SC allows interventions by IAMAI, other industry bodies in SDC matter

Supreme Court has directed MIB to file affidavit with suggestions on SDC within 3 weeks 

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed the application for intervention by IAMAI and other bodies including AAAI, Indian Newspaper Society, Association of Radio Operators for India, Broadband India Forum and Indian Society of Advertisers.

While allowing the applications, Justice Hima Kohli was of the view that we don’t want the order to cause any harm, to a particular sector.

“The intention is not to harass anyone but to look at all the sectors. If such a meaning is being derived then it will be clarified,” Justice Kohli said.

“It is submitted by ASG KM Nataraj that the Union of India held a high-level meeting with some of the intervenors to gauge issues faced by them. The ministry shall invite more such parties to understand the difficulties being faced by them and how they can be solved. The industry should not suffer in any manner and the focus of the court has been clarified. The ministry is allowed to hold such meetings,” she added.

“Let affidavit with suggestions be placed on record within 3 weeks with a copy to the amicus curiae,” Justice Kohli said.

SC said that it would direct that the Ministry of Consumer Affairs would be a part of the meeting held by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

The self declaration mandate for advertisers was announced on June 18, 2024. After multiple meetings between MIB and industry bodies, the mandate was revised for its application only in the food and health sectors. This would be an annual requirement. Although the revision provides relief to a large section of advertisers, issues such as that of hefty expenses and ineffective programmatic advertising continue to prevail. 

The issue was triggered by Patanjali’s violation of advertising but the mandate was brought about as a crackdown on the entire advertising industry. At the same time, ASCI’s report on ad violations stirred this debate further, on curbing malpractices across advertising and related concerns. While there's ease on mandate application, affidavits need to be filed for a detailed discussion on the previously addressed concerns by the industry bodies. The Supreme Court's stance on providing solutions is being highly anticipated.

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