Esha Gupta releases new ad campaign with illegal betting platform Khelraja

Published on:

Renowned Bollywood actress and social media personality Esha Gupta is featured in real-money gaming brand Khelraja’s latest ad campaign. The offshore betting platform signed Esha Gupta as its brand ambassador last year. The B-town celebrity shared the ad campaign via her social media handles.

Khelarja has spread its wings in the Indian online betting community despite being flagged as an illegal offshore betting company by the Indian government. According to the consumer protection guidelines issued by the government, celebrities endorsing such dubious platforms are liable for punishment.

The Advertising Standard Council of India (ASCI) released a set of “Guidelines for Celebrity Advertising” in 2017 that declared that advertising starring celebrities shouldn’t be deceptive, misleading, or unsupported and that a celebrity should take reasonable steps to achieve this. Popular figures like Esha Gupta are liable for a penalty of Rs 10-50 lakh if they are found guilty of participating or misleading people via false advertisements.

Earlier, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had released two advisories prohibiting the ads of online betting platforms to OTT platforms, digital publishers, and private satellite television channels. The advisories were released due to the ongoing influence of betting platforms in the country, which has significant financial and socioeconomic risks for consumers.

Following the advisories released by the Indian government, the ads stopped appearing on OTT and TV platforms; however, the online betting platforms are still active on social media platforms, roping in renowned celebrities to do their bidding. Apart from Esha, several notable actors like Ranbir Kapoor and Kiara Advani, among others, have been seen promoting online betting platforms via their social media handles.

The Consumer Protection Act 2019 (CPA) allows for statutory action against celebrities endorsing illegal betting platforms, meaning that the authorities could be taking action against Esha Gupta following her latest ad campaign for offshore betting company Khelraja.