The government informed the Parliament on this Friday that Reliance Jio and Paytm have apologized for inadvertently using the Prime Minister’s pictures in their advertisements.
Notices had been sent to both the companies by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs under the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act of 1950, which bars use of Prime Minister’s name and picture for commercial purposes.
“Clarifications were sought by the Department of Consumer Affairs from Paytm and Reliance Jio wherein they have apologized for their inadvertent mistake,” Minister of State for Consumer Affairs C R Chaudhary said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.
Both the companies had used the Prime Minister’s image in their full page advertisements contravening the ‘prior permission’ mentioned under the Act, he said.
After the Department’s request, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry has issued an advisory to the print medium to check regarding the permission of the respective authority before publishing any ads wherein the emblem and names specified under the Act are mentioned, he added.
The minister also said that there is a committee in place to decide upon a procedure that will allow private firms to use the Prime Minister’s picture in ads.
Reliance Jio had advertised the Reliance Jio 4G service dedicating it to the PM Modi government’s flagship Digital India project. And after the government had announced the demonetization decision on 8 November, Paytm had issued an advertisement welcoming the move as it boosted use of e-wallets.