In March 2014, ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld Complaints against 68 out of 108 advertisements. Advertisements in Personal and Healthcare sector category again emerged as the category which accounted for a majority of Advertisements (44 out of 68) against which complaints were Upheld.
HEALTH AND PERSONAL CARE
The CCC found the following claims in health and personal care product or service ads of 44 advertisers, released in the press 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 ads also contravened provisions of the Drug & Magic Remedies Act. Some of these ads included:
1. Hindustan Unilever: Vaseline Healthy White Lotion showing exaggerated claims of ‘instant whitening’ on skin.
2. Wipro (Glucovita Bolts): Claims that ‘Glucovita has iron & Glucose which gives energy to the body & brain in 10 seconds. Glucovita acts in 10 seconds.’
3. Zydus Wellness: Claims that Everyuth Fairness Peel off to be India’s first intelligent delivering whitening technology that targets melanocytes to give unmatched fairness.
4. Hamdard Laboratories India (Hamdogen Herbal Revitaliser for Men): The product claims to be a Herbal Vitalizer for men.
FOOD & BEVERAGES
Cadbury India: Cadbury 5 Star advertisement shows ‘a lady giving birth to a baby who is laughing. The voiceover says that the babies used to be laughing while being born in earlier days and later they started crying at childbirth due to a disease called seriousness. So eat 5 star to become jovial again.’ The CCC concluded that the frames in the TVC showing the process of child birth are gross and offensive. The advertisement contravened Chapter II of the Code. The complaint was UPHELD. This advertisement received 21 such complaints against it.
Heinz India: Heinz claims that its Complan brand 'is a nutrition expert in the category and is formulated as per the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for Indians. It advises: make sure that your child drinks Complan thrice a day for adequate nutrition and total health. Right Choice Magazine tested the sugar content of Heinz Complan Natural and found that, when added to 200ml of whole milk, each 33g serving (as recommended by Complan) contains 18.5g of sugar. Three servings a day would therefore add 55.5g of sugar to a child's diet. That’s almost three times the National Institute of Nutrition (India)'s total recommended daily sugar allowance for a 4-9-year old child before they’ve eaten any meals. The CCC concluded that the total intake of added sugar through Complan, when served in milk as suggested on pack instructions, could reach the maximum RDA values. The internet content when referred to in conjunction with pack instructions, contravened Guidelines on Advertising of Foods & Beverages - Clause 8. The complaint was UPHELD.
Diageo India: The advertisement appears to be a surrogate ad for liquor – Vat 69. The gaming portal mentioned in the ad was non – functional when tried by the complainant. The CCC viewed the print ad and considered the advertiser’s response. The CCC concluded that the ad was a surrogate Ad for a liquor product – VAT 69. The Ad contravened the Guidelines for Qualification of Brand Extension product or services, and Chapter III.6 of the ASCI Code. The complaint was UPHELD.
The CCC found following claims in print ads by 14 different advertisers were not substantiated and thus, violated ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions and hence the complaints against these ads were UPHELD –
1. Infinity Educare: Claims that it is ‘No. 1 in India.’
2. Institute of Fire Engineering & Safety: Claims to be ‘India's No. 1 Fire & Safety Institute.’
3. Shyam Institute: Claims that ‘10,000 people got jobs from our coaching classes.’
4. ECC Academy: ‘Within 45 days Bank/Government job.’
5. Sachdeva College: The advertisement illustrates the details of the number of students selected in various competitive exams.
6. Sri Sri Institute: Claims that ‘6000 Central Government jobs are from this institute’
7. Steadfast Services: ‘100% job guaranteed intensive coaching’, ‘more than 6000 placement’, ‘coaching given in state’s No. 1 factory’, ‘payment of fees can be done after getting a job’
8. Chanakya IAS Academy: Claims that they get ‘over 2500 selections in IAS, IFS, and IPS.’
9. Triumphant Institute Management Education Ltd.: Claims that T.I.M.E. has ‘the best full time faculty team in Delhi – NCR’.
10. Institute of Management Studies: Claims that they give ‘100% placement of PGDM (2012-14) batch, 6 months before completion of course’, ‘best industry interface award – ASSOCHAM’, ‘8th in Northern India, Business World’, ‘4th in U.P. Outlook’, ‘Rated A1, AIMA’, ‘5th in U.P. / Uttrakhand, the Week’, ‘3rd in U.P. CSR-GHRDC.’
11. DAV Institute of Engineering & Technology: Claims that it is ‘100% placement track record of eligible students with highest offered pay package of Rs. 5.65 lacs per annum., 4th top engineering college in Punjab as per CSR-GHRDC survey, 34th rank amongst private colleges of the country as rated by Electronics for You magazine, 39th rank in top engineering colleges of excellence in India as per CSR-GHRDC survey, 66th rank in top engineering college of India as per Data Quest magazine.
12. IT Point: Claims ‘success guaranteed’.
13. Institute for Government Service Aspirants: Claims that there is ‘surety for government jobs.’
14. SMEC Automation Pvt. Ltd.: SMEC Claims on its website home page claims that companies hiring from Engineering Companies like Siemens, Areva, JSW, mitsubi, Schneider Electric, Honeywell.
Clues Network: Dell Wireless Mouse advertisement shows a Dell wireless mouse along with a picture of Dell wireless mouse WM123.The description mentions its USB corded mouse and the price of the mouse is Rs. 350. The original wireless mouse costs Rs.700. This advertisement appears to be misleading. In the absence of comments from the advertiser, the CCC concluded that the contents of the ad distorts facts and is misleading. The internet ad contravened Chapter I.4 of the Code. The complaint was UPHELD.
PVR: PVR Cinemas claims ‘unlimited refill offer on soft beverages (Pepsi etc.). The offer is only available from Monday toThursday; however the poster on a stand does not carry any description that the offer is limited to week days only. The ad does not mention ‘conditions apply’. In the absence of comments from the advertiser, the CCC concluded that the claim offer was misleading by omission in the absence of an appropriate disclaimer. The promotional material contravened Chapter I.4 of the Code. The complaint was UPHELD.
Aditya Birla Management Corporation: Birla White Putty TVC shows ‘a woman on a scooter without helmet.’ The CCC viewed the TVC and considered the advertiser’s response. The CCC concluded that the visual showing ‘a woman on a scooter without a helmet’, depicts an unsafe practice. The TVC contravened Chapter III.3 of the Code. The complaint was UPHELD.
JCL Teleshopping: Deaddiction claims to ‘de-addict the consumer from any sort of addiction including that of cigars, pan, and alcohol.’ The CCC concluded that the claims in the ad were not substantiated and were misleading by gross exaggeration. The advertisement contravened Chapters I.1 and I.4 of the ASCI Code. The complaint was UPHELD.
Arise India: Arise Inverters advertisement an old lady blesses the bride saying ‘putravati bhava’ which is an ancient blessing to have a male child. This statement is typically orthodox and against the government efforts to encourage female child births and against the efforts of state government bodies to stop female foeticide in our country. The CCC concluded that the words ‘Putravati Bhava’ (blessing to have a male child) used in the TVC implied 'guarantee of male child' as a sought after event. This was objectionable and discriminatory against girl child. The advertisement contravened Chapter III.1 (.b) of the ASCI Code. The complaint was UPHELD.
Hiox Softwares Pvt. Ltd: The advertisement on youtube says they provide cheap website domains for Rs.99. On checking the website, no link providing the mentioned offer was available. The customer support executive confirmed that the cost for the website was Rs. 399 only. The advertisement distorts facts and is misleading by omission of the conditions applicable to the offer. The Youtube Ad contravened Chapter I.4 of the Code. The complaint was UPHELD.
CNBC TV18 advertisement claims that, ‘CNBC-TV18 was the only channel India watched, during FM’s speech’ by relying on TAM rating of the day part 11:10 am until 12:06 pm. This claim of Network18 for its channel is completely misleading, factually incorrect, unsubstantiated and even disparaging to the other news and non-news channels including Network18’s competitor channels and ET Now. Network18 stated that according to TAM data, with the criteria- CS AB Males 25+, All India of February 17, 2014, the market share during the day part 11:10 am to 12:06 pm (‘Day Part’) was 100%. When calculating the TAM rating for the Day Part, we observed that Network18 had a share of 86% which is in complete contradiction to what Network18 claimed in the Advertisement-1 and, ET Now had a share of 14%, during the said Day Part, which clearly proves that Network18 was not the only channel that India watched during the FM’s speech as claimed by them.
TVTs garnered by ET Now during the aforementioned Day Part were 0.290, as against Network18 which garnered 1.680 TVTs. Thus, it is very clear that channel ET Now also had viewership during that Day Part, which Network18 falsely and with mala-fide intention reduced to 0% in the said Advertisement-1. Claim ‘as being the only channel watched’ is misleading to the viewers as there are 242 channels which had some amount of viewership ranging from 2,000 to 510,000 viewers in the Males 25+ SEC AB TG, out of which, 110 channels in that Day Part had a higher reach than the Channel of Network18. In the absence of comments from the Advertiser, the CCC concluded that the claim, ‘CNBC-TV18 was the only channel India watched, during FM’s speech’, was not substantiated and was considered to be misleading. The advertisement contravened Chapters I.1 and I.4 of the ASCI Code. The complaint was UPHELD.