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Bring Brand Ambassadors under the ambit of Consumer Protection Act: CAIT
The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) in a communication sent yesterday to Union Consumer Affairs Minister, Ram Vilas Paswan has reminded him of its earlier communications sent to him demanding fixing the liability of Brand Ambassadors and formulation of specific guidelines for them. The CAIT has also asked to bring Brand Ambassadors under the ambit of Consumer Protection Act.

It has been observed that prominent personalities of different fields are engaged by big companies to endorse their products to grab more share in the market for their products irrespective of the quality of the product and those personalities in lust of earning huge money never care for the quality, said CAIT. 

"In case we do not hear anything from the Government, we shall be left with no other alternative but to move the matter to Court," said B.C.Bhartia, National President & Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary General of CAIT in a joint statement.

In its communication, the CAIT has termed the Brand Ambassadors as "service providers" since they endorse product generally under a contract and against considerations. It has also said that endorsements by Brand Ambassadors influence choice of the customers to a great extent. 

"It is a well known fact that endorsements are done solely with a motive to push sales of the products and as such the Brand Ambassadors become integral part of sales campaign of such product and can not escape from the liability of the claims made by them in endorsements. The Brand Ambassadors are not doing any charity but providing commercial services and as such their role needs to be defined. Being a celebrity, one can not be absolved from the responsibility," said Bhartia in a statement.

The CAIT further said that engaging Brand Ambassadors for promotion of products has become much prevalent in the country and often the consumer stands guided by such endorsement irrespective of quality of the product. Therefore, in order to protect consumers, there is a need to bring Brand Ambassadors under the ambit of Consumer Protection Act.

An endorsement means any advertising message including verbal statements, demonstrations, or depictions of the name, signature, likeness or other identifying personal characteristics of an individual that consumers are likely to believe reflects the opinions, beliefs, findings, or experiences of a party.

Since it has vital bearing on consumers there is a need of reasonable prudence and responsible conduct of the Brand Ambassador to avoid misleading and deceptive endorsements. Therefore, framing of policy and Guidelines for Brand Ambassadors is the need of the hour in larger interest of consumers.

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