June 23, 2022

A new set of guidelines by the government prohibit surrogate advertising. The move comes in the wake of controversy over a perfume ad which was slammed for promoting sexual violence against women.


  • Notified by the Consumer Affairs Ministry, “Guidelines for Prevention of Misleading Advertisements and Endorsements for Misleading Advertisements, 2022” apply to ads across all media platforms including television, print and online.
  • The guidelines have imposed a complete ban on surrogate advertising.
  • Surrogate advertising is the strategy of advertising a product that cannot be advertised openly.
  • Advertisers instead create ads that help in building a brand, and often involve popular celebrities – all without naming the actual product that is being indirectly advertised.
  • In India, tobacco products and alcohol cannot be advertised openly under laws like the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003, which bans all kinds of direct and indirect advertisements of tobacco products.