A Study on impact of fairness-based advertisements on consumers and consumer perspective on advertisement ban

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Megha Gupta


Fairness cream has become common household for most people in India. It is reached even remote villages. In a quest for capturing skin care segment in India, skin and personal care companies spend huge on advertisements in mass media promoting lighter skin and fairness-based products. There are so many ad campaigns promoting products and treatments which lighten skin. Often people are misled into buying these products due to advertisement impact. Also, in country like India, where there is a greater number of people with dark skin, these fairness-based advertisements also create skin colour-based discrimination in the society. For years, advertisers of skin-lightening creams and other products have shown people — mostly women — with dark skin as having problems when it comes to finding jobs, getting married and generally being accepted by society.  Indian governments health ministry has recently passed a bill “Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) (Amendment) Bill-2020”. This bill cracks down on misleading fairness cream ads with a punishment up to five years in jail and a hefty fine of Rs 50 lakh.  The quest for light skin is still alive in India, as demonstrated through various Google searches and this ban could be positive step against fairness advertisement campaigns. The ban is also very important from health perceptive as many people in India have toxic relationship with fairness creams. This work studies the impact of fairness-based advertisements on the consumers and to analyse its influence of Colourism on customer attitude. This work also analyses the factors affecting consumer perceptive on the misleading advertisement ban by Indian health ministry.


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