ASCI upholds complaints against 229 advertisements 

Of these complaints, 123 belonged to healthcare,  83 to education sector,  seven to food & beverages sector,  two to personal care and 14 were from ‘others’ category

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: May 22, 2019 1:55 PM

The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has examined complaints against 344 advertisements and advertisers to prompt corrective action for 74 advertisements. 

ASCI’s Independent Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against 229 advertisements out of 270 advertisements evaluated by them. 

Of these, 123 belonged to the healthcare sector,  83 to the education sector,  seven to the food and beverages sector,  two to personal care and 14 were from the ‘others’ category.

The largest number of complaints were evaluated in the healthcare sector with over 100 advertisements being considered to be in potential violation of the Drugs & Magic Remedies (DMR) Regulations. 

The majority of these advertisements were on the advertisers’ websites promoting products for enhancement of male sexual desire, male sexual performance, female breast enhancement, cancer cure, cure for arthritis and infertility. There were several advertisements pertaining to clinics and hospitals making unsubstantiated and superlative claims. 

In one instance, the advertiser claimed to hold a Limca Book of Records for performing the highest number of surgeries in a certain span of time. The claims were inadequately substantiated and were misleading by exaggeration.  

D Shivakumar, Chairman, ASCI said: “ASCI and the ministry of AYUSH have concluded their second year of collaboration in March. Under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), ASCI was given a mandate for comprehensive Suo Motu surveillance of potentially misleading advertisements in the AYUSH sector and to keep a tab on print and electronic advertisements related to treatments with Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy medicines and potential violations of the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954. Over the two years, under the MoU with Ministry of AYUSH, ASCI has looked into over 1,200 advertisements of the AYUSH sector. It is important to take cognizance of the growing influence of Digital Media on consumers and the misleading advertisements through various web-sites exploiting consumers’ lack of knowledge. As per our data, while there has been a significant decrease in the incidence of misleading advertisements as awareness of the AYUSH-ASCI collaboration is increasing, the joint efforts need to be sustained to effectively curb objectionable advertisements. ”

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