In June 2017, ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against 62 out of 126 advertisements. Out of 62 advertisements against which complaints were upheld, 23 belonged to the Healthcare category, 17 to the Education category, followed by 10 in the Food & Beverages category, six in the Personal Care category, and six advertisements from other categories.
ASCI processed complaints against the following advertisements from general public, industry as well as from the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Grievances Against Misleading Advertisements (GAMA) Portal. Out of 99 advertisements, complaints against 38 advertisements were upheld.
Complaints against the following advertisements were UPHELD:
Rediscover Laser, Slimming, Skin and Hair Clinic, SBS Biotech (Unit-II) Dr. Ortho Capsules & Ointment, Stay On Power Capsules, Pirrhoid, Japani Tel, Kayam Tablets, Hamdard Safi, Multani Rhumed SG Tablets and Phytorelief-CC.
FOOD & BEVERAGES:-
Pepsi Gatecrash was pulled up for the font size of the disclaimer in the advertisement being 6 which is illegible and unreadable. Thus, it was concluded that it is clear that the advertisement had violated the ASCI Guidelines for Disclaimers by using a much smaller font for the disclaimers in the TV advertisement. Rasna advertiser had failed to substantiate their claims made in the advertisement, i.e.: that firstly, their product was made in Gujarat, and loved by the world; secondly, that their product was the world’s largest selling instant drink concentrate; and thirdly, their product was India’s most trusted family owned brand, with any assessment and certification by independent market research organizations. Therefore the claims in the advertisement were misleading by exaggeration. Coca-Cola India Pvt. Ltd was pulled up for popular soft drinks Maaza, Fanta, Sprite and Thumbs Up ads not following ASCI guidelines.
Lotus Herbals Limited Safe Sun UV Screen Matte Gel claims made in the advertisements were not substantiated with scientific evidence of product efficacy, and with technical tests/trials reports from an independent third party. Also, these claims are misleading by implication and exaggeration. Emami’s Kesh King Ayurvedic Oil and Kesh King Shampoo by Emami were also pulled up for the ads not being adequately substantiated, and are misleading. Ayurvedic Anti-Dandruff Ayush Shampoo voiceover in the advertisement in Tamil as translated into English conveys, “the big problem for hair is dandruff, but on using dandruff shampoos, a bigger fear than that is hairfall”. The essence of the complaint was that the suggestions/apprehensions expressed in the advertisement was that the message “use of anti-dandruff shampoo is associated with fears of hair loss in users”, is not based on any evidence and is hence unsubstantiated”.
The CCC found following claims in the advertisements by four different advertisers were not substantiated and, thus, violated ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions. Hence complaints against these advertisements were UPHELD: Satyadeva Institute, Vision IAS Classroom, Krystal Institute and Appin Technology Lab (ATL Foundation).
Voltas All Star Inverter A/C: The font size of the disclaimers in the advertisement measures about 13 pixels, and hence the advertisement violated the ASCI Guidelines for Disclaimers. Bharat Petroleum Corp: The advertisement’s claim, “Go Green with Speed for it reduces emissions”, was unsubstantiated with supporting data, and therefore is misleading by exaggeration and omission. Honda Activa 4G: The advertisement showcases the pillion rider wearing a helmet without the ISI mark which headgear conforms to the standards of Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). In the absence of any data to indicate that the helmet worn by the pillion rider is BIS marked, it was concluded that the advertisement contravened the provisions of Chapters III.3 and III.4 of the ASCI Code (“Advertisements shall not, without justifiable reason, show or refer to dangerous practices or manifest a disregard for safety or encourage negligence”). Times Now: For the advertisement’s claim, “The Ruling No. 1”, while the graphical representation appears to be in line with BARC principles and the figures shown are technically correct, the relative share data shown is itself not a permissible extrapolation and is therefore misleading, and is not compliant with BARC Guidelines.
SUO MOTO ACTION
The advertisements given below were picked up through ASCI’s Suo Moto surveillance of print and TV media via National Advertisement Monitoring Services (NAMS) project. Out of 27 advertisements, total of 24 advertisements were considered to be misleading. Of these 24 advertisements against, 13 belonged to the Education category, nine belonged to the Healthcare category and two were from the Personal Care category.
The CCC found the following claims of nine advertisements in health care products or services 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 Drugs & Magic Remedies Act (DMR Act), Drugs and Cosmetics Rules (D&C Rules) and Chapter I.1 and III.4 of the ASCI Code. Complaints against the following advertisements were UPHELD: Sabka dentist, Rediscover Clinic, Sunflower Women’s Hospital, Thareja Home Nursing, Kangra Herb Health Centre, Dr Batra’s Positive Health Clinic, and Apollo Heart Inst.
The CCC found following claims in the advertisements by 13 different advertisers were not substantiated and, thus, violated ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions. Hence complaints against these advertisements were UPHELD: Ambition School of Competitive Education, Timespro, IITPT, Mukils Englio, Sure Centre Success, Deeksha Classes and Sri Hari Academy Gate.
Complaints against advertisements of all educational institutes listed below mostly are UPHELD because of unsubstantiated claims that they ‘provide 100% placement/AND/OR they claim to be the No.1 in their respective fields’: Ambition School of Competitive education, Mody University of Science and Technology, Vibrant Academy (I) Pvt. Ltd., Mothers Education Hub, SR Leaders Institution and Morning Lotus International Preschool.
X Men Instant Fairness Face Cream: The advertisement’s claims, “long-lasting fairness, spot reduction, and contained SPF 15”, were unsubstantiated and misleading by gross exaggeration. Airiz Sanitary Napkin: The advertisement’s claim, “World’s No. 1 Brand” was not substantiated with any relevant information, or authentic comparative data vis-à-vis the data of other similar brands, or any independent third-party validation or research to prove this claim. It was therefore concluded that the claim was false, and misleading by exaggeration.