4 Ways to File Complaint For Misleading Or Offensive Ad In India


Advertisements have become an integral part of modern-day businesses, as there’s a saying ‘You sell what you advertise’. That’s why businesses try out different ways to advertise their products or services to attract customers. With increased and fierce competition, some businesses go the wrong way and use below-the-belt marketing to advertise their products. Such ads are not suitable for the public at large. Today we will discuss ways to lodge a complaint against an offensive advertisement in India.

File Complaint About Misleading, Offensive Ad In India

If you find any advertisement, which is misleading, offensive, or decisive in nature, then you can file a complaint about it, in the public interest. Let’s discuss each one of them one by one.

File Misleading Ad Complaint on NCH Portal

One way to file a complaint, against any ad you find to be misleading or offensive in nature, is via the National Consumer Helpline or the NCH ​​Mobile App. We have a dedicated guide as to how to file a complaint on NCH Portal or app, you can check it out here.

File Misleading Ad Complaint on GAMA Portal

GAMA (Grievances Against Misleading Advertisements) portal was created by the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs of India, back in 2015, to address the problem of misleading advertisements. The key focus of this portal is on Six Key Sectors viz. Food & Agriculture, Health, Education, Real Estate, Transport, and Financial Services. There are regulators for each of these sectors, who are key partners in the success of the effort to prevent the problem. Here’s how you can file a complaint on the GAMA portal:

1. Go to the GAMA website (Grievances Against Misleading Advertisements)

2. Click on Register Complaint.

3. Sign up if you do not have an account on the GAMA portal, or log in to your account if you have one. (for some reason my NCH account did not work here)

4. Click on Register Grievance from the left pane.

5. Select Misleading Advertisement from the three options.

6. Here you need to fill in details like State, City, Industry, type of media, etc., from the drop-down menu. Fill in the Company name and address of the company, describe your grievance, and attach supporting documents.

File Misleading Ad Complaint on ASCI Portal

ASCI (The Advertising Standards Council of India) is the supreme body when it comes to regulating the advertising industry in India. This self-regulatory voluntary organization was established in 1985 and is committed to the cause of Self-Regulation in Advertising, ensuring the protection of the interests of consumers.

ASCI was formed with support from all four advertising sectors, ie, Advertisers, Advertising Agencies, Media (including Broadcasters and the Press), and others like PR Agencies, Market Research Companies, etc. Union Minister Mr. Prakash Javadekar, once said that ASCI deals with complaints received on the GAMA portal.

Here’s how you can file a complaint on the ASCI portal:

1. Go to this ASCI Complaint page

2. Create an Account on the ASCI website, or log in if you already have one.

3. Once you are logged in to your account, click on create a new complaint from the top right.

4. Fill in details like advertiser company, Brand and product name, and category, along with other details, and attach supporting files or links. Also, you need to describe the advertisement and specify what you find inappropriate, misleading or offensive.

5. Once everything is filled in, submit the complaint.

Bonus: File Misleading Ad Complaint to ASCI using Phone

You can also lodge a complaint with ASCI using your phone in two ways, one is via the official ASCI App for Android. You need to click on the Complaints tab, sign in to your account, and fill in details to submit.

Another method to lodge a complaint to ASCI using the phone is via WhatsApp, click on this link to start the chat with the ASCI client. Follow the instruction to file the complaint:

Wrapping Up

So these are some ways to file a complaint about misleading or offensive advertisements in India, using your computer or phone. I hope you found this article useful, if you did make sure to like and share it with others. Also, do check out other useful articles linked below. Stay tuned for more such tech tips and tricks.

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