The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has recently sent out a circular regarding complaint that were upheld by the Consumer Complaints Council (CCC). The circular, covering the period January to March 2005, lists 16 ads that were withdrawn, discontinued or modified.
Four ads of the sixteen have been withdrawn. These include Indian Express’ Ad, which claimed leadership position for Loksatta in Maharashtra, Phillips India Ltd’s Philips 21 Real Flat TV, Arvind Fashions’s Lee Jeans, made by Grey Worldwide and Rocky S Jeans by Ice Cube Design and Films.
The ads that are asked to modify include O&M’s Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd’s ad, which according to ASCI code conveyed gender bias that could be demeaning to women. The other ad was SAL Hospital and Medical Institute’s ad, created by Mega Scope that claimed to be No.1 heath care in Gujarat. CCC’ decision was that this claim needs to be substantiated.
Animaster also assured that it would modify its ad, ‘Animaster, India’s Best Animation Centre’, as the claim needed to be substantiated. Animaster’s Brochures have seen similar fate for same reasons. Telebrands Shreeyanta too is in the same situation.
Various other ads that the ASCI had received complaints against were already discontinued. The Times of India ads of ‘massage parlors’ and ‘ escort services’ were objected as the ads violated the section of Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act 1986. The advertiser has already discontinued accepting such ads for publication.
Other objectionable ads were assured to be one-time insertions only. Some of these are O&M’s Arvind Fashion’s Wrangler (considered objectionable to women) and Dr Batra’s Positive Health Clinic, Super Speciality Homeopathy Clinic (misleading ad).
The ads which are ‘assured will never be seen again’ are Pinxit Blue Advertising created ‘Women’s Wear’ – suggestive ad with no direct reference to the product/service promoted and ‘Herbal Treatment Centre’ (Dr Rohit Shah’s online Herbal treatment plan for all types of hair loss) – unsubstantiated claim.
Ads that will not be seen without corrections are Bajaj Electricals Ltd, Bajaj FX 10 Food Factory and Vanity Gold – both for claims that need to be substantiated.
ASCI is a self-regulatory voluntary organisation of the advertising industry. The role and functioning of the ASCI and its CCC is in dealing with complaints received from Consumers and Industry, against advertisements which are considered as false, misleading, indecent, illegal, leading to unsafe practices, or unfair to competition, and consequently in contravention of the ASCI Code for Self-Regulation in Advertising.