Reliance Jio, Paytm apologise for using PM's photo in ads

Reliance Jio and Paytm have apologised for using Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s photograph in their advertisements without permission, the government informed Parliament on Friday.

“Clarifications were sought by the department of consumer affairs from Reliance Jio and Paytm wherein they have apologised for their inadvertent mistake,” Minister of State for Consumer Affairs C R Chaudhary said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

The two companies used the photograph of the Prime Minister in their respective full page advertisements contravening the ‘prior permission’ stipulated under the Act, he said.

The ministry of consumer affairs had sent notices to both the companies under the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act of 1950, which bars use of PM’s name and picture for commercial use.

Based on the department’s request, the information and broadcasting ministry has issued an advisory to print media to check-up the permission from competent authority before issuing any advertisement wherein the emblem and names specified under the Act are mentioned, he added.

Responding to a query whether there is any mechanism to approve the use of PM’s photo by private firms or if the government plans to introduce one, the minister said a committee is in place to examine such proposals.

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