Advertising Standards Council of India’s (ASCI) Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against 40 ads in April 2013. Health & Personal Care and Education were the main categories that continued to make misleading claims and come under the scanner of the CCC. The Health & Personal Care sector leads with 52 per cent ads (148 out of 287) complaint upheld in the first four months of 2013.
ASCI is proactively strengthening its awareness to cover ads in every media form. One such step was taken in the month of April when, for the first time, it received and upheld a complaint against an SMS ad sent out by Hardcastle Restaurants for McDonalds.
McDonald’s promotional SMS shows McVeggie or McChicken burger free on order of Rs 200 and above with McDonald’s. The complainant was at the McDonald’s counter at the Food Court, Inorbit Mall in Mumbai on January 1, 2013 and was informed that this SMS was sent purely for home delivery only.
According to the complaint, the SMS advertisement that McDonald’s sent was totally misleading. It simply said “call now” and not that it applies only for “Home Delivery”. The CCC concluded that the SMS was misleading by omission and contravened Chapter I.4 of the Advertising Code. The complaint was upheld.
Pernod Ricard India came out with a print ad for its liquor brand Jacob’s Creek. Advertising of liquor is prohibited by most states. The CCC concluded that the communication was an advertorial pertaining to a surrogate product. The complaint was upheld as it contravened the Brand Extension Guidelines as mentioned in Chapter III.6 of the Code.