The Ernakulam District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has come down heavily on manufacturers releasing advertisements claiming their products had won consumer awards presented by celebrities.

The Forum headed by its president A. Rajesh observed that presentation of an award by popular persons would not enhance the value of the product.

The celebrities had nothing to do with the selection process of the award, given such a process existed.

They would have been invited to a public meeting, which they obliged to attend and then presented the award. But the advertisement would invariably mislead the consumer, the Forum said.

The Forum made the observation while restraining Pazhangadi Oil Industries at Vazhakulam, in Muvattupuzha, from using the logo of the award it supposedly won on its gingerly oil packets and advertisements. The proprietor withdrew the logo while the petition was being heard.

Unfair practice

The order was passed on a petition filed by the State government, stating neither the government nor the Consumer Affairs Department had conferred any such award. The manufacturer was therefore guilty of unfair trade practice, the Forum observed. The manufacturer claimed that the award had been declared and presented by an organisation named “Consumer Protection Kerala”.

In the advertisement, they had not stated that the award had been presented by the State government or Consumer Affairs Department

The Forum held that the advertisement amounted to unfair trade practice and the manufacturer was not entitled to use the logo any more.

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