ASCI gets top brands to pull out objectionable ads

ASCI gets top brands to pull out objectionable ads

Author | Source: Business Line | Thursday, Feb 23,2006 7:39 AM

ASCI gets top brands to pull out objectionable ads

Just what do Yum Restaurants, ITC, Hidesign and United Breweries have in common? They have all been made to withdraw their ads by The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) for the period between October and December 2005.

According to sources, Yum restaurants in its ad claimed that its brand of pizza-Freshizza was made of fresh dough and not made in a factory unlike the others. ASCI objected to the claim made in the ad (made by JWT) since it was misleading in the absence of any proof. The complaint filed with ASCI said, "They are not the only people to make fresh pizzas. The entire pizza is not fresh, only the base is.''

As for ITC, it was its Sunfeast Milky Magic brand of biscuits, which came under the ASCI scanner. The visual depicted a young boy watching a basket ball game played by older boys. The young boy attempts to play but is not able to reach the basket and is bullied by the other players. At this point of time the mascot of the company gives `Sunfeast biscuits' to the young boy who after eating it instantly grows taller and is able to basket the ball. The exaggeration in the commercial (made by FCB Ulka) was objected to and is believed to lead to misconceptions among children. According to ASCI, the visual depiction is likely to exploit the vulnerability of children and the advertisement was grossly misleading.

In the case of Hidesign, objections were raised about `an indecent exposure of a woman' in its ad since it was unrelated to the product promoted (leather bag) and appeared to make women seem like a commodity. ASCI felt the ad was likely to cause widespread offence and was objectionable with respect to women.

For United Breweries, it was its Sand Piper Malt beverage's logo, which created problems for the liquor major.

The visual logo of Sand Piper appeared to be similar to the logo of an alcoholic beverage, the promotion of which is against the law in Andhra Pradesh.

The complaint filed stated that if the product promoted is a non- alcoholic product, then the advertiser should provide data to establish the sustainability of the promotion, in relation to the sales derived from the product.

Since adequate data were not provided, ASCI felt that the ad could suggest to consumers that it was for a liquor brand.

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