Celebrities who endorse brands in misleading advertisements or back products that fail to live up to claims may not face the threat of imprisonment but they will have to pay hefty fines. An inter-ministerial panel is likely to discuss on Tuesday a draft bill prepared by the consumer affairs ministry which seeks to punish celebrities who endorse products that are substandard or make misleading claims.
The stringent provisions in the bill include a fine of Rs 10 lakh and jail of up to two years for a first offence by celebrities. For subsequent offences, it has recommended amendment to Consumer Protection Act to provide for a fine of Rs 50 lakh plus a term in prison. When celebrities rake in money by truckloads, they must gird themselves for hefty fines as well should the brand not live up to its reputation as made out by the celebrity.