In October 2015, ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against 51 out of 98 advertisements. Out of 51 advertisements against which complaints were upheld, 16 belonged to the Personal and Healthcare category, followed by 19 advertisements in the Education category, 5 in Telecommunication and Broadband category and 11 advertisements from other categories.
Health And Personal Care
The CCC found the following claims in health and personal care product or service advertisements of 15 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. Some of the complaints against advertisements that were upheld are as follows:
Procter & Gamble Home Products Ltd. (Pantene Shampoo): The claim of “New” in the advertisement of Pantene Shampoo is not qualified as per the ASCI Guidelines to elaborate that this refers to product upgrade. Thus, it was concluded that the advertisement is misleading by omission of this disclaimer.
Colgate-Palmolive (India) Ltd. (Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief Enamel Repair): It was concluded that the advertisement’s claim in the voice over of “enamel repair” as well as the visual representation which indicate that the tooth enamel is restored to its original condition or is re-built, was not substantiated.
Novartis India Limited (Otrivin Nasal Spray): Otrivin is an OTC product containing Xylometazoline which could cause Atrophic Rhinitis if not used as directed. Aggressive advertising without providing information about the caution to be exercised can promote indiscriminate use of the product among the general public. It was noted that the package insert of the product has necessary caution statements; however, reference to any usage indication is absent in the advertisement. It was concluded that in the absence of a disclaimer, the TVC shows an unsafe practice without justifiable reason and encourages negligence.
Dabur India Limited (Dabur Odomos Mosquito Repellant): The claim in the advertisement, “It is clinically proven that Odomos offers the most effective outdoor defence against mosquitoes for as long as 12 hours”, that is presented in the context of protection of Dengue mosquitoes was not substantiated adequately.
Patanjali Ayurved Ltd (Patanjali Kesh Kanti): The claims in the advertisement, “World’s No.1 Ayurvedic Brand” and “100% charity from Profits” were not substantiated.
Telecommunication & Broadband
Bharti Airtel Ltd. (Airtel 4G): In the absence of appropriate disclaimers, the claims made in the advertisements that “Airtel 4G is the fastest network ever” and “If your network is faster, we will pay your mobile bills for life”, are misleading by omission.
Reliance Communication Ltd. (Reliance Pro 3): The website claims as well as the claims on the packaging of, "upto 14.7 Mbps and upto 5.7 Mbps", were not substantiated and in the absence of any disclaimer qualifying the conditions under which the claims were tenable, were misleading by exaggeration.
Bharti Airtel Ltd. (Airtel 4G): The claim, “Airtel Challenge, yehi hai sabse tez network”, is misleading by omission that the service referred to Airtel 4G.
Aircel Business Solutions Discount (Free Coupons): The Promotional SMS was viewed and the CCC concluded that it did not have any disclaimer of applicable “Terms and Conditions” and was therefore misleading by omission of reference to any other applicable charges.
Reliance Communication Ltd: The claim, “Get Upto 1 GB extra FREE on every 3G Data Recharge of Rs 197…” in the promotional SMS was not substantiated and was misleading.
IMG RELIANCE (Indian Super League): The visuals in the TVC, particularly the visuals showing the ball being thrown from an overbridge, a guy running on a parapet, children playing football amongst motorcycles and cars, children playing football on the pavement in the vicinity of people seated on chairs, encourage people to indulge in dangerous practices without justifiable reason. Regardless of the disclaimer, the TVC sends out a wrong message.
Times Global Broadcasting Co.Ltd. (Times Now): The claim “No.1 English News Channel” is substantiated for week 38 only. The data period being referred is only of one week and not minimum of four consecutive weeks as required by the BARC Rules of Fair Usage guidelines. The claim did not have any mention of the source of the data as well. Thus, it contravened ASCI’s Guidelines.
Lenskart.com: The claim in the TVC, “Lenskart give you first frame for free”, is false and misleading.
Amazon.com Inc. (Redragon M613 2.4GHz Wireless Mouse): The website communication claiming the MRP of the product as Rs.1400, when actually printed MRP on product pack is Rs.1100, which is being offered at a discounted price of Rs.899, distorts facts and is therefore misleading the consumers as to actual discount being offered.
Jubiliant Foodworks Limited (Domino’s Pizza): The claim of “30 minutes or Free”, regardless of the disclaimer, is misleading by omission as the terms and conditions say that liability is limited to Rs. 300/-, and what the advertiser provides is Rs. 300/- price off but not a free product.