ASCI upholds complaints against HUL, Reliance & Tata Motors among others
In February 2016, ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against 80 out of 133 advertisements. Out of 80 advertisements against which complaints were upheld, 48 belonged to the Education category, 13 were from the Healthcare category, followed by 5 from the Food & Beverages category and 14 advertisements from other categories.
The CCC found the following claims in health care & personal care product or service advertisements of 13 advertisers 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:
Health & Personal Care
1. Emami Limited (Fair & Handsome): The advertisement’s claim, "Long lasting fairness" was not substantiated.
2. Colorbar Cosmetics Pvt. Ltd. (Colorbar U.S.A. Hydra White Intense Whitening Hydrating Day Lotion): The advertisement’s claim relating to usage results, “70% felt an increase in skin brightness, freshness and radiance”, “75% felt their skin tone looked more clear”, “80% agreed their skin remained hydrated all day long”, “80% loved the light-weight texture”, were not substantiated and were likely to mislead consumers.
3. Hindustan Unilever Ltd. (Dove Hair Fall Rescue Shampoo with Nutrilock Actives): The ad was found misleading by ambiguity because consumers will believe that Dove will also reduce natural hair fall; whereas the context of product benefit is with reference to hair fall due to breakage, as specified in the disclaimer.
4. Shree Maruti Herbal (Stay-On Oral Liquid): The advertisement’s claim, “Quick Acting” and “Get charged for the intense pleasure” were not substantiated for this proprietary product.
5. HealthCare Global Enterprises Limited (HCG Hospital-CyberKnife): The advertisement’s claim, “In Cyberknife Surgery …..And, By The End Of It. No Cancer” were not substantiated. Also, specific to the claim implying cure for cancer, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violates the Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.
6. Truweight Wellness Pvt. Ltd. (Truweight Loss Program): The advertisement’s claim, “See Results in 10* Days! Or your money back*!” and “India’s first honest weight loss program where you lose weight through superfoods, not weight loss pills, gadgets, surgery or false promises.” were not substantiated and were misleading by exaggeration.
7. Johnson & Johnson Ltd.: The advertisement’s claim, “Johnson & Johnson - Making clinically proven mild products for more than 100 years!” was not substantiated.
8. Mission Health (Non-surgical spine care technologies): The advertisement’s claim, “Neck pain, back pain, slipped disc, sciatica?”, “No medicine, no injections, no surgery”, “India’s 1st super speciality spine clinic in Ahmedabad”, “Worlds most advanced non-surgical spine care technologies” and “12,000+ patients treated successfully” were not substantiated.
9. Hindustan Unilever Ltd. (Lifebuoy Clini-Care 10 Soap): The advertisement’s claim, "10X more skin care moisturizers" was not substantiated.
10. Shree Maruti Herbal (Stay On Power Capsule): The advertisement’s claim, “Its proper intake gradually revived my vigour, vitality, energy & helped my confident game with match winning performances”, “Viva Stay-On …. for longer, stronger & bigger performance”, were not substantiated with evidence of effectiveness and were misleading by exaggeration.
11. Future Value Products Pvt. Ltd. (Dr. Back Orthopedic Mattress): The advertisement’s claim, “Since 1982, Pyare Lal Group is the only manufacturer in the world, who manufactures all types of mattresses under one roof”, was not substantiated and was misleading by gross exaggeration.
12. Ban Labs Ltd (Sesa Oil): The claim in the advertisement of “8X” referring to the 8 benefits of the product was not substantiated.
13. Marico Ltd (Livon Hairgain Tonic): The advertisement’s claim, “It controls Hairfall in 90 days”, was not substantiated adequately as the product was at most helpful in moderately improving the condition.
Food & Beverages
1. Nutricia International Pvt. Ltd. (Protinex Health Drink): The advertisement’s claim, “And your regular diet isn’t sufficient to meet your daily protein requirement”, was considered to be misleading by implication, as it implies that Protinex is a replacement for regular diet.
2. Cargill India Pvt. Ltd (Leonardo Olive Oil): The advertisement’s claim, “1/3 oil usage, Makes it light” is not acceptable since the sensory results presented were not statistically significant as compared to other cooking oils. Further, the advertisement’s claim, “Improves Metobolic Health”, “Increases Good Cholesterol”, “Maintains sugar levels”, “Controls weight and waist line” were not substantiated.
3. Paras Surti Products Private Limited (Paras Pan Masala): The TVC features Arbaaz Khan - a celebrity from the field of cinema for a product which has a health warning that it is injurious to health and cannot be purchased or used by minors. It was noted that minors are very likely to be exposed to the TVC.
4. Pan Parag India Ltd. (Pan Parag Pan Masala): The TVC features Sachin Khedekar - a celebrity from the field of cinema for a product which has a health warning that it is injurious to health and cannot be purchased or used by minors. It was noted that minors are very likely to be exposed to the TVC.
5. I.T.C Limited (Sunfeast Farmlite Cookies): In the advertisement, the visual of “two ladies (mother and daughter) playing on zebra crossing”, shows and encourages, without justifiable reason, an unsafe practice, and manifests a disregard for safety.
The CCC found that the claims in the advertisements by 48 different advertisers were not substantiated and, thus, violated ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions. Hence complaints against these advertisements were upheld:
1. Sojatia Competition Classes: The advertisement’s claim, “63 selections in NLUs”, “All India Level Test Series & Online Testing”, and Comparison of CLAT 2015 with others and IPM with other competitors, were not substantiated with authentic supporting data.
2. Erudite (CAT Coaching): The advertisement’s claim, “By far the Highest number of IIM Calls in Kolkata are from Erudite”, “No. 1 for CAT” and “Best results and personalised attention” were not substantiated.
3. IMS Learning Resources Pvt. Ltd (CAT exam series): The advertisement’s claim, “IMS offers the most comprehensive study material designed by our 100 percentilers and our best faculty for CAT and other B-school entrance tests” and “SimCAT is by far the most comprehensive and most popular simulated CAT exam series in the country.” were not substantiated and were misleading by gross exaggeration.
4. VistaMind Education Pvt. Ltd (Best Trainers for CAT, Bank PO): The advertisement’s claim, “The Best trainers for CAT, Bank PO now in Hyderabad”, is an absolute claim and was not substantiated with comparative data versus other institutes to show that their trainers are better than anyone else.
5. G.L. Bajaj Institute of Management and Research: The advertisement’s claim, “The Highest Salary Offered: 17.0 LPA.”, “The Highest Salary Achieved: 10.42 LPA.”, “Average Salary: 4.5 LPA.”, and “International Package Rs.17 LPA.”, were not substantiated.
6. Asian Business School: The advertisement’s claim, “Average Package offered 5.8 Lac/p.a”, was not substantiated.
7. Chandigarh University: The advertisement’s claim, “The highest salary package offered is 17 Lacs”, was not substantiated.
8. LegalEdge Tutorials (LegaEdge – All India Rank 1): The advertisement’s claim, “All India Rank 1, 8, 13, 42, 56, 71, 75 and many more in CLAT 2015”, was not substantiated and was found misleading by ambiguity.
9. IILM Institute of Business and Management: The advertisement’s claim, “The Average annual salary package offered touched near to about 7.5 lakhs”, was not substantiated.
10. Jaipuria School of Business: The advertisement’s claim, “Highest package of Batch 13-15 is Rs 6.00 lakhs & average Rs. 4.5 lakhs”, and “100% Placement”, were not adequately substantiated.
11. ITM Business School: The advertisement’s claim, “Top International Placement: 10,50,000”, “Top Domestic Placement: 8,50,000” and “Average CTC: “5,00,000”, were not substantiated.
12. JK Business School: The advertisement’s claim, “An average salary of Rs. 4 lakhs (Domestic) and Rs. 13 Lakhs (International)”, was not substantiated.
13. Jagannath International Management School: The advertisement’s claim, “Highest Salary is Rs.14.75 lac p.a. & Average Salary is Rs.5.5 lac p.a”, was not adequately substantiated.
14. Techno Institute of Management Sciences: The advertisement’s claim, “Minimum 3 Jobs for every student” was not substantiated and was found to be misleading by ambiguity.
15. Parul Institute of Management: The advertisement’s claim, “Highest salary package 6.0 Lacs, Average salary Package 3.25 Lacs”, was not substantiated.
16. Pune Institute of Business Management: The advertisement’s claim, “14 Lakhs PA Highest Package” and “6 Lakhs PA Average Package”, was not substantiated.
17. Thiagarajar School of Management: The advertisement’s claim, “Average Salary: 5.3 Lakh p.a.”, “Highest Salary: 7.50 Lakh p.a.” and “Average no. of offers/Students: 1.3”, was not substantiated.
18. Srusti Academy of Management: The advertisement’s claim, “2014-15 - Highest Salary Rs.3.16 Lacs, Median Salary Rs.2.20 Lacs” and “2013-14 - Highest Salary Rs.3.14 Lacs, Median Salary Rs.1.88 Lacs”, was not substantiated.
19. Master School of Management: The advertisement’s claim, “Highest Package-10.5 Lac P.A.”, “Average Package-6.3 Lac P.A.” and Placement Trend 2013-15 – “Students Placed- 98.33%” and “Students Opted for Entrepreneurship - 1.67%”, was not substantiated.
20. Dr. Gaur Hari Singhania Institute of Management & Research (GHS-IMR): The advertisement’s claim, “Institute is not only known for its actual 100% placement but also for quality education”, was not substantiated.
21. Institute of Engineering & Management Group: The advertisement’s claim, “Average CTC Rs.3 lakh/annum. Highest package Rs.9.2 lakh/annum”, was not substantiated.
Complaints against advertisements of all educational institutes listed below were upheld because of unsubstantiated claims.
The institutes include:
DLM Academy, Accurate Group of Institutions, Fortune Institute of International Business, Ansal University, Centre for Management Development, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Institute of Management & Higher Studies, Asia-Pacific Institute of Management, Dewan V.S. Group of Institutions, Ishan Institute of Management & Technology, Endeavor Careers, International Management Centre, IMS Ghaziabad, Institute of Technology and Science Ghaziabad, K.R. Mangalam University, Jindal Global Business School, Suryadatta College of Hospitality Management & Travel Tourism (SCHMTT), Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Viswa Mahavidyalaya (SCSVMV University), Bengal College of Engineering and Technology, Alard Institute of Management Sciences, Al-Barkaat Institute of Management Studies, Disha Institute of Management and Technology, International School of Management Patna, Institute of Management & Information Science, Hi-Tech Institute of Technology, Heritage Business School, Future Institute of Engineering and Management and Kochi Business School Mar Thoma School of Management Studies.
1. Bharti Airtel Ltd (Airtel 4G): The advertisement’s language and the hold duration of the super in the advertisement was not as per the ASCI guidelines on supers.
2. Vodafone India Ltd. (Vodafone 4G Network): The advertisement’s claim, “World’s Largest 4G Network, now in Kochi” was not substantiated. Also, the claim was misleading in the absence of appropriate disclaimer/qualifier.
3. Hewlett Packard India Sales Pvt. Ltd (Hewlett Packard printer): Regardless of the disclaimer, the visuals of coloured print outs appearing along with the headline “Upto 480 pages for just Rs. 475/- per cartridge” was found to be misleading by ambiguity and implication.
4. Jaguar and Company Ltd (Jaguar Lighting): The advertisement’s claim, "eco-friendly mercury free" was considered to be misleading by omission of reference to other products that are not mercury free.
5. MRF Ltd. (MRF ZSLK Tyres): The advertisement’s claims, “When you drive on MRF ZSLK, Delhi Breaths a Little easier”, and “MRF ZSLK India’s Eco-Friendly Car tyre”, were not substantiated with supporting data to prove that the MRF ZSLK Tyres results in vehicle consuming significantly less fuel and as a result emit lower emission. The claims are misleading by exaggeration.
6. Hathway Cable & Datacom Pvt. Ltd. (Hathway Broadband Internet): While the claim in the advertisement of Hathway Broadband Internet, “10 TIMES FASTER” was substantiated, it was misleading by omission of an appropriate disclaimer.
7. Reliance Communications (Reliance Upgrade to 3G): The advertisement’s claim, “India’s finest 3G network”, was not adequately substantiated and was found misleading by exaggeration.
8. Vinr Communications Shantketan Entertainments (Ishq Junoon): The visual in the movie promo was found to be vulgar, indecent and repulsive especially in depiction of a woman and not suitable to be viewed by minors.
9. KAFF Appliances (India) Pvt. Ltd. (KAFF): The advertisement’s claim, “KAFF is now India’s Most Trusted Brand. Consumer Validated 2015”, was not substantiated.
10. Tata Motors Ltd. (GENX Nano Easy Shift): In one frame of the TVC, the vehicle indicator light is not lit while overtaking another vehicle. This visual is in violation of traffic rules and shows an unsafe practice.
11. Hike Ltd (Hike Messenger): The advertisement’s claim, “5 times faster” was not substantiated and was misleading by ambiguity and omission of reference of comparison.
12. Hike Ltd (Hike Messenger): The scene shown in the TVC of students playing a prank and as a result “a bursting sound in the class room while the teacher is teaching”, shows a dangerous practice and this depiction could be avoided.
13. ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd. (OLA Cabs): The advertisement’s claim, “Ride an OLA for just Rs.8/km", was not substantiated and was also misleading by ambiguity.
14. ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd. (OLA Cabs): The claim in the Ad, "Ola! Now pay lesser for your cab ride. Travel in Delhi- NCR starting at just Rs.25. Open the app & use code NCR25. TCA", was not substantiated.
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