Mandatory Self-Declaration By Advertisers-Supreme Court

S.S. Rana & Co. Advocates


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The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has recently issued a circular wherein it has introduced new features for filing self-declaration on dedicated portals for advertisements.
India Media, Telecoms, IT, Entertainment
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The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (hereinafter referred to as "Ministry") has recently issued a circular1 wherein it has introduced new features for filing self-declaration on dedicated portals for advertisements. This move follows the direction issued by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of Indian Medical Association (IMA) vs Union of India & Ors (for more information refer to Endorsers now accountable for Misleading Advertisements: Wake Up call for Influencers).2, which mandated the creation of a streamlined and accessible portal for such filings. This step aims to ensure compliance with legal standards, promote transparency in advertising practices and promotes ethical advertising practices. The Ministry through this move seeks to enhance the accountability of advertisers/advertising agencies and uphold the integrity of digital and broadcast media. This article delves into what is self-declaration? the key highlights of the recent circular, obligations of the advertiser/advertising agency and its benefits.

What is Self-Declaration?

A self-declaration is a formal statement made by an individual or organization asserting that the information so provided is true and accurate to the best of their knowledge. In the context of advertising, a self-declaration involves advertisers/advertising agencies affirming that their advertisement comply with the relevant laws, rules and regulations. After the Hon'ble Supreme Court direction, every advertiser/advertising agency is now required to file a self-declaration certificate.

Key Highlights:

  1. Compliance Requirement: The advertiser/advertising agencies are required to file a self-declaration certificate. The self-declaration certificate must be submitted by the authorized representative of the advertiser/advertising agency to ensure that the advertisement issued by them:(i) Does not contain misleading claims, (ii) They comply with the regulatory guidelines which are provided under Rule 7 of the Cable Television Network Rules, 1994 and the Norms of Journalistic Conduct of Press Council of India.
  2. Valid Proofs: The advertiser are under the obligation to provide the proof of uploading self-declaration certificate to the concerned broadcaster, printer, publisher or electronic media for their records.
  3. Portals: For TV and Radio Advertisements, the advertiser/ advertising agency shall apply for self-declaration certificate on Ministry's Broadcast Seva Portal.

For Print and Digital /Internet Advertisements, the advertiser/ advertising agency shall apply for self-declaration certificate on Press Council of India's Portal.

Obligations of the Advertiser/Advertising Agencies

  1. Letter of Authorization: The advertiser/advertising agency is required to fill a letter wherein they provide the detail of the person authorized by the advertiser/advertising agency to fill and submit self-declaration certificate.
  2. Full Script of Advertisement: The advertiser have to provide a complete written script of the advertisement which will be published or broadcasted. The script should include all dialogue, voiceover, text displayed on screen or any other verbal or written content which is featured in the advertisement. Advertisement video/audio file: The advertisers have to submit actual video/audio file of the advertisement through a URL. The video/audio file submitted must present the actual content which will be aired or published.
  3. Optional requirements: If the advertisement has been certified by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), then the advertiser must provide a copy of it. If, the advertiser has GST details related to the advertised products/services, they can provide this information.

The Ministry has also released guidelines3 for using the abovementioned portals, wherein it has also laid down the obligations of advertiser/advertising agency:


The recent circular by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting requiring the advertisers/advertising agencies to file a self-declaration certificate offers several benefits:

  1. Enhanced Transparency and Accountability: Advertiser/Advertising Agencies are compelled to provide accurate information about their content, leading to greater accountability. It ensures that the advertising content comply with the legal standards, leading to a more transparent advertising ecosystem.
  2. Consumer Protection: Ensuring that advertisements do not contain any misleading content, protects the consumer from false claims and deceptive practices. It promotes trust among the consumers as they are assured of the authenticity and integrity of the advertisement.
  3. Promotion of Ethical Advertising Practices: It encourages advertisers to follow ethical guidelines and best practices in their content creation. Sets a standard within the industry, pushing companies to maintain high ethical standards to avoid reputational damage.

Note: All the advertiser/advertising agencies are directed to obtain the self-declaration certificate for all the new advertisements which will be telecasted/aired/issued/published on or after June 18th, 2024.


In conclusion, the recent circular issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, requiring advertisers to apply for a self-declaration certificate, represent a significant advancement towards fostering responsible advertising practices in India. This move, in line with the Hon'ble Supreme Court decision in IMA vs Union of India & Ors., is designed to simplify the compliance process for advertisers/advertising agency while ensuring to legal standards. By mandating this certificate, the Ministry not only aims to ensure that all the advertisements comply with the legal and ethical standards, but also protect the consumers from misleading and harmful content. It also enhances consumer trust by reassuring the public about the authenticity and integrity of the advertisement.

Ritvik Kashyap, Intern at S.S. Rana & Co. has assisted in the research of this article.


1. Available at:,of%20Press%20Council%20of%20India.

2. Writ Petition Civil No. 645/2022

3. Available at:

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The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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