ll be able to register at


1. Deloitte, TMT Predictions
2022 (February 2022), out there at material/dam/Deloitte/in/Documents/expertise-media-telecommunications/in-TMT-predictions-2022-noexp.pdf.

2. Dentsu, Global Ad Spend
Forecasts (July 2022), out there at

3. Cable Television Networks (Regulation)
1995; Rules 6 and seven, Cable Television Rules 1994.

4. Prasar Bharti, Revised Code for
Commercial Advertising on Doordarshan, out there at

5. Policy Guidelines on Expansion of
FM Radio Broadcasting Services by Private Agencies
(Phase-III), Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (25 July
2011), out there at

6. Section 47(j), CPA.

7. Sections 10(1) and 18(1)(c), CPA.

8. CCPA Passes Order for
Discontinuation of Sensodyne Ads in India, ET
(10 February 2022), out there at , ET (10 February
2022), out there at https://well

9. Naaptol Paid 10 Lakhs Penalty,
Drops Misleading Ads, Times of India (26 July 2022), out there

10. Advertisement Guidelines, out there
(hereinafter ‘Advertisement Guidelines’).

11. Section 8, Advertisement

12. Section 11, Advertisement

13. Id.

14. Chapter IV, ASCI Code.

15. Reckitt & Colman of India Ltd v
M.P. Ramchandran, 1999 PTC (19) 741.

16. Pepsico Inc v Hindustan Coca-Cola
Ltd, 2003 (27) PTC 305 Del.

17. Hindustan Unilever Ltd v USV Private
Ltd, Bom HC (13 July 2022).

18. Section 29(8), TMA.

19. Rule 7(2)(viii)(A), Cable Television
Rules 1994; ASCI Code; Section 6, Advertisement Guidelines.

20. Important Communication No.2/2021
dated 24 March 2021, Central Board of Film Certification.

21. Reserve Bank of India,
Prohibition on dealing in Virtual Currencies (VCs) (2018),
out there at

22. Internet and Mobile Association of
India (IAMAI) v. Reserve Bank of India, (2020) SCCOnline SCC

23. Section 2, Finance Act 2022.

24. T Rabi Sankar, Cryptocurrencies –
An Assessment (14 February 2022), out there at

25. ASCI, Guidelines for Advertising
and Promotion of Virtual Digital Assets and Services (2022),
out there at

26. SEBI Flags Concerns over
Regulation of Cryptos, Hindu Business Line (6 June 2022),
out there at

27. Section 13 and 14, Advertisement

28. ASCI, Guidelines for Influencer
Advertising in Digital Media, pages 46-49 (2021), out there at

29. Section 12, the Public Gambling Act
1867; RMD Chamarbaugwala v Union of India AIR 1957 SC 628.

30. State of Andhra Pradesh v Okay.
Satyanarayana, AIR 1968 SC 825; Varun Gumber v Union Territory of
Chandigarh, CWP No. 7559 of 2017.

31. Id.

32. State of Andhra Pradesh v Okay.
Satyanarayana AIR 1968 SC 825; Indian Poker Association (IPA) v
State of Karnataka (8 October 2013) Kar HC; Chandresh Sankhla v
State of Rajasthan (14 February 2020) Raj HC; Gurdeep Singh Sachar
v Union of India (30 April 2019) Bom HC.

33. ASCI, Guidelines on Online Gaming
issued by Advertising Standards Council of India (2020),
out there at

34. Ministry of Information &
Broadcasting, Advisory on Advertisements of Online Betting

The content material of this doc don’t essentially mirror the
views/place of Khaitan & Co however stay solely these of the
creator(s). For any additional queries or comply with up please contact
Khaitan & Co at [email protected]

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