SC’s self declaration mandate clocks 5K+ entries on day 1

The Press Council of India (PCI) and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) report a promising start to the self-declaration certificate (SDC) registration process for advertisements

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New Delhi: The self declaration mandate for advertisers came into effect from June 18, 2024 and with that, over 5,894 entries have been submitted on the respective portals.

Brands like Sony LIV, Dermicool, Hyundai, and Patanjali are among those seen on the portals. However, a significant portion of these entries appear to be test submissions as brands and agencies familiarise themselves with the new procedures.

These submissions are dominated by internet static ads and video ads, followed by print advertisements. Television ad entries are fewer, and no submissions have been registered for out-of-home (OOH) advertising as of yet.

The mandate requires all advertisers to obtain self-declaration certificates for advertisements published or aired on or after June 18, 2024. 

For TV and radio ads, certificates need to be submitted on the MIB's Broadcast Seva Portal. Print and digital media advertisements require certificates on the PCI portal. The Press Council has clarified the process for print ads, specifying that certificates must be submitted electronically with booking orders and materials.

Exemptions and clarifications

  • Government ads, tenders, public notices, and obituaries are exempt from the SDC requirement. 

  • Most classified ads don't need certificates, though those promoting consumer products or services do. 

  • Any ad mentioning benefits, sales, or product offerings requires a certificate.

A single certificate can be used for multi-city editions with identical brand content, but separate certificates are needed for different language versions of the same ad.

Industry concerns and next steps

While the initial engagement is positive, some concerns remain. The Indian advertising industry has expressed anxieties about potential breaches of client confidentiality, particularly in digital advertising. Additionally, concerns exist about the potential impact on speed and efficiency, especially for time-sensitive campaigns.

The Indian Newspaper Society (INS) has even approached the Supreme Court for a review of the mandate due to operational challenges. The Court is scheduled to hear the matter on July 9, 2024.

SC mandate self-declaration