Celebrities endorsing brands have become the most common and effective way to market for many companies. These celebrities often associate with brands that have little or no credibility. For which they are also held liable when the brand fails to deliver what they promised.
Recently, actors Govinda and Jackie Shroff have been fined Rs. 20,000 for endorsing a pain relief oil. The fine has been imposed by a consumer court in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar.
Not just the actors but the company who manufactures the oil has also been fined.
The court verdict was delivered on a complaint filed by a consumer five years ago. The complainant had alleged that the oil endorsed by the actors did not provide pain relief in 15 days as claimed in the advertisement.
In July 2012, Abhinav Agarwal, a Muzaffarnagar-based lawyer had ordered a pain relief oil for his father Brijbhushan Agarwal, 70, for Rs 3,600 after seeing an advertisement in the newspaper that promised a full refund if the user fails to get visible results in 15 days.
After using the oil for 15 days when Agarwal was unable to see any relief in his father’s pain, he contacted a representative of the company. The representative advised Agarwal to return the product so that they can process the refund.
The company never refunded the amount to him. In fact, Agarwal claimed that the company harassed him for asking for his refund.
Agarwal stated that,
I bought the product because celebrities like Govinda and Jackie Shroff were promoting it. The company promised complete relief in 15 days. Everything turned out to be a fraud
The consumer court has ordered all five stakeholders – the company, Govinda, Jackie Shroff, Telemart Shopping Network Pvt Limited and Max Communications – to pay Rs 20,000 as compensation to the victim. It also ordered the firm to return Rs 3,600 paid by Agarwal with an interest of 9 percent per annum along with other legal expenses borne by the complainant.