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Govt advisory on promotion of illegal activities warns celebrities and influencers
Photo courtesy: Pixabay

Govt advisory on promotion of illegal activities warns celebrities and influencers

| @indiablooms | 07 Mar 2024, 03:02 am

New Delhi: Amid growing instances of direct and surrogate advertisements and endorsements of illegal activities like betting or gambling, the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has issued a comprehensive advisory and warned celebrities and influencers to refrain from promoting such activities.

The advisory, under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, emphasizes the prohibition of advertising, promotion, and endorsement of unlawful activities prohibited under various laws, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution said in a release.

Betting and gambling are strictly prohibited under the Public Gambling Act, 1867, and are considered illegal in the majority of regions across the country. Despite this, online betting platforms and apps persist in advertising betting and gambling directly, as well as under the guise of gaming.

Endorsements of such activities present considerable financial and socio-economic implications, especially to the youth. The advisory also underscores the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting's efforts in issuing various advisories to media platforms, cautioning them against publicizing betting and gambling platforms.

Online advertisement intermediaries have also been warned against targeting such advertisements toward the Indian audience.

According to the guidelines, “It has come to our attention that betting platforms are employing celebrities and influencers to endorse and promote their betting activities.

Consequently, endorsement by celebrities gives an impression that indulging in such activity is acceptable.”

Engaging in the promotion or advertisement of online gambling and betting, given its unlawful status in the majority of the states, renders one equally liable for participating in an illegal activity. Hence, celebrities and influencers are advised to refrain from endorsing and promoting illegal betting and gambling activities.

Accordingly, it is hereby cautioned that any advertisement or endorsement, whether directly or indirectly, of activities that are otherwise prohibited by law, including but not limited to betting or gambling, through advertisements or promotions, shall be subject to rigorous scrutiny, the CCPA warned.

In case the aforementioned guidelines are violated, stringent measures as per the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 shall be initiated against the entire spectrum encompassing manufacturers, advertisers, publishers, intermediaries, social media platforms, celebrities, influencers, endorsers, and any other relevant stakeholders.

(With UNI inputs)

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