ASCI upholds complaints against 114 out of 193 advertisements

Out of 114 advertisements against which complaints were upheld, 51 belonged to the Healthcare category, 31 to the Education category, followed by 17 in the Food & Beverages category, five in the Personal Care category, and 10 advertisements from other categories

by exchange4media Staff
Published - Oct 26, 2017 6:55 AM Updated: Oct 26, 2017 6:55 AM

In August 2017, ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against 114 out of 193 advertisements. Out of 114 advertisements against which complaints were upheld, 51 belonged to the Healthcare category, 31 to the Education category, followed by 17 in the Food & Beverages category, five in the Personal Care category, and 10 advertisements from other categories. Following are the highlights. 
Direct complaints:

ASCI processed complaints against the following advertisements from the general public, industry as well as from the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Grievances Against Misleading Advertisements (GAMA) Portal. Out of 93 advertisements, complaints against 52 advertisements were upheld.
Healthcare:
The CCC found the following claims of 19 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.
1. SBS Biotech (Unit-II) Ayurvedic Division (PetSaffa):The advertisement’s claim, “Not Habit forming” was not substantiated as the ingredient in the product - Senna is habit forming. Hence the claim is misleading.

2. SBS Biotech (Unit-II) Ayurvedic Division (PetSaffa):The advertisement’s claim,“Not Habit forming” was not substantiated as the ingredient in the product - Senna is habit forming. Hence the claim is misleading. Regarding the No. 1 Brand claim, the copy of the award certificate mentions that the product is No.1 Brand in India’s “Best Digestive Medicine” category. The claim, “No 1 Brand India 2016”, was therefore considered to be misleading by omission of mention of the category.

Food and beverage:


1. Kelloggs India Pvt. Ltd. (Kelloggs Special K): The advertisement’s claim, “It is high in protein and fibre” is false as it is not applicable for the serving size of the product and, in the context of a product positioned for weight management, it is misleading by ambiguity. Also the claim, “Foods high in protein and fibre make you feel full and keep hunger pangs away” - Since this claim is linked to the claim of the product being high in protein and fibre, it is also misleading due to the reasons mentioned above. Furthermore, the claim was also inadequately substantiated for the specific product being advertised. The claim, “To manage weight eat a breakfast like Kellogg’s Special K”, was considered to be misleading by ambiguity and implication. The visual of the celebrity when seen in conjunction with the claims is likely to mislead consumers regarding the product efficacy as the advertiser was not able to submit any evidence that the celebrity is in agreement with the claims being made in the advertisement in general, and where she claims this to be her experience in particular. This contravenes the Guidelines for Celebrities in Advertising. Also, the disclaimers in the advertisement were not legible. The heights of the picture area was 386 lines for SD and 1090 for HD. The lowercase elements were measured to be of height of about 7-8 pixels or less for SD and 18-19 pixels for HD formats. The SD clip (provided by the complainant) does not comply whereas the HD clip (provided by the advertiser) does comply with the ASCI Guidelines for Disclaimers Clauses (VII) (i) (1) of ASCI Guidelines for Disclaimers (“For standard definition images, the height of the text lower case elements shall be not less than 12 pixels (12 pixels lines) in a 576 line raster.”) for SD version of the advertisement.

2. Yum! Restaurants (India) Private Limited (Pizza Hut): The disclaimers in the advertisement complained against were not legible and also not in the same language as the audio of the advertisement (Hindi). This does not comply with the ASCI Guidelines for Disclaimers.

Personal care:

1. Hindustan Unilever Ltd. (Dove Hair fall Shampoo): The advertisement’svisuals showing lesser hair fall for Dove were misleading by exaggeration.

2. Olivia Health Care (Olivia Herb Bleach): The advertisement’s claim, “Enriched with Haldi, Chandan, Nimbu and AloeVera”, was not substantiated with supporting data showing presence of these ingredients in the product. Also the claim, “Dermatologically tested”, “No Burning”, “No itching”, “No redness”, and “No long hours of waiting” were not substantiated with any test reports. These claims are misleading by ambiguity and implication that the bleach is herbal, acts faster than other bleaches and the ingredients prevent any harsh effects.

Education:

The CCC found following claims in the advertisements by five different advertisers were not substantiated and, thus, violated ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions. Hence complaints against these advertisements were upheld
1. AIM Bhopal: The advertisement’s claim, “For the first time in Bhopal an institute has given selection in AILET and NLIU Bhopal from crash course programme”, was not substantiated with any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s institute and other similar institutes to prove that they were the first in Bhopal to give selection from crash course programme. Furthermore, the claim is misleading by ambiguity and exaggeration.

2. CL Educate Ltd: The advertisement showing Kabir Jaiswal as AIR 58 in the advertisement is misleading and is a misrepresentation of facts. The advertiser did not provide data to substantiate that all the students shown under the Bhopal Centre results are their Test Series students and not the previous year’s students, which is also misleading.

Others:

1 DainikBhaskar Group (DainikBhaskar Newspaper): The advertisement’s claim (in Gujarati) as translated into English, “DivyaBhaskar is Bharat’s No.1 and World’s fourth newspaper having maximum number of circulation”, was not substantiated with supporting comparative data for circulation figures, and is misleading by exaggeration. Also, the source and date of research and criteria for assessment for the claim made was not indicated in the advertisement.

2. Carrier Midea India Private Limited (Midea Water Purifiers):
The advertisement’s claim, “MideaUV, …..to ensure 100% safe water is dispensed”, was not substantiated and is misleading by exaggeration.

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 100 advertisements, total of 62 advertisements were considered to be misleading. Of these 32 advertisements against Healthcare, 26 belonged to the Education category, two belonged to the Personal category, and two belonged to Food & Beverage category. 


Healthcare:
The CCC found the following claims of 32 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.
1. Dr Biswaroop Roy Chowdhury (Indo Vietnam Medical Board - Virtual-72 Hrs Diabetes Reversal Program): The advertisement’s claim, “Yes, you can be free of 3Ds - Diagnosis Drugs Diabetes ….Forever in just three days or precisely 72 hrs”, was not substantiated with clinical evidence among statistically significant and representative sample size, and is misleading by gross exaggeration. Furthermore, the claim implies complete cure for Diabetes which is in breach of the law as it violated the DMR Act.

2. 34 Heart Care: The testimonial claims related to heart treatment were not substantiated with any clinical evidence, and are misleading by gross exaggeration. Furthermore, efficacy being depicted via images of before and after the treatment is misleading.

Food and beverages:

1. Excelus Brands LLp - Kettle Studio (The Grannary Chips): The advertisement’sclaim, “Binge Irresponsibly”, contravened Clause 4 of the ASCI Guidelines on Advertising of Food & Beverages (“Advertisements should not encourage over or excessive consumption or show inappropriately large portions of any food or beverage. It should reflect moderation in consumption and show portion sizes appropriate to the occasion or situation.”)

2. The Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation Limited (Oothu Green Tea): The advertisement’s claims, “Helps to reduce the effects of carcinogens, to maintain cholesterol at healthy levels, to manage blood sugar and blood pressure levels” and “reduce the effects of toxins on liver”, were inadequately substantiated with evidence of product efficacy, and are misleading by exaggeration. 

Personal Care:
1. Naturoma Herbal (SaffireSunfree): The advertisement’s claims, “SPF 30” and “SPF 40”, were not substantiated and are misleading by exaggeration.

2. SBS Biotech Ayurvedic Division (Roop Mantra Skin Care Products): The advertisement’sclaims, “face will be bright and skin also will be tight” and “Use for three weeks see the results”, were not substantiated with product efficacy data, and are misleading by exaggeration.
Education:
The CCC found following claims in the advertisements by 26 different advertisers were not substantiated and, thus, violated ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions. Hence complaints against these advertisements were UPHELD.
1. IBA (Indus Business Academy): The advertisement’s claim, “Best Education Brand 2017 Award by Economic Times”, is misleading by ambiguity and omission of the reference that it is one of many brands recognized by the Economic Times.

2. Alhind Group (Alhind Academy): The advertisement’s claim, “No.1 institute in travel & tourism”, was not substantiated with any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s institute and other similar institutes in the same category or through a third party validation. The claim was misleading by exaggeration.

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