In July 2015, ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against 74 out of 110 advertisements. Out of 110 advertisements against which complaints were upheld, 28 belonged to the Personal and Healthcare category, followed by 25 advertisements in the Education category and 21 advertisements from other categories. Below listed are some of the complaints that have been upheld.
Health Care and Personal
The CCC found claims in health and personal care product or service advertisements of 27 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.
The advertisement for Nivea Deodorize (Beiersdorf (India) Private Limited)claims “India’s 1st Body Deodorizer”, regardless of the disclaimer “from Nivea”, is misleading by ambiguity as it is not the first deodoriser in India nor the first deodorizer from Nivea in India. Also the claim, “Day Long Odour Control from Just One Use”, was not substantiated with evidence.
The use of the word "nourishment" in the advertisement of Ganier Fructis Oil in Cream (L’Oreal India ) is likely to convey to the consumer that their product does something more than just making hair more smooth and manageable. In addition, the claim “2X Nourishment of Hair Oil” was considered misleading by ambiguity and implication.
Shiseido India’s Za True White Day Cream advertisement claims, “SPF 20 PA++”, “94% Improvement in Skin Clarity*, More Glowing & Radiant Skin*”, “100% Improvement in Skin Tone*, Reduction of Spots & Pigmentation*” and “Now see results in just Seven days!*”, were inadequately substantiated.
Kent RO Systems’s Kent Mineral RO Water Purifier advertisement claims “sabse surakshit pani”, “100% protection” and “100% Health”. These claims have not been substantiated and are considered to be misleading. It claims “100% or total protection” which was misleading by exaggeration. Also, the claim, “100% protection/Total Protection from waterborne diseases”, is an absolute claim which was not substantiated.
Reckitt Benckiser Healthcare’s Harpic toilet cleaner disclaimers in the TVC were not legible, and contravened the ASCI Guidelines on Supers.
Godrej Consumer Products’s Cinthol Original Soap TVC showing an actor (non-medical person) as a real skin specialist doctor by name “Dr Subha Iyer” endorsing the product is misleading.
Lotus Herbals Phyto RX advertisement claims “100% women discovered firmer, younger skin in Four weeks”, “See the difference in Four weeks: - Firmer skin. - Reduction in fine lines, wrinkles & dark spots”, “SPF 25/ PA+++” and “Active Organic Ingredients - Ginseng, Ginger & Whey Protein”. These claims were not adequately substantiated and were found to be misleading.
Hindustan Unilever’s Fair & Lovely Men Charcoal Face Wash claim “Gives fair look for eight hours” was not substantiated adequately.
Emami7 Oil in One’s statement in the advertisement, “Everyday you lose up to 100 hair strands as regular hair fall but don’t lose heart”, the claim, “With the Magic of Seven Oils Hairfall is reduced from 100 to upto Four”, is misleading by ambiguity as it implies natural hair loss whereas the claim refers to hair fall due to breakage.
Jivo Canola Cooking Oil’s advertisement claims, “Effective for healthy Heart and in reducing bad Cholesterol”, “Effective against diabetes, heart diseases”, “Effective against Cancer”, were not substantiated with clinical evidence specific to the product. The claims indicating efficacy against diabetes, heart disease and cancer were considered to be misleading by exaggeration as no specific credible clinical research was submitted to prove claims of efficacy against serious diseases.
The advertisement for Shathayu Ayurveda claims “Redefine your natural curve with detox and fat burning paste massage to enhance metabolism and reduce body fat”, were not substantiated.
Rich Feel Trichology Centre’s advertisement Hair and Scalp Clinic- Ana-d-tox treatment claims “Rich Feel Introduces for the 1st time in India, a post hair colour treatment was found factually incorrect and misleading by ambiguity.
Stem Cell Society of India’s advertisement claims "Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision for Stem Cell Therapy". The Advertiser has used the photograph of the Prime Minister (PM) in the advertisement without his permission, which is misleading and confers an unjustified advantage on the product advertised and tends to bring the PM’s name into ridicule/disrepute. This violates Chapter I.3 of the ASCI code.
The CCC found that claims in the advertisements by 25 advertisers were not substantiated and, thus, violated ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions.
The claim in the Southern Academy Maritime Studies TVC, “if anybody who is willing to study in this college, can get a job as a Captain in a Ship and can earn upto 60 Lakhs per Annum”, was not substantiated and is misleading by ambiguity and exaggeration.
Aakash Educational Services’ Aakash Institute advertisement claims that Twins Rahul Bansal and Sahil Bansal (AIIMS-2015 ranks 23 and 40) and Yuvraj, (AIIMS-2015 rank 11) are from their coaching institute. This was false and was not substantiated.
BSE Institute Limited claim in the advertisement, “Become a Professional Banker in Just Two Months”, is misleading by ambiguity, as it is offering a “Professional banking program” conducted internally and the jobs being offered were inclusive of basic functions such as Welcome Desk.
The claims in the National Board of Computer Education advertisement, “Affiliation from International Accreditation Organization (IAO), Houston, U.S.A.”, and “Affiliation from Copy Right Division under Ministry of Human Resource Development, Govt. of India”, were not substantiated with supporting proof.
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’:
Endeavor, Indus Early Learning Centre, Thangavelu College Engineering, Indian Institute of Medical Representative Private Limited, GCS Institute of Computer Technology, Rama Naidu Film School, Patel Computers, Red & Multimedia Education White, Shree Venkateshwara Hi-Tech Engineering College, Shri Guru Ram Rai Institute of Technology & Science, Career Master, Capital Infosys Institute of Hotel Management & Tourism and Brilliant Tutorial.
The mention of “price” in the advertisement of BMW in place of “down payment” was found to be misleading.
HDFC Bank Ltd’s advertisement claim “Avail of your preapproved paperless Personal loan of up to Rs 7.50 lac in just 12 hours” was not substantiated and is misleading by ambiguity.
Max Bupa Health Insurance’s claim in the advertisement, “Cashless approval in 30 minutes”, was not substantiated.
Glaxo Smith Kline’s product Boost’s TVC is misleading by showing adult players demonstrating an increase in stamina. The visual depicted in the TVC read in conjunction with the disclaimer, is misleading, as the disclaimer in the TVC is about the scientific study published in a peer reviewed scientific journal and are proven for the age group of 7-11 years.
Britannia Industries Nutrichoice Heavens Cookies claim in the advertisement which stated“….yet healthy”, was not substantiated, and the claim, “loaded with ripe Bananas and crackling almonds”, is misleading by exaggeration.
LG Inverter V Air Conditioners’ advertisement’s claim “India's only* AC that keeps mosquitoes away” was not adequately substantiated. Also the claim, “Mosquito protection” was not substantiated with evidence.
Bloomberg TV India’s advertisement claims “The market opens with Bloomberg TV India. The No.1 market opening show 9 a.m. – Street Smart Dealing Room. Factual. First. Fastest. Final. Future”, “When it comes to business and markets programming, Bloomberg TV India is the channel of choice” and “The most preferred destination for business and markets content. No. 1. Bloomberg TV India leads with 43% market share in the English Business News genre”. All the three advertisements violate the BARC Principles which state inter alia that "The period of comparison must cover at least four consecutive weeks of data". The audience definition chosen by the advertiser violates the principle that subject matter of comparison is not chosen in such a way as to confer an artificial advantage upon the advertiser or so as to suggest that a better bargain is offered than is truly the case. The baseline claim in the Ad, “First. Fastest”, was also found misleading as the Advertiser has not provided any evidence to substantiate this claim.
The advertisement for Ebay claims, “EBay Guarantee - Don’t Worry, Buy Happy”, "EBay guarantee" and "100% Satisfaction or refund/replacement", were false, not substantiated and were misleading.
Imperial Vehicles’s Ashok Leyland ‘DOST’ claim offer in the advertisement of “cash discount + free android phone + exchange facility” is false and is misleading. Also, it is a lapse in the fulfilment of an advertised claim offer.
The TVC of Amazon Kindle is misleading by omission of a disclaimer qualifying the price of the actual product being promoted.
Asianet Communications’s Sell me the answer has a scene in the advertisement showing “the school teacher hitting the student on his palm with a stick”, of Corporal Punishment in Schools and Institutions was considered likely to result in the physical, mental or moral harm to children.
The TAM data for weeks 11 to 14 shows that OTV stands at #4 by average reach across weeks and at #5 by TVTs. Sarthak, Star Plus and Tarang have been consistently ahead of OTV. The claim, “OTV repeat history again. Ahead of not only News but also entertainment channel”, was thus found false. The advertisement runs against Rule 5 of TAM guidelines regarding use of averages as only one week’s data has been shown. Any estimate of channel ranking whether based on reach or TV ratings must be based on at least 4-8 weeks to be conclusive. Rule 7 also not observed as the estimate is in fine print at the bottom of the ad and not clearly stated. This confers an artificial advantage upon the advertiser so as to suggest that a better bargain is offered than is truly the case.
Jewelsouk.com’s claim, “The World’s largest Jewellery Marketplace”, was not substantiated.