The Advertising Standards Council of India is back this year with an entire host of ads that need to be modified or removed. This year, agencies including O&M, RK Swamy BBDO, Rediffusion DY&R, Quadrant and Mudra Communications have been pulled up for advertisements that are unsuitable or unsubstantiated.
Rediffusion DY&R created a print advertisement for Go Air, which was carried in The Times of India claiming that 1,00,000 tickets would be distributed for free until November 15, 2006, as part of the airline’s first anniversary. This was found to be false, after a consumer sent an SMS on November 13, and got a reply from the advertiser saying that all free tickets were sold out and that the price was almost Rs 5,000, inclusive of taxes. The advertisement has been alleged by ASCI for playing with the trust of consumers by making an exaggerated claim.
O&M’s advertisement for Cadbury Bournvita, which was published in The Times of India, has been held for an unsubstantiated headline that says, ‘Real achievers grow up on Bournvita’. The objection is that there needs to be substantial certificates or testimonials from the persons in the advertisement, and ASCI has also asked for a clarification of ingredients for the claim on the cover of Bournvita being filled “with super chargers”.
Similarly, the ASCI has banned Mudra’s advertisement alleging it as misleading, which promotes a collection of music CDs called McDowell and Co. Ltd (DSP Black). The ad, which appeared in Bombay Times, appears ambiguous, as the visuals of the advertisement have no perceptible identification of a music CD under promotion, and seemed like the replica of the label of a branded liquor product.
The ASCI has also taken action against the Godrej Fair Glow Soap advertisement created by Quadrant Communication, which appeared on Zee Marathi. The TVC shows the parents of a young girl as dark-skinned, and named them as Mr Kale and Mrs Kale. Their daughter is, however, fair because she used the product. ASCI has banned the campaign and advertisement for being offensive.
The DKT India XXX flavoured dotted condoms advertisement created by M:Ideas and presented on Sony Max during the cricket matches has been banned after complaints received on the TVC. The advertisement shows visuals of a woman sensually enjoying the flavours of fruits, which has been termed by ASCI as obscene and vulgar. The ASCI alleges that the fact that this advertisement was played on television during cricket matches violates decency standards, as many children and minors could be watching television during that time.
The ad for Goodcare Pharma’s EziSlim Natural Slimming Capsules created by RK Swamy BBDO and published in the Mumbai Mirror has also been questioned for its credibility. Anchor Electricals’ TVC that was shown on CNN IBN and Times Now by Network Advertising which shows a person splashing water over electric sockets to show that the wires are waterproof, has been brought under modification, as ASCI has alleged the advertisement to be dangerous, especially since it shows young children in the sequel.
Eureka Forbes’ claim in the advertisement, ‘Safe water will make one strong and smart’ that was created by Triton and showcased on CNBC and Star TV, has also been asked for modification from the ASCI. The Dr Batra’s TVC on NDTV that was created by Dattaram Advertising, has also been asked for modifications by the ASCI, since it has has people claiming that they got rid of their baldness by visiting the clinic.
The ASCI has been functioning through the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act 1995, and the Cable Television Networks Rules 1994; and upholds an advertising code that any ad carried on the cable service shall have to be designed to conform to the laws of the country and should not offend morality, decency and religious responsibilities. The code also does not permit any advertisement, which derides any race, colour, creed and nationality, or incites people to crime, creating disorder, breaches laws or glorifies violence and obscenity.