The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has released its report for the period March 2010 on the ads that were either withdrawn or modified. A total of 10 ads had been brought under its scanner, of which it prohibited the airing of one commercial. The nine other advertisers either justified claims made in the ads or were within defined parameters and hence, were allowed to continue with the campaign.
Kimberly-Clark Lever Pvt Ltd claimed in its ad that it possessed the best diaper and added that ‘88 per cent parents have chosen Huggies Dry Comfort’. However, the claim is based on an internal survey, which does not cover a substantial sample size. Moreover, claims made by brands could not be based on independent and self-generated data. CCC believed that the claims in the advertisement were false, misleading, and attempted to confer an artificial advantage upon Huggies by citing a non-independent source which was neither reliable nor authentic in respect of rating or grading of diapers in India. Complying with the decision, Kimberly-Clark has now discontinued the ad.
According to ASCI’s Secretary-General, Alan Collaco, “Involvement from consumers are on the rise and hence, this month we received over 120 complaints. However, on further inspection we found that only one brand contravened the defined norms. With the advent of technology and other influences, consumers are more aware today and hence, brands need to be more judicious in communications and engagement with consumers. In addition, the CCC allows consumers to express their sentiment and facilitates a level playing field between brads and consumers. We want more consumers to get involved and drive the entire self regulation industry.”
Some of the other brands whose complains were not upheld were Sugar Free Natura – Diet Sugar, Pampers Active Baby Diapers, Gillette India Ltd, T.I.M.E., Godrej Hair Dye, Sensodyne Toothpaste, Castrol Lubricants, Listerine Mouthwash, Reliance Big TV limited, and Set Wet Zatak Deodorants.
The Advertising Standards Council of India is a self regulatory voluntary organisation of the advertising industry. The role and functioning of the ASCI and its Consumer Complaints Council (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.