In August 2015, ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against 87 out of 117 advertisements. Out of 117 advertisements against which complaints were upheld, 37 belonged to the Personal and Healthcare category, followed by 41 advertisements in the Education category and 9 advertisements from other categories.
Health and personal care:
The CCC found the following claims in health and personal care product or service advertisements of 37advertisers 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. Some of the brand ads complaints that were upheld:
LG Electronics India Pvt. Ltd. (LG Water Purifiers): The advertisement of LG Water Purifiers claims, "India’s only true water purifier" which was not adequately substantiated.
Hindustan Unilever Ltd. (PureitUltima):The TVC of PureitUltima claims, “PureitUltima RO+UV. Sirf is meinhai Purity Indicator josaafsaafdikhatahaikipaanikitna pure hai”, which was false and misleading. Furthermore, the Print advertisement and Website claims, “PureitUltima with Purity Indicator. Purity you can see!” was misleading by implication.
L’Oreal India Private Limited (L’Oreal Fall Repair): The claims in the advertisement, “Its triple action arginine nourishes hair from its roots, it reduces breakage, hair grow stronger” and “Save up to 2000 hair strands”, were inadequately substantiated and were misleading by ambiguity.
Lotus Herbals Limited (Lotus Herbals Youth RX): The claims in the advertisement, “A firmer and younger skin in just seven days” and “In four weeks 96 percent of users have agreed that effects of ageing are almost gone”, were inadequately substantiated.
VLCC Ltd Healthcare: The claims in the advertisement, “Listen to your DNA for weightloss. Presenting for the first time VLCC DNA Slim a scientific weight loss solution based on your DNA”, “Running 4KM daily helped your colleague Lose weight. But may only make you lose your cool” and “Lose four kilograms or get your money back”, were considered to be misleading by exaggeration and implication.
Johnson & Johnson Ltd (Aveeno Active Naturals): The claims mentioned on the pack and as cited in the complaint, state “Aveeno Active Naturals are ingredients derived from nature” for the declared active ingredient on the pack “Dimethicone” which is not considered to be natural was false and not substantiated.
The CCC found that claims in the advertisements by 41 advertisers were not substantiated and, thus, violated ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions. Hence complaints against them were upheld. Some of the brand ads complaints that were upheld:
Personaliteez: The advertisement’s claim, “Making 2 lakhs per weekend”, was not substantiated.
Peoples Empowerment Group - ISB&M School of Technology: The claims in the advertisement, “100% Placement” and “ISB&M School of Technology Ranked 8th in Emerging Engineering Institutes in India”, were not substantiated.
NIPS School of Hotel Management: The claims in the advertisement, “World Record Holder”, “Ranked No. 1 Eastern India the Pioneer Newpaper 2014”, “Best Placement Award- By South Asian Academy, New Delhi, 2012”, “Ranked No. 2 Among India's Private Hotel Management Institute - The Pioneer Newspaper – 2013”, “Holder of Limca, Asia & India Books Of Records”, “Eastern India's Best Hotel Management College- Awarded By Brands Academy, New Delhi – 2013”, “Winner 8th National Education Award- Awarded by NEA, New Delhi- 2014”, “Winner National W.B Education Award- Awarded by NEA, New Delhi – 2014” and “Worldwide Hospitality Award- Awarded by WWHA, Paris, France- 2003”, were not adequately substantiated with evidence.
HSIL Limited (Hindware Ensemble Kitchen): The claim in the advertisement, “Air Flow–1200 m3/hr”, was not substantiated with supporting technical data.
Bharti Airtel Ltd. (Airtel Broadband): The claim offer of “Airtel Broadband – 60 GB @ Rs.1099 with unlimited calls”, was not substantiated with evidence of the customers who have availed this scheme.
Amazon Kindle: The advertisement claiming price off of Rs 1000/- from Rs. 5999 to Rs 4999 in large prominent font shown for an image of the product costing Rs.8999/- is misleading by implication regardless of the disclaimer (in fine print), “Device shown in Image is Rs.8999/-”.
Corona Plus Industries Limited (Plus Easy Washing): The claims in the point of sale material (POSM) of Plus Easy Washing state, “Rs. 5 KeChote, PatleSabuno Se DhulaiBadiKashtdayiHain”, “ApkoBadiRahatDega, KashtdayiDhulaikoAsaan Karta HainAur 66% JyaadaKapdeAsani Se SaafDhulteHain”, were not substantiated with comparative data against competition products. The claims used in conjunction with the images of the competition products in the POSM is denigrating and disparaging competition.
Carlsberg India Limited (Tuborg Zero): The advertisement was a surrogate advertisement for a promotion of a liquor product – Tuborg Zero. The advertiser did not provide the annual market sales data of the product/service advertised, thus the advertisement contravened Chapter III.6 (a) (b) of the ASCI Code and the Guidelines for Brand Extension product or service.
Manappuram Finance Limited: In absence of a disclaimer to indicate that the earlier scheme of 5% reduction in interest rate has been extended to other branches, the advertisement is misleading by omission.
ASCI’s July 2015 Upheld CCC Decisions press release mentioned the CLAT Possible advertisement in the Education sector. “We would like to specify that this complaint was subsequently reviewed by the CCC on additional data being provided by the advertiser. Hence, on review, the claims were substantiated and the complaint against the advertisement was not-upheld,” ASCI statement said.