The Legal Implications of Misleading Advertisements: An In-Depth Analysis


Given the evident impact of marketing on customer decision, it is imperative that advertisements are impartial and genuine. Consumer choice and competitiveness are distorted by deceptive advertising. A change from “Caveat Emptor” (buyer beware) to “Caveat Venditor” (seller beware) and the passage of the Consumer Protection Act in 1986 did not stop manufacturers and service providers from taking advantage of Indian consumers. Advertising should not mislead or turn into a nuisance, even though it is necessary for economic growth. Deceptive advertising is not expressly covered by the Consumer Protection Act of 1986. It does, however, forbid “unfair trade practices” and offer recourse in some situations. Even while these requirements apply to commercials, they might not cover all parts of advertising that need control. On the other hand, there are particular rules pertaining to advertisements in a number of international countries.


 Public information regarding goods, services, and concepts is mostly disseminated through advertisements. Their goals are to increase consumer involvement, market products and services, and boost revenue. But not every commercial is made equally. Some people behave unethically by deceiving customers, which has moral and legal ramifications.

 A Misleading Advertisement: What Is It?

An advertisement that presents inaccurate or dishonest information about a good, service, or concept is considered misleading. It purposefully distorts important elements, such benefits, features, or quality, in order to affect how customers behave.

The following are some salient points: The goal of advertisements is to educate the public about goods, services, and concepts that are offered for sale. They push customers to make decisions based on factual facts.

Deceptive Features: An advertising is considered deceptive if it: Describes a good or service inaccurately. Provides a fictitious assurance about the commodity or service. Conceals crucial facts that buyers need to be aware of.

Illustrations of Deceptive Advertising: Shampoo for Hair Care: Consider a shampoo manufacturer stating that with only one wash, their product will stop hair loss or dandruff. This qualifies as a misleading advertisement if the claim is untrue.

Energy-Boosting Soft Drink: Let’s say an advertisement for a soft drink makes the claim that drinking it gives you energy and can even help you survive risky situations (like jumping from a height). These statements are deceptive.

Fairness Lotion: If a facial cream marketing doesn’t live up to its claim of fair skin tone after 365 days, it may deceive customers.

Why Do False Advertisements Cause Issues?

Consumer Deception: Consumers incorrect expectations are raised by deceptive advertisements. Customers can make purchases based on false information, which could leave them disappointed and financially strapped.

 Unfair Competition: Companies that use deceptive advertising have an unfair edge over rivals. Sincere companies suffer when customers select their goods on the basis of false advertising.

 Legal Implications: Deceptive advertising is prohibited under laws and regulations. In India, deceptive advertising is addressed by the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 and offers customers remedies. Comparable legislation shields customers from deceptive statements in other nations.

In conclusion, even while advertising is necessary for economic expansion, it shouldn’t be misleading or bothersome. A functioning marketplace necessitates striking a balance between marketing items and guaranteeing customer welfare.

The Consumer Protection Act of 2019 (CPA) declares it illegal to create deceptive or false advertisements. For a first infraction, the penalties are as follows: a fine of up to 10 lakh rupees and up to two years in prison. For repeat violations, a fine of up to fifty lakh rupees and a maximum five-year prison sentence.

Guidelines for the Avoidance of False Endorsements and Advertisements (2022): Guidelines have been released by the Indian government to stop deceptive advertising. These rules emphasize accuracy and transparency and apply to both endorsements and advertisements.

Judicial Measures: Courts have the authority to prohibit deceptive adverts by ordering their distributors to stop. Banning the reiteration of false statements

Industry Self-Regulation: The National Advertising Division (NAD) and other groups are essential to examining advertising promises and making sure moral guidelines are being followed. Businesses can respond to deceptive advertising allegations by voluntarily taking part in NAD challenges.

Particular Acts: The Drugs & Other Magical Remedies Act of 1954 (DOMA) forbids deceptive advertising pertaining to pharmaceutical products. The CPA also establishes guidelines for limiting deceptive advertising and punishing violators.

Advertisements That Are False or Misleading Under the 2019 Consumer Protection Act

 In today’s business environment, advertisements are essential for educating the public about the goods, services, and concepts that are on the market. Nevertheless, incorrect promises or product misrepresentations in marketing can occasionally lead to consumer confusion.

When does an advertisement start to be deceptive or false?

When a product or service is misrepresented in an advertisement, it is deemed misleading. Makes exaggerated claims regarding a product makes fanciful statements that aren’t consistent with reality.

As an illustration: a shampoo that says it can stop hair loss with just one shower. A soft drink that makes claims about its ability to give you energy and keep you safe. A face cream that, in just 365 days, promises fair skin tone.

Consequences for law: Deceptive advertising is against numerous rights as consumers, such as the freedom to choice, the right to information, and the right to be shielded from dangerous products and unethical business activities. This problem is addressed by the Consumer Protection Act of 2019, which gives customers the ability to file a complaint over deceptive or fraudulent advertising.

 Policies and implementation: The Consumer Protection Act of 2019 established the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) to oversee issues pertaining to consumer rights, unfair trade practices, and deceptive advertising. The CCPA seeks to safeguard the rights of consumers and uphold their collective interests.

Definition of Deceptive Advertising: When an advertisement presents goods, services, or concepts incorrectly, it is deemed deceptive. This includes misleading comments, inflated claims, and outrageous pledges.

 Violation of Consumer Rights: Consumer rights are violated by deceptive advertisements, including: The right to information Customers are entitled to clear and accurate information. The freedom of choice: Based on truthful advertising, consumers should make well-informed selections.

Protection against unethical business practices: Deceptive advertisements hurt customers and impede honest competition.

The 2019 Consumer Protection Act: Deceptive marketing techniques are addressed by the 2019 Consumer Protection Act. It gives customers the ability to file complaints against deceptive or fraudulent advertising. These rules are enforced by the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA). Legal Repercussions: Businesses convicted of deceptive advertising may be subject to fines, penalties, or other legal acts. Customers seeking a resolution may choose to address consumer forums or register complaints with the CCPA. In conclusion, when assessing commercials, alertness and vigilance are crucial. Customers are essential in ensuring that advertising fulfill their promises.


The issue of false advertising is grave and can have detrimental effects on businesses and consumers alike. Businesses that engage in fraudulent advertising are effectively deceiving consumers into purchasing their goods or services by providing incorrect information. This may result in dissatisfaction, monetary loss, and a decline in confidence in the business. In summary, deceptive advertising is immoral and may have negative consequences. It is critical that businesses use truthful and open advertising strategies, and that customers exercise caution and due diligence before making purchases. We can assist in discouraging deceptive advertising and advancing a fair marketplace by holding businesses accountable for their advertising promises and helping them make educated decisions.


1. https://lawcorner.in/false-or-misleading-advertisements-under-consumer-protection-act-2019/



4. https://legal60.com/false-or-misleading-advertisements-under-consumer-protection-act-2019/

5. https://www.verdictum.in/court-updates/high-courts/calcutta-high-court-bmg-gulf-fzc-v-quippo-oil-and-gas-infrastructure-limited-section-2f-section-11-arbitration-conciliation-act-1996-dishonest-litigants-international-commercial-arbitration-1534817




“PRIME LEGAL is a full-service law firm that has won a National Award and has more than 20 years of experience in an array of sectors and practice areas. Prime legal fall into a category of best law firm, best lawyer, best family lawyer, best divorce lawyer, best divorce law firm, best criminal lawyer, best criminal law firm, best consumer lawyer, best civil lawyer.”

Judgement Analysis Written by – K.Immey Grace

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *