Classified advertising booking important Dos and Don’ts



  • Missing Persons
    Copy of FIR filed with the local police station should accompany the classified advertisement.
  • Change of Name/Religion
    A photocopy of the affidavit or a gazette copy featuring the change in name should accompany the classified advertisement.
  • Notice related to Wedding in Foreign country
    consent letter of the respective embassy/high commission/consulate should accompany the classified advertisement.
  • Marriage Cancellation
    Advertisements to be supported by wedding invitation cards and a declaration regarding the cancellation of the wedding, duly signed by both parties.
  • Death/Obituary Ads
    Copy of the death certificate from a registered doctor should accompany all obituary classified advertisements.
    In case of Obituary Advertisements the following should be avoided as being part of the ad matter:
    • Cause of death – mentioning specific reason of death, like "in an accident" cannot be mentioned.
    • Obituary advertisements cannot be used as a medium to address grievances – e.g. Death due to dowry, medical negligence by hospital/doctor.
    • In case of Remembrance advertisements, ceremonies/prayer meeting timings are not permitted. However, telephone numbers and addresses can form part of the advertisement.
  • The following content/words in classified ads are not acceptable:
    • Sexy, Hot, Mind blowing, 3 and 5 stars/Extremely beautiful masseurs/Providing elegant gals and guys from high profile culture/golden touch and heaven on earth/warm touch restart your energy with unexpected and sensational massage etc. All ads relating to massage parlours will be published under the heading "Massage Parlours".
  • Guidelines for Massage Parlour ads to be published in Mumbai:
    • Ads of massage/beauty parlour, escorts, party entertainer, social contact club and all related headers should carry landline telephone numbers and complete postal address. A copy of the latest landline telephone bills containing the matching telephone number and address must accompany such ads.
The ad matter has to be non-specific/elementary in nature and mention about palmistry, gemology or Reiki only. Promises such as "definite results", "magical recovery" or "solving problems", "100% guaranteed results" are not acceptable. Also words such as "amazing remedies", "black magic/Tantrik, guaranteed results, childlessness", "evil spirits", "marriage, divorce, career, prosperity, business, love, finance, all problems solved" are not acceptable.
  • In ads recommending drugs for treatment and guaranteeing the cure, definite treatment words like '100% guaranteed results', 'magical recovery' or 'solving problems', (chhuktara payen, chamatkar, pucca ilaz) are not accepted. The ads of penillure, medicine ads depicting objectionable pictures, ads recommending medicine on promoting sexual potency and pleasures with words like 'Zordar Sakhti', 'Turant ilaz', baldness will be cured in only 'x' no. of days are not allowed.
  • Hindi words/sentences that are derogatory and reflect indecency are not allowed.

The following rules and regulations are to be adhered to, prescribed by the notification from the Ministry of Labour.
As per Section 16 of the Emigration Act, 1983, no employer can recruit any citizen of India for employment in any country or place outside India except:

  • Through a bona fide recruiting agent competent under the Act to make such recruitment, or
  • In accordance with a valid permit issued in this behalf. Thus, only registered recruiting agents and foreign employers with valid permit are allowed to recruit Indian citizens for overseas employment.

It is mandatory for the registered recruiting agents to display their registration certificate numbers while placing advertisements for recruitment. Similarly foreign employers also need to indicate permit number while placing advertisements.

Advertisements from recruiting agents/firm must incorporate the registration number and postal address of the agent.

In case of foreign employers the advertisements should carry the name and postal address of the employer. In case client requires confidentiality in the ad, all the details (name, address, phone number) on original letterhead/document of the client are required. This is for the purpose of furnishing the same in the event of an inquiry from the government agencies.

In case the advertisements have been placed by the HR consultants and they refuse to furnish details of their clients due to confidentiality reasons, such cases need to be ratified from the legal department in Mumbai or Delhi.

  • Discount for Senior Citizens
  • Discount for Widow/Widower
  • Discount for Differently Disabled
  • Discount for "Caste/Religion No Bar" in Matrimonial Ads
  • Discount for "No Dowry" in Matrimonial Ads
  • Discount for Charitable Institutions

Can be booked through the ABS system but the discount will be credited once the ad gets published and the following documents are required:

  • Senior citizen age discount - age proof to be provided
  • Widow / Widower discount - death certificate of expired spouse to be provided
  • Differently abled discount – doctor's certificate to be provided

Advertisements containing defamatory statement/s against any person or photograph of a person without the written consent of such person cannot be accepted. Consent must be obtained in writing as a proof to be provided when required.

  • Cinema ads, political ads, lottery ads are not accepted as classified ads
  • Ads inviting kidney donors or for any other body organ.
  • House number or property address, in sale of property ads.
  • Website addresses of recruitment/placement agents/job portals/matrimonial/ automobile etc., cannot be included as part of a classified advertisement.
  • The word “Donation” is not acceptable in the text of the ad.
  • Phrases such as “Caste no bar except SC/ST” or “Dowry no bar” etc. cannot be carried.
  • Private institutions/universities asking for money for their prospectus except govt./semi govt. and recognized institutes / universities.
  • “100% guarantee” etc., words should be avoided in all or any ads.
  • Send Rs. 5 stamp along with self-addressed envelope. No stamps to be asked – e.g. “Earn 30,000+ monthly by just working 2 hours at home. Only paper work. For details rush your self-addressed Rs. 5 stamped long envelope to XYZ Box No Del 23456, Times of India, New Delhi-110002.”
  • Advertising with words “Invitation Price/Pricing” is the copyright of The Times of India.
  • Ads displaying non-vegetarian products, as well as ads seeking models, actors, singers etc., asking for money, are not eligible as classified advertisements and should be strictly avoided.
  • Ads referring to “Party Line” or related dubious phone services businesses should be avoided.
  • Medical courses in Russia/CIS countries and unethical or illegal ads offending public sensitivity, should be avoided.
  • For advertisements of lottery other than state govt. lottery, we need to ensure that at least one state government is involved as one of the sponsors of such lottery.
  • Ads appearing unethical, illegal or offending public sensitivity.
  • “VISA 100 %” cannot be accepted
  • An ad carrying the name of a particular community which hurts that particular community or even brings disrepute to them cannot be accepted.

Advertisement of a drug which suggests or is calculated to lead to the use of that drug for:

(a) the procurement of miscarriage in women or prevention of conception in women; or
(b) the maintenance or improvement of the capacity of human beings for sexual pleasure; or
(c) the correction of menstrual disorder in women.

The following types of advertising are not allowed by the above Act

  • Advertisement of drugs for treatment of diseases and disorders such as asthma, appendicitis, arteriosclerosis, blindness, blood poisoning, Bright's disease, cancer, cataract, deafness, diabetes, diseases and disorders of brain / optical system / uterus / menstrual flow / nervous system or prostate gland, dropsy, epilepsy, fits, female diseases, fevers (in general) forms and structure of human bust, stones in gall / kidney / bladder, gangrene, glaucoma, heart diseases, high or low blood pressure, hydrocele, hysteria, infantile paralysis, insanity, leprosy, leucoderma, lockjaw, locomotor ataxia, lupus, nervous debility, obesity, paralysis, plague, pleurisy, pneumonia, rheumatism, ruptures, sexual impotence, small pox, stature of person, sterility in women, trachoma, tuberculosis, tumors, typhoid fever, ulcers of gastro-intestinal tract and venereal dieases including syphilis, gonorrhea, soft chancre, venereal granuloma and lymphogranuloma.
  • Miscarriage in women or prevention of conception in women.
  • Correction of disorders by magic
  • Drugs that give false impression and make false claims or are otherwise false or misleading.

The following are a few important Acts that have to be considered:

  • Infant milk substitutes – Regulation of Production, Supply & Distribution Act, 1992: Advertisements propagating infant milk substitutes, including feeding bottles and infant foods are not eligible for publishing.
  • Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971 – Certificate of approval from govt. is a necessary document for hospital and clinics advertising medical termination of pregnancy.
  • The Prize Competitions Act 1955 – Ads relating to prize competition whether called a crossword prize competition, missing-word prize, or a picture prize competition are not eligible for publishing.
  • The Prize Chits & Money Circulation Scheme (Banning) Act 1978 – 'Prize chit' or 'money circulation scheme' which are in the nature of gambling are not eligible for publishing.
  • Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products – Ads of cigarettes and other tobacco products are prohibited. This includes cigarettes, cigars, cheroots, beedis, pipe tobacco, hookah tobacco, chewing tobacco, snuff, pan masala or any chewing material, having tobacco as one of its ingredients, gutkas and tooth powder containing tobacco.
  • Food Adulteration Rules, 1955 – Ads of edible oil and fat cannot include expressions like: 'Super-Refined', 'Extra-Refined', ' Micro-Refined', 'Double-Refined', ' Ultra-Refined', 'Anti-Cholesterol', 'Cholesterol Fighter', 'Shooting to Heart', 'Cholesterol Friendly', 'Saturated Fat Free' or such expressions which exaggerate the quality of the product.
  • Prohibition of Sex Determination: Any preconception or prenatal diagnostic technique used for sex determination of a foetus.
  • The Indecent Representation Of Women (Prohibition) Act 1986: Ads containing indecent depiction of the figure of a woman are not eligible for publishing.
  • Contempt of Court by Advertisement: An advertisement may constitute contempt of court if it interferes with the due course of a pending judicial proceeding, for instance, by discouraging witnesses from giving evidence in the case for either party, or to influence the court by discussing the merits of the case or anticipating the decision. Such ads are not eligible for publishing.
  • State Laws: Provisions of various state acts, applicable in respective states, prohibit publication of advertisements relating to liquor, tobacco etc. should be considered before publication of advertisements.
  • For instance, the Bombay Prohibition Act, 1949, prohibits publication of advertisements of liquor and alcoholic beverages, and the Bombay Lotteries (Control & Tax) Act prohibits advertisements of lotteries other than state lotteries.
  • The Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act 1950 – Ads carrying an outdated/ erroneous map of India or national emblem – viz, Ashoka Chakra or Dharma Chakra, Lion, National Flag, National Bird etc.
  • Superimposed matter on a map or incomplete map in any respect, such ads should carry in fine print the following disclaimer – “This pictorial representation of map of India does not purport to be the political map of India” (which is not in conformity with the maps of India as published by Survey of India)
  • Ads carrying National Flag, emblem, name or official seal of the Govt. of India, President, Governor, Republic / Union of India, Bharat Scouts and Guides, Tuberculosis Association of India etc.
  • Name, emblem or official seal of the United Nations Organization, World Health Organization, UNESCO, Unicef, World Meteorological Organisation, International Atomic Energy Agency, International Criminal Police Organisation, International Civil Aviation Organisation, International Olympic Committee consisting of five interlaced rings etc.
  • The world “Interpol” which is an integral part of the International Criminal Police Organisation.
  • Ad carrying reproduction of a postage stamp or currency note.
  • The emblem of the St. John Ambulance Association (India), and the St. John Ambulance Brigade (India) consisting of the device of a white, eight-pointed cross embellished in the four principal angles alternatively with a lion passant quadrant and a unicorn passant, whether or not the device is surrounded or accompanied by concentric circle or other decoration or by lettering.
  • Any name which may suggest being:
    • The patronage of the Government of India or the State Govt.
    • Connection with any local authority / corporation / Govt. body under any law for the time being in force.
  • Any name of pictorial representation of:
    • Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Mahatma Gandhi or Prime Minister of India.
    • The name of Parliament or legislature of any State / Supreme Court / State High Court / Central Secretariat / any govt. office or pictorial representation of any of these institutions.
    • The medals, badges or decorations instituted by the Govt. from time to time or the miniatures / replicas / names of the above mentioned.
  • Allottees list by housing development authorities.
  • Housing schemes results (LIG, MIG, HIG).
  • General display with mention of schemes, results etc.
  • Registration of houses.
  • Allotment of houses and industrial plots.
  • Registration of industrial plots for allotment.
  • Sale of application forms for housing schemes.
  • Registration for housing scheme starts from xyz date.
  • Registration closes on x date.
  • Draws of allottees.
  • Empanelment of dealers at various locations by oil companies like IOC, BPCL etc.
  • Requirement of dealers at various locations by oil companies.
  • Bank or any office change of address notice.