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ASCI upholds complaints against PepsiCo, Amazon, Patanjali, Flipkart & Dabur among others

ASCI upholds complaints against PepsiCo, Amazon, Patanjali, Flipkart & Dabur among others

Author | exchange4media News Service | Friday, Aug 05,2016 8:01 AM

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ASCI upholds complaints against PepsiCo, Amazon, Patanjali, Flipkart & Dabur among others

In May 2016, ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against 109 out of 155 advertisements. Out of 109 advertisements against which complaints were upheld, 41 belonged to the Healthcare & Personal Care category, 23 to the Education category, followed by 12 in the Food & Beverages category, 9 in the E-commerce Category, 9 in Consumer Durables Category and 15 advertisements from other categories.

Health & personal care

The CCC found the following claims in health care & personal care product or service advertisements of 41 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.

Hindustan Unilever Ltd. (Sunsilk Shampoo): The advertisement’s claim, “3 months mein lambe baal”, was not substantiated and is misleading.

Hindustan Unilever Ltd. (Fair & lovely Ayurvedic Care): In the advertisement the claims in Marathi (when translated into English), “Power packed with natural anti-oxidants that removes scars” and “A natural astringent that calms the skin and provides freedom”, were not substantiated and were misleading.

Emami Limited (Navratna Tel): In the advertisement, the claimed benefit of efficacy in two minutes i.e., “Sirf Do Minute Navratna Tail Ki Thandi Maalish Dinbhar Ke Sardard, Tension, Thakaan Ko Jhat Se Bhagaye” and “2 min mai tension bhagaye, thakaan mithaye, sardard bhagaye, Anindra se chutkara dilaye”, were not adequately substantiated and were misleading by ambiguity.

Godrej Consumer Products Limited (Godrej Expert Rich Crème Hair Color): The advertisement’s claim, “damage free” was absolute and was not adequately substantiated nor was it qualified. The claim was misleading by ambiguity as there was no rationale provided about the uniqueness of the product composition and its mechanism of action to support as to how this formula does not cause any hair damage as claimed.

Lotus Herbals Limited (Lotus Safe Sun Whitening Plus): The advertisement’s claim, “SPF 40, PA+++give complete sun protection from UVA /UVB rays”, was not substantiated and is misleading.

Nisha Herbal Products (Safrogel Cream): The advertisement’s claim (in Marathi), “Gori Gori Laakhat Bhaari, Nisha Herbal cha Safrogel Gori panaacha maha mantra” conveys that fair complexion is an enabler to become popular and derides people with darker complexion by implication. The advertisement also contravened ASCI’s Guidelines of Advertising for Skin Lightening or Fairness Improvement Products (“Advertising should not communicate any discrimination as a result of skin colour.”).

Patanjali Ayurved Ltd. (Divya Swasari Pravahi): The advertisement’s claims, “Thousands of banned medicines are being sold in the market. The harmful results of these bad chemicals are surfacing now. Thousands of pharmaceutical companies are paying crores of rupees as a fine for this act. Besides this, health of people is getting affected by these chemicals”, were factually incorrect and not substantiated with authentic supporting data and are misleading.  Also, the claims are denigrating competition and puts the entire allopathic cough and cold medicine category in bad light. Further, the claim regarding, Divya Pharmacy Ayurvedic medicines i.e. “These medicines have 0% side effects and 100% results”, was not substantiated and is misleading.

Razorbill’s (Razor Slim Capsules): The advertisement’s claims, “Razor slim is one stop solution for all the fat related problems of the patients. It reduces bad cholesterol and detoxifies the body. Razor slim has specifically chosen highly effective herbs which help reducing weight.”, were not substantiated and are misleading.  Also, the visual showing the images of before and after the treatment were considered to be misleading.

Shree Maruti Herbals Pvt. Ltd. (Stay On Power Oil): The advertisement’s claims, “Helps rejuvenate and strengthens weak nerves” and “Massage daily and experience the height of pleasure”, were not substantiated and are misleading.   Also, the claims read in conjunction with the pack visual, imply that the product is meant for enhancement of sexual pleasure, which is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.

Dr. Batra's Positive Health Clinic Pvt Ltd - (Hair Loss Treatment): The advertisement’s claims, “41% of men with full heads of hair were selected for job interviews as compared to only 27% of balding men” and “56% of women think that men with hair loss look at least 5 years older than their actual age”, were not substantiated and are misleading.

Ratnasagar Herbals Pvt. Ltd. (Joy Pure Aloe Multi Benefit Body Lotion): The advertisement’s claim, “anti-ageing”, “anti-pollutant” and “UV protection” were not substantiated and were misleading by exaggeration.

Ayurwin Pharmaceutical Pvt. Ltd. (Ayurwin Nutrigain+ Powder and Capsules): The advertisement’s claim, “This Summer Along With Strong Body, Keep Your Body Cool” and "Look Strong & Fit, Gain Your Body Weight", were not substantiated and are misleading.

Clinic Dermatech (Weight Loss by Cryosculpting): The advertisement’s claim, “Eliminate stubborn fat in the coolest possible way - Cryosculpting” was not substantiated and was misleading by gross exaggeration. The reference to “No Special diet” and “No supplements” was considered to be misleading by ambiguity as the procedure alone would not provide a patient with the benefit of fat elimination.

Salzpa’s -HSR (Salt Room Therapy) (100% Natural Drugless Therapy from Europe): The advertisement’s headline states, “Breathe a new life with the founders of Salt Room Therapy (Under the guidance of Prof. Alina V. Chervinskaya, M.D. Ph.D)”, thereby giving an impression that the treatment would be with active participation from Dr Alina whereas this is not the case. It was concluded that the claim was not substantiated and is misleading by ambiguity.

Dr. Bhavana Shah Fitness Highway (Fat Freeze): The advertisement’s claims, “8 Session of Tummy Tuck U-Lipo Rs. 20,000/-* FREE*”, “Fat Freeze More Advanced than U-Lipo” and “No Diet”, were not substantiated and are misleading.  Also, the visual showing the images of before and after the treatment were considered to be misleading.

Om Sai Ayurveda India Limited (Om Sai Ayurveda’s Range of OTC Products): The claims in the advertisement (in Hindi) as translated into English, “Reduce Sugar or Else Get Your Money Back*” and “Over the past many years Om Sai Ayurveda India Limited is doing a deep research on Ayurveda. It is an ISO 9001: 2008 certified company that has found out a unique treatment that helps maintain the blood sugar level”, were not substantiated and are misleading.

Olivet Pharma Pvt. Ltd. (Ayusya Superspeciality Treatment Centre): The advertisement’s claim, “Get Freedom from Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis” was not substantiated and is misleading.

Chemical Resources (Chemforce Capsules): The advertisement’s claim, “one capsule daily” was addressed to all men. The product is meant for “treatment of symptomatic hypogonadism” as a “testosterone booster” and the safety of the product for its long term use was not substantiated. The advertisement was misleading by ambiguity and omission and encouraged negligence.

Speed Height Capsule: The claims in the advertisement (in Gujarati) as translated into English, “Good height makes career bright”, “Speed Height™ Capsule - It can be beneficial for me also”, “Effective Ayurvedic medicine” and “Helps in physical development”, were not substantiated and are misleading.   Also, specific to the claims implying increase in height, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.

Vee Care Marketing World Pvt. Ltd. (Vee Care Ayurveda): The claims in the advertisement (in Hindi) as translated into English, “Increase your height otherwise* get your money back” and “This Medicine is helpful in increasing the Height. And it has No Side Effects”, were not substantiated and are misleading.   Also, specific to the claims related to increase in height, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act. 

Dr P K Jain Clinic: The claims in the advertisement (in Hindi) as translated into English, “World's No.1 TOP Ranking Sexologist”, “One and Only Experienced Highly Qualified Doctor”, “Masculine weakness, Early Ejaculation, Sperm faltering, Small and Extenuation organs and one and only secret disease specialist who is honoured with award by world level scientist research for successful treatment of other Venereal disease”,  “Honoured by best sex clinic of the millennium award” and “Special successful Treatment for sexual problems like Sexual debility, Lack of sex, masculine weakness/Sexual Weakness and Undeveloped male organs”, were not substantiated and are misleading.   Also specific to the claims related to successful treatment of sexual problems, and the advertisement visual implying enhancement of sexual pleasure, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.

Rajnish Hot Deals Pvt. Ltd. (Play Win Plus Capsule): In the advertisement the claim (in Hindi) as translated into English, “Increase your Power, Strength, Extra Timing and Energy” was not substantiated with evidence of product efficacy and was misleading by implication . Also, the claims, “Secret to a Happy Married Life”, “one tablet one hour prior”, “Immediate effect” and “For powerful stamina” read in conjunction with the advertisement visual and pack visual of a couple implies that the product is meant for enhancement of sexual pleasure, which is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.

Herbal Clinic: The advertisement’s claims, “Sexual Weakness? Don’t be disappointed” and “Treats Nightfall, Premature Ejaculation, and Impotence” were not substantiated and are misleading. Also, specific to the claims implying treatment for impotence and sexual problems, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.

Dynamic Memory Pvt. Ltd. (Dr. Biswaroop): The advertisement’s claim, ‘Diabetes Type I & II cure in 72 Hrs’ is false and is grossly misleading. Also, with reference to the advertisement claiming cure of diabetes, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.

Education

The CCC found following claims in the advertisements by 23 different advertisers were not substantiated and, thus, violated ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions. Hence complaints against these advertisements were upheld.

Clat Forum: The advertisement’s claims, “Meet the toppers of CLAT", “Neha Lodha” shown as “Clat ’15 Topper”, were false and were misleading by implication. As per data submitted by the complainant and information available in the Public domain, Akash Jain was the Clat ’15 Topper.

Simplilearn Solutions Pvt. Ltd. (Simplilearn.com): The advertisement’s claim, "World's largest Professional Certifications Company" was not substantiated and was grossly misleading.

Legal Edge Tutorials: The advertisement showcasing the comparative data of various criteria indicated, showing Legal Edge to be better than other similar institutes, is not substantiated and is misleading.

Aldine Ventures Pvt. Ltd. (Aldine CA): The advertisement’s claim, "study from India's best final faculty" and “Study from India's best CPT faculty", were false and misleading.  The advertisement contravened Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions and Programs.

Apeejay Education Society: The advertisement’s claim, “Highest Salary 6.2 L & Avg Salary 3.6 L”, was not substantiated with evidence to prove that the students have availed the claimed salary packages.

Rau’s IAS Study Circle: The advertisement’s claim, “8 in top 20”, “39 in top 100” and “396 Total Selections”, were not substantiated with supporting data and are misleading. 

Complaints against advertisements of all educational institutes listed below are mostly UPHELD because of unsubstantiated claims that they ‘provide 100% placement/AND/OR they claim to be the No.1 in their respective fields’.

Penguin School of Business Management (Lifetime 100% Job Guarantee), KL University, SCMS Group of Educational Institutions, Ucmas West Bengal, Apollo Engineering College, Bakliwal Tutorirals (IIT), Gurukul Institute (Personal Coaching for Spoken English), Amirta International Institute Of Hotel Management & Catering Technology (International University Diploma), Apeejay Education Society, Lloyd Business School, IMS-NOIDA (IMS Ghaziabad), United Group of Institutions (United Institute Of Management), Utkal University and New Delhi Institute Of Management.

Food & beverages

PepsiCo India Holdings P. Ltd. (Pepsi): The claim in the advertisement, "Har Bottle par Paytm Cash pakka”, is misleading and luring the consumers to buy Pepsi bottles, with a minimum hope of getting some cash back through Paytm. The advertisement itself does not clarify the main condition for the offer of it being mobile number specific. Also, the disclaimers in the advertisement were not in the same language as that of the voice over.

Britannia Industries Ltd. (Britannia Whole Wheat Bread): The advertisement’s claim, “100% Whole Wheat Bread” on front of pack is misleading by ambiguity as the Whole Wheat content in the product is in the range of 50% to 65% and other solid content in the product is coming from other sources..

Sri Sri Ayurveda Trust (Ojasvita Health Drink): The advertisement’s claim, “Ojasvita’s 7 Power Herbs support your daily mental fitness needs” is not substantiated and is misleading.

Patanjali Ayurved Ltd. (Patanjali Kachi Ghani Mustard Oil): The advertisement makes a sweeping statement that a majority of the products in the market are adulterated with addition of cheap palm oil. There was no authentic evidence to support this statement and the advertisement was misleading by exaggeration. The advertisement also unfairly denigrates other oil products calling them as cheap adulterants.

Bhaskar Venkatesh Products Pvt. Ltd. (Bhaskar Salt): In the advertisement, the reference to “No need to worry” read in conjunction with the mention of “blood pressure, acidity” further recommending “eat Bhaskar salt” was misleading, by implication. The advertisement implies that Bhaskar salt is safe even in case of blood pressure and acidity.

Khoday India Limited (Peter Scot): As the advertiser did not provide the annual market sales data of the product/service advertised “Golf accessories”, it was concluded that the advertisement was a surrogate advertisement for a promotion of a liquor product – Peter Scot.

Ecommerce

Amazon.com Inc. (Amazon Kindle): The advertisement’s claim, “Unlimited Reading”, is not substantiated and is grossly misleading. Also it was noted that the advertisement did not have any disclaimers as well, for the limit of ten books cannot be considered as an “unlimited” offer..

Flipkart Internet Pvt. Ltd. (Air Wick Automative Spray Rose Liquid Air Freshener): The advertisement’s claims, “100% original products” and “Flipkart matlab bilkul pakka” were not substantiated and were misleading by exaggeration. 

Naaptol Online Shopping Private Limited (Naaptol.com) (Electric Pest and Insect Control Machine): The advertisement’s claim, “Drives Away Insects & Pests.” is false and is misleading by gross exaggeration.

ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd. (OLA Cabs): The advertisement’s claim, “OLA Micro @ 6/km”, was not substantiated and is also misleading by omission of a disclaimer of other applicable additional charges.

Askmebazaar.com: The advertisement’s claim, “Asus Zenfone 2 at Rs 1435”, was not substantiated and is grossly misleading. 

Quikr India Pvt. Ltd. (Quikr): The advertisement’s claim, “Get Quikr Free delivery”, is false and misleading.

Play Games24x7 Private Limited (rummycircle.com): In the advertisement on their website, some of the profiles of their winners used in the advertisement are false and misleading.

Consumer durables

LG Electronics India Pvt. Ltd. (LG Air conditioners): The advertisement’s claims, “The AC That Saves Every Day”, “LG - No.1 Air Conditioner” and “Mosquito Away”, were not substantiated and are misleading.

Kent RO Systems Ltd. (Kent Vacuum Cleaners): The advertisement’s claim, “Makes your bed clean by disinfecting with UV light” was not substantiated and is misleading by exaggeration.

Havells India Limited (Standard Fans): The advertisement’s claim, "Best in the Industry Air Delivery" was found to be unsubstantiated. The claim is also likely to mislead the consumer that all Standard brand fans have “best in the industry air delivery”.

Voltas Ltd. (Voltas All Star AC): The claims in the advertisement (in Hindi), “Ab ek ke kharche mein 2 AC chalaiye”, is misleading by omission of disclaimers giving reference to the comparison being made between  a  Voltas  All  Star Inverter AC and a Conventional Start-Stop  AC. 

ETA Star Appliances Private Limited (Vestar AC): The advertisement’s claim, “Up to 50% Power Saving” was not substantiated and is misleading by ambiguity.

Symphony Ltd (Symphony Air Coolers): The advertisement’s claim, “India's Most Trusted Cooler Brand” and “It consumes the same amount of electricity as a fan” were not substantiated with any evidence of technical testing or market research and are misleading.

Others

Axis Bank Ltd. (Business Banking Solutions): The advertisement’s claim, “complete business banking solutions” is misleading by ambiguity as there are certain restrictions in the features offered by the Bank. Also, the hold duration and the language of the disclaimer are not as per ASCI Guidelines on Supers.

Xiaomi Logistics (Mi 5 & Redmi Note 3): The advertisement’s claim, “Redmi Note 3, Gold/Silver/Dark Grey Flash Sale – Sale Opens at 2.00 pm, April 13” is false and grossly misleading.

Dabur India Ltd. (Odonil Nature-1 Touch Air Sanitizer): The claims in the advertisement (in Gujarati) as translated into English, “First time” and “Guarantee of germ free* air in your home for your children”, were not substantiated and are misleading by exaggeration.

AirAsia India Limited (Air Fair): The advertisement’s claim, “Air Fare from Chennai to Australia is available for 4999”, is false and misleading.

Hindustan Media Ventures Ltd (Hindustan Hindi Newspaper): The advertisement’s claims, “Hindustan – Hindi Shetra ka No. 1 Akbhar” read in conjunction with the disclaimer, is false and misleading by implication, as readership numbers of a few states to claim the No.1 position in the Hindi Region were selectively added.

Shishu Soap & Chemicals Pvt. Ltd (Rekha Detergent Powder): The advertisement’s claim, “Ab maine bhi mana Rekha Detergent Cake Aur Powder se Behter Kuch bhi Nahin” was not substantiated and is misleading by exaggeration.

 

  • Siddha Group (Siddha Xanadu Studios Apartment): The advertisement’s claims, “A first of its kind in the country, matching New York standard for studio apartments”, and “Xanadu features the last word in technology to give you a home that’s intelligent like you are”, were not substantiated and are misleading.  There is no information as to which New York Standards for Studio apartment is the advertiser referring to and providing to its customers nor the details of the “intelligent / technology features” are being provided.

Bharti Airtel Ltd. (Airtel): The advertisement’s claim, “Streams You tube videos 26% faster”, was not substantiated and is misleading. Further, the claim, “8% extra battery life”, was not adequately substantiated and is misleading. The claim “India’s only…” was not factual and was considered to be misleading.

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