Healthcare, home utility ads under ASCI scanner

ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council upheld complaints against 17 out of 31 ads during November and December 2011

by exchange4media Staff
Published - Mar 6, 2012 7:48 AM Updated: Mar 6, 2012 7:48 AM
Healthcare, home utility ads under ASCI scanner

During the months of November and December 2011, the Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of Advertising Standard Council of India (ASCI) upheld complaints made against 17 ads from various sectors like agricultural products, deodorants, personal hygiene and home shopping networks. During the same period, the CCC also did not uphold complaints against 14 ads.

The CCC received a complaint against Bollgard, which made claims of boosting cotton farmers’ income by Rs 31,500 crore, reducing usage of insecticides, containing in-built plant protection and increasing yields. The CCC concluded that the claims made in the ad and cited in the complaint were not substantiated and complaint was upheld.

Complaint against Pass Port Deodorant’s ad was upheld by the CCC for being obscene. Telemart Shopping Network Pvt Ltd’s ad for Sandhi Sudha was under the scanner as the TVC made claims of curing arthritis and spondylitis and of a ‘Money Back Guarantee’ if the product was ineffective. The CCC concluded that there was absence of scientific substantiation of the claim and upheld the complaint.

Association of Mutual Funds in India’s booklet states that “Every Mutual Fund is managed by a fund manager, who by using his investment management skills and necessary research work, ensures better returns than what an investor can manage on his own”. The objection was to the word “ensures” as it could be misleading. Hence, the complaint was upheld.

Complaint against Dr Ayurveda Power Prash and Body Growth’s ad for ‘enhancement of sexual power’ was upheld as the claims were not substantiated. The CCC concluded that the TVC contravened the Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.

The print ad and website of Glen Appliances Pvt Ltd state that aluminum cookware is not safe, whereas this claim has not been as substantiated by any reputed international organisation such as the World Health Organization (WHO). The CCC concluded that the print ad claim and the website claim stating that cooking in aluminum was harmful was misleading, hence the complaint was upheld.

Vanesa Inc’s ad for Denver Deodorant contains the tagline “Play it cool”. However, the brand John Player’s has been using the same tagline since 2005. Since copying the slogan amounts to plagiarism, the ad contravened Chapter IV.3 of the ASCI Code and the complaint was upheld.

In the personal hygiene segment, the CCC upheld a complaint against Stayfree All Night on grounds that comparison was not made between products of a similar size and the TVC was considered misleading.

Health drink Complan’s ad was under the scanner for making the claim that “children who drink Complan grow 2 times faster than children who drink other health drinks”. This claim was substantiated through independent clinical research. This complaint was not upheld, however, the comparison in the chart between Complan and non-Complan drinkers is likely to mislead consumers that Complan is superior on the basis of its main ingredient (milk solids). Hence, this complaint was upheld.

In the education sector, Noesis Education and Management Services was pulled up for their ad, which made claims of being ‘Biggest in India, attended by 1,200 students at a time’ and ‘High quality contents from Bestselling authors, rank holders and subject matter experts’. The CCC noted that these claims were not substantiated and hence the complaint was upheld.

In the healthcare and pharma sector, Pfizer’s ad for Gelusil Antacid was questioned. As per the complaint, the TVC shows “a boy running along a parked vehicle and using a sharp article scratching the vehicle, possibly scraping the paint and even denting the body”. The question asked is “Does this make your heart burn” followed by “Gelusil be used to avoid heart burn and acidity”. The CCC concluded that the depiction of the young boy vandalising a car is likely to encourage minors to emulate such acts, the careless use of which could lead to their suffering cuts or other injury. The complaint was, therefore, upheld.

Eureka Forbes’ Aquasure water purifier’s TVC claims that the product is the “World’s safest water”, which was found to be misleading. The complaint was upheld. The CCC also received a complaint against Eureka Forbes’ Aquasure Xtra water purifier’s leaflet, which makes comparisons and propagates false statements about Pureit products, Classic and Compact. It was concluded that the leaflet contravened the ASCI Code and the complaint was upheld.

During these two months, the CCC also received complaints against Cadbury– Bournville, Piramal Healthcare Ltd’s Supractiv Complete, Jockey, MetLife India Insurance Company Ltd, ad promos of C.I.D., Fastrack watches, Killer Deodorant, Wild Stone Deodorant, Tata Docomo, Colgate Palmolive, Dulux Paints, and Santoor Soap, among others. As these ads did not contravene ASCI’s codes or guidelines, they were not upheld.

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