Paisa Bazaar’s Mutual Fund Ad featuring Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar has sparked controversy in the MF industry. AMFI has directed Paisa Bazaar to get SEBI approval for ads featuring celebrities.
Paisa Bazaar’s MF advertisement featuring the actor raised a debate over the “use of brand ambassadors to promote digital platforms selling mutual funds.”
AMFI (Association of Mutual Funds in India) has advised Paisa Bazaar to get the acceptance from SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) before making advertisements featuring celebrities for selling mutual funds, said A Balasubramanian, chairman at AMFI.
He also added that the SEBI approval is required so that the company does not violate the ad guidelines set by SEBI.
Based on some sources, SEBI checks over the controversial issue related to Paisa Bazaar’s Mutual Fund ad, subsequent to complaints received from few of the MF industry players.
The 23-trillion Rupees mutual fund industry must be careful when spending huge money on ads as investors might be misdirected, repeated G Mahalingam, whole-time Director, SEBI, a week ago.
Last year, SEBI issued a circular stating that celebrity support can only be used at an industry level with the motivation of improving MF awareness as a “financial product category,” and that it should not encourage promoting any “one particular scheme or a fund house.”
SEBI has also been requesting AMFI to “promote direct plans as a low-cost alternative to regular plans.”
According to MF industry participants, Paisa Bazaar’s recent ads could be based on the interpretation of SEBI’s circular statement that allow for celebrity support at the industry level. They also feel that the Paisa Bazaar’s advertisement could trigger the Securities and Exchange Board of India to issue clarity on this controversial issue.
AMFI have no regulatory powers like SEBI, but it regularly directs participants in the MF industry on making best practices.
Anyhow, the Paisa Bazaar’s Mutual Fund advertisement has already went live on famous social media platforms. The 20-second video clip featuring the actor talks about the merits of investing in direct plans. The ad has already received 1.6 million views on YouTube, according to Business Standard.[The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and/or the official policy of the website. ]