In December 2016, ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against 95 out of 125 advertisements. Out of 95 advertisements against which complaints were upheld, 58 belonged to the Healthcare category, 10 in the Food & Beverages category, followed by 9 in Personal Care Category, 4 to the Education category, and 14 advertisements from other categories.
The CCC found the following claims of 58 advertisements in health care products or services to be either misleading or false or not adequately / scientifically substantiated and hence violating ASCI’s Code. Some of the health care products or services advertisements also contravened provisions of the Drug & Magic Remedies Act and Chapter 1.1 and III.4 of the ASCI Code. Complaints against the following advertisements were UPHELD:
Mankind Pharma Ltd. (Heal-O-Kind Nanofine Gel) where the advertisement’s visual suggests that one may celebrate Diwali (bursting crackers) in a carefree manner and that even if one gets burned accidentally, there is no need to worry thus implying a careless attitude and showing disregard for safety and encouraging negligence.
Amrutanjan Health Care Ltd. (Back pain roll on), where the advertisement’s claim, “Amrutanjan Back Pain Roll-On ka special ayurvedic formula kaam kare bass tees second mein”, implies that the product will provide relief within 30 seconds, whereas, as per the findings of the Nielsen study, the product “starts” acting within 30 seconds. It was concluded that the claim is misleading by implication.
Abbott Health Care Pvt. Ltd. (Pediasure Vanilla Delight), as the ad claims, “Almost 50% - Less Infection, More Growth” it was concluded that while the paper might have been published in "Clinical Pediatrics", the contents do not unequivocally and adequately support this claim. Also the CCC disagreed that the values can be rounded off by several units to 50 as done for the claim. Thus, the claim is misleading by ambiguity and implication.
Other ads under the healthcare category to be upheld were Life fitness point gym, Dhanwantri Pharmaceutical (Swarn Madhu), Sri Maharishi Pharma’s claims to cure diabetes within 20 days, Dr. Titus's Centre for Sexual & Mental Health (Dr. Titus P Varghese) that claims to ‘cure’ homosexuality, Anmol Tila, Magic Wings Centre, claiming to control incurable diseases such as gradual loss of vision, old paralysis and muscular dystrophy.
Also ads upheld were that of Herbal Daily (Herbal Daily Haldi), SKS Ayurveda Impex Pvt. Ltd. (SKS Ayurveda Range of Products, Astha Clinic (AJM), Micropark Wellness (Muslinites Range), Izda Healthcare (Six Foot Range of Products, Chitransh Homeo Hall, Cenezoic Remedies Pvt. Ltd. (Diaba Dops Liquid, Hair Grow, Delhi Clinic, Dr. Gupta’s Skin & Hair Hospital, Dr. Sanjeev Cancer & Liver Clinic, Naaz Stone Cut, Bhagyesh Health & Beauty Care P. Ltd. (Height Grow Range of Products), Ratan Ayurvedic (Ratans Heightop Syrup), Hercules Healthcare (Long Looks Height Gain Capsule), Dr. Herring German Homoeo Company (Dr Herring German Homoeo Co Product), Sidhji Sevashram (Fakiri Tilla), Sri Ganesh Nisargopchar Kendra, Sahar Herbal Pharmacy Pvt. Ltd. (Sahar Herbal Pharmas Products, Dr Rajguru Hair Care & Research Clinic, Suneha Health Cut Care (Suneha Fat Churna, Rajnish Hot Deals Pvt. Ltd. (Playwin), Nurture Health care, Rajnish Hot Deals Pvt. Ltd. (Playwin capsules and oil), Matru-Chhaya Clinic, National Healthcare (National Plato Plus Ras), Guduchi The Ayurvedism (Obesidat), Vcare Skin & Slimming Clinic (Vcare Slim N Skin Clinic), SBF Healthcare and Research Centre Private Limited, Sundar Dezire Good Life Pvt. Ltd. (Dezire Goodlife Range Of Products), Nature And Science Ayurveda, Juvenor Pharmaceuticals (Muslinites Gold), Oplus Heart Center, D S Research Centre, Kundan Kidney Care Centre, Sri Sai Ayurvedic Hospital, Sri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara College of Ayurveda & Hospital, Kalpa Foundation, Formula-Ten, Stammering Relief, Dr Nawal Kishore Hospital & Research Centre, Praveen Surana Deaf Cure Centre, Maa Homeo Chikitsha Kendra, Naik Homeopathy Care & Cure Clinic, Gurudev Multispecialty Centre, Apoorv Hi Tech, Adila Biotech Pvt. Ltd. (Asth Prash) and SBS Biotech Unit-II (More Power Capsule).
Under the education category, the CCC found following advertisements of educational institutes by 4 different advertisers were not substantiated and, thus, violated ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions. Hence complaints against these advertisements were UPHELD because of unsubstantiated claims that they ‘provide 100% placement/AND/OR they claim to be the No.1 in their respective fields’, these were: Siva Sivani Institute of Management, Oriental Group of Educational Institutions, Datatec Group Of Institutions (Hannas Eng Inst) and Goodwill Institute of Security System and Automation Technology.
Under PERSONAL CARE: Emami Ltd. (Fair & Handsome 5 Action Fairness) where the advertisement’s claim "long-lasting" implies that the product provides the claimed effect “fairness” for some extended time after its use has stopped or for some extended duration after the last application of the product. However this was not substantiated and is misleading by implication. Emami Limited Fair and Handsome’s advertisement shows the protagonist with dark complexion being unattractive to girls, implying people with darker skin colour to be inferior and likely to be ignored by the opposite sex. It was concluded that the advertisement stereotypes people based on skin colour, implying people with darker skin colour to be inferior and likely to be ignored by the opposite sex and people with fair complexion to be more attractive drawing female attention. Also, Emami Limited’s Fair and Handsome Fairness Cream came under the scanner as the advertisement’s claim, “breakthrough new formulation, “New”, was inadequately substantiated and is misleading as the formulation called as new was of year 2013 and hence was not “New” any more as per the ASCI guidelines for claiming “New”.
Philips Electric Shaver’s advertisement with a visual depiction of a shaving razor as a cactus and a concerned look on the model, read in conjunction with the claim, “Electric Shaver - Cut the hair not the skin”, is misleading as it implies that shaving razors cut the skin and not the hair (which was not substantiated), and unfairly denigrates shaving razors in general.
Wipro Enterprises’ Chandrika soap advertisement’s claim, “9 out of 10 girls claim that Chandrika soap gives them clear skin because it has 2 times more oil and ayurvedic contents than any other natural soaps” was not substantiated and was misleading by ambiguity and implication as in the data provided by the advertiser was a quantitative study carried out by the advertiser is a consumer perception study conducted in year 2012 among users of Chandrika soap regarding product efficacy. There was no technical or clinical efficacy data presented to correlate the ingredients in the soap to product efficacy. There is no data submitted regarding the content of Ayurvedic herbs and its impact on product efficacy.
Reckitt Benckiser (India) Dettol Liquid Handwash’s advertisement’s claim, “Sabun se saccha hai, sabun se accha hai” is misleading by ambiguity and implication that liquid handwash is better than bar soaps in providing protection from diseases and infection. The hold duration of the disclaimers in the advertisement is not in compliance with the ASCI guidelines.
Other ads to be upheld were that of Advanced Hair Studio, Radyance Instant Skin Brightener and Active Roots.
Under FOOD & BEVERAGES: Borges India Private Limited (Borges Olive Oil) advertisement’s claim, “India’s No.1 Olive Oil”, was misleading by ambiguity as it depicted / was associated with all the variants of olive oil marketed by Borges India and not restricted to the product variant “Borges Olive Oil- Extra Light in Taste” alone.
Heinz India (Complan Nutri Grow) advertisement’s claim, “Complan Nutrigro has 11 immunity builders that increase
s immunity”, was not adequately substantiated in the age group of subjects for whom it is meant. Also, the advertisement targets normally nourished children (and potentially also certain categories like those with overactive immune systems) which was considered to be misleading by ambiguity as the advertised product may not build immunity in normal children with a normal diet. Rakyan Beverages Limited (RAW Pressery) where the advertisement’s claims, “best ways to rid your body of toxins.” and “Alkalizes your system and flushes out all your toxins”, were not substantiated with supporting scientific evidence. Also, the claim is misleading.
Hershey’s Spreads’ advertisement’s claim, “Goodness of almonds” which was attributed to the benefits of almond as a generic claim for a chocolate spread containing 3.0% almond paste, seen in conjunction with gesture in the visual implying improvement of intelligence and a voice over stating “badhate Bacchon ke liye” is misleading by ambiguity and implication.
Also ads to be upheld were of Seagram’s Royal Stag, Surya Salt, Today Premium Tea, K. Patel Phyto Extractions Pvt. Ltd. (Dot Shot), Dabur India Ltd. (Real Wellnezz Jamun) and Gajanand Hing.
Under Others category, Advanced Fena Detergent Powder advertisement’s claim “India’s No. 1 Quality Detergent Powder” was not adequately and undisputedly substantiated and the TVCs are misleading by ambiguity and implication as the product ranking and the disclaimer attempts to hide material information with respect to the claim - i) the ranking being among other low cost detergents and not among ALL marketed products to claim “All India” and ii) it pertained to overall score of the product and not “Quality” as claimed. The disclaimer in the Hindi advertisement is not in the same language as the audio of the advertisement. Also, the disclaimers in the TVCs are not in compliance with ASCI’s Guidelines for Disclaimers.
Hewlett Packard India Sales’ HP Ink Tank Printing was also upheld as was Reliance Jio Digital Life advertisement’s claim, “Best 4G Network with lowest data rates globally” that was found to be misleading by ambiguity and implication of it being among the best in the world.
TV Today Network Limited Aaj Tak channel’s claims, “HSM Urban + Rural – No.1”, “HSM Urban – No.1”, “HSM Rural – No.1”, “All India Urban + Rural – No.1”, “All India Urban- No.1”, “All India Rural – No.1”, “Prime Time – No.1”, were not substantiated and are misleading. The advertiser has referred to BARC data as a source for these claims. It was noted that as per “BARC India Ratings – Principles of Fair and Permissible Usage” the period of comparison for any claim of leadership should cover at least four consecutive weeks of data. However, as per the disclaimer put by the advertiser for the claims is based on single week (week 45’16) and not four consecutive weeks of data as per BARC. Therefore it is violative of BARC Principles. It was also opined, that continuing news update pertaining to “demonetization” cannot be considered as an “event”. Therefore the basis for these claims with the source – “BARC TG15+ NCCS All, MKT: as mentioned, Time:- 2:00 – 26:00, 19:00 – 24:00, Period:- Wk:- 45”16, Share% based on 12 Hindi news channels”, was not acceptable. The subject matter of comparison is chosen in such a way so as to confer an artificial advantage upon the advertiser so as to suggest that a better bargain is offered than is truly the case. The website advertisement is misleading by ambiguity and implication.
Go Air advertisement’s claim, “Fly smart with our low fares. Fares Starting from RS 736* (All inclusive)”, was not substantiated and is misleading by ambiguity and exaggeration; Berger Paints India Limited (Lewis Berger Weather coat Anti Dust Paint) advertisement’s claim “Deewar pe dhool ko tikne na de, Kitni bhi dhool aaye ghar pe na tik paye" was inadequately substantiated, and is misleading by exaggeration and Kent Air Purifiers advertisement’s claim, “Air Purifier de sabse shudh Hawa”, was not substantiated and is misleading by exaggeration.
TV TODAY Network’s advertisement’s claims, “No.1 Prime Time News”, “India Today 30.8%, Times Now 24.5%, NDTV 23%, CNN News18 15.5%”, “Prime Time Prime Anchor Prime Channel”, ““The Undisputed No. 1” and “The Undisputed News Leader” are considered to be misleading by ambiguity and implication while BCCL Television Division’s Times Network in its slide has chosen to call its competition as ‘upstart’. In view of the other channels being established channels, the contention “Upstart competition” is not considered to be valid.
Also ads of Global Consumer Products Private Limited (DND Turblo liquid vaporizer, Sapna Infoway Private, Accelyst Solutions Pvt. Ltd. (Freecharge) and Vaayu Chiller were upheld.