Pure, organic, fresh, natural, authentic are some of the words that the FMCG industry commonly use to describe their products. These words which play a huge role in misleading the customers have found a permanent place in the marketing campaigns of these products. Not only are these words untrue, but are also deceiving to the consumers.
According to a report published in Deccan Herald, of the 1,200 Indian food advertisements, nearly 60 per cent were misleading in nature. In order to protect the customers from such exploitation by brands, Food and Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAII) has made it mandatory to not use such words in advertising. Come July 1st, brands will either have to procure permission to use such words or carry a disclaimer about them. In case the brand fails to do so then the manufacturers will have to shell out Rs 10 lakh as fine for the violation.
According to a report published in Mid Day, an FSSAI official said, “Customers are generally attracted to words like ‘genuine,’ ‘original,’ etc. on food products. When a company uses the word ‘real’ for a food product, for instance, it implies that it is the only real/original product, which violates the advertisement act of FSSAI. This creates a false perception of a product for customers.”
The regulation also says that companies and brands using words that mean fresh, natural, pure, etc. – will also have to give a clear disclaimer stating “this is only a brand name or trademark and does not represent its true nature.”
A company or brand will now be able to refer to a particular food as ‘fresh’ only if they are unprocessed except for being washed, peeled, chilled, trimmed or cut or have undergone other processing necessary to make the product safe without altering its basic characteristic in any way. The use of word ‘natural’ will be permitted only from food derived from a plant, animal, microorganism or mineral, to which nothing else has been added.
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The CSR Journal Team