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ASCI upholds complaints against 34 ads

31-May-2011
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ASCI upholds complaints against 34 ads

The Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has upheld complaints against 34 advertisements between November 2010 and February 2011. The 34 addressed cases are related to advertisements in FMCG, personal accessories, media, automobile, healthcare, education sector, alcohol brands, New Look Skin Care Centre, Indiatimes Shopping, and Dish TV.

The complaint received against Pernod Ricard’s Royal Stag advertisement was related to surrogate advertising of an alcohol product during a cricket match. This led to discontinuation of the advertisement. Similarly, Sab Miller India (Hayward and Hayward 5000) and United Spirits (McDowell’s) both violated the Cable TV Network Rules and ASCI Code on Surrogate Advertising, thereby resulting in the ads being withdrawn.

The complaints received on advertisements of HUL, Procter & Gamble, L’Oreal, Dabur, Dish TV, Kent RO Systems and Shree Maruti Herbal questioned the leadership comparisons or comparative benefits claimed by these brands in their advertisements with similar products available in the market. Post CCC’s intervention, appropriate modifications were made in the advertisement or the advertisement itself was discontinued. In a specific case of ITC’s Vivel TVC, the portrayal and projection of women with dark skin brought it under CCC’s purview, resulting in the discontinuation of the advertisement.

The brand advertisement of American Tourister was not in line with ASCI’s Code under Chapter III.1 (b). The usage of the tagline by the brand in the advertisement – “Survive Istanbul, Survive the World” – mars Turkey’s reputation as a tourist destination. In the case of Naaptol’s Biomagnetic Titanium Bracelet, the advertiser has not responded to CCC. As per Chapters I.1 and I.5 of ASCI’s Code and in the absence of comments from Naaptol, CCC concluded that the claims made by the advertiser were not substantiated. Suitable modifications were made in both these advertisements post CCC’s intervention.

Dainik Bhaskar’s and Pudhari’s advertisements came under the CCC scanner as a result of complaints made on their claims. As these claims were not allowed by the CCC and the ads were withdrawn. The complaints regarding the TVS Motor Company advertisement were related to use of stunts in depicting the power or capacity of the advertised vehicle product. The advertisement contravened Clause ‘C’ of the ASCI Guidelines on Advertisements for Automotive Vehicles as some of the stunts were shown in normal traffic conditions. TVS Motors modified the advertisement suitably post CCC’s intervention. In the automobile sector Hyundai Motors and Ceat Ltd were also brought under the discretion of the CCC, wherein Ceat’s TVC has been modified due to the dangerous practices displayed in its TVC. As for Hyundai, the TVC has been withdrawn altogether.

In the education sector two complaints were made against T.I.M.E. -MBA-CET 2010 advertisement. The advertiser substantiated one of the claims while appropriate changes were made with regards to the second complaint since the claim could not be substantiated. As for Noesis Education. the claim of the success ratio of one out of eight, the Best in India sent to IIM’s was not substantiated. The institute instantly modified its advertisement after receiving the complaint from ASCI.

The Council also upheld advertisements of New Look Skincare, Lavanya Ayurvedic Cancer Hospital, Reebok India, Indiatimes Shopping and Lokmat newspaper on the basis of tall claims not substantiated or claims that were misleading the consumer.

During the period of November 2010 and February 2011, CCC did not uphold 19 complaints as their claims were substantiated. The complaints not upheld were related to advertisements by Artsana India Pvt Ltd, Cadbury, Reckitt Benckiser, RR Industries, Tata Sky, Perfetti Van Melle, Akzo Nobel India, TVS Motor, Multiscreen Media, Tata Motors, Pantaloon Retail, and Axis Bank, among others.

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