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ASCI hits Brooke Bond, Tata Sky, Lokmat

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ASCI hits Brooke Bond, Tata Sky, Lokmat

Post the Consumer Complaints Council’s (CCC) decision to uphold 14 advertisements in May 2012, the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has decided to adjourn nine of these ads, which include popular brands such as Brooke Bond Red Label Natural Care Tea, Tata Sky, Lokmat, Glenmorangie and Nikon, among others.

The complaint against Brooke Bond Red Label Natural Care Tea was that the product claimed to have a ‘scientifically proven combination of five Ayurvedic ingredients such as tulsi, ashwagandha, mulethi, ginger and cardamom to strengthen your body’s defence’, which ‘helps to protect you and your family from cold, cough and flu’. The ad further claimed: ‘It is clinically shown that drinking three cups of Brooke Bond Red Label Natural Care daily helps enhance one’s immunity’. The CCC concluded that the claims were not substantiated adequately and that the advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the ASCI Code.

As per the complaint against Tata Sky, the print ad, which appeared in The Hindu’s Chennai edition dated March 30, 2012, stated that the ‘Cable is just a Dabba’, which meant that it was a non-standard and a poor quality box. The CCC concluded that by referring to the cable set up boxes as ‘dabba’, the ad unfairly denigrated other products and refuted Chapter IV.1 (e) of the Code. The complaint was upheld.

Similarly, Lokmat newspaper ad claimed that the paper had added 65,000 readers in SEC A segment in Pune without mentioning the period over which this growth had been attained, which in itself was misleading. As per IRS 2011 Q4 data, Lokmat added 5,000 SEC A readers in Pune city in the last quarter. The advertisement was misleading as it did not mention the reference period pertaining to the source data. The ad contravened Chapter I.4. of the ASCI Code.

The February 2012 issue of Conde Nast India published a print ad for Glenmorangie, a single malt whiskey. The advertorial stated, ‘Why is it so important that we only use our casks twice? Taste Glenmorangie and the question becomes rhetorical’. In the absence of specific information, the CCC concluded that the ad was a surrogate for a brand of alcohol – Glenmorangie – and contravened Chapter III.6 of the ASCI Code.

According to the complainant, the TV commercial for Nikon required permission from the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) for the use of birds in the advertisement. In the application filed by Nikon, the permission asked was for four sparrows to be shown in their natural habitat with a girl playing and passing through. In reality, the birds turned out to be cockatiels, which were used as toys by the girl and were perched on her shoulders. Under the Chapter III.4 of the ASCI Code for violating The Performing Animals Registration Rules 2001, the complaint was upheld.

Likewise other brands such as IMS-score more at BBA / BBS, Alchemist’s, Shree Maruti Herbal and Jake’s Beauty-Spa-Salon & Academy were invalidated due to similar reasons.

However the advertisements of the five brands which have not been upheld are Midas Care’s Clean & Dry cream, Sprite cold drink, Emami’s Fair & Handsome for Men, Gillette Mach 3 and Extra Strong Axe.

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