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ASCI brings 13 ads under scanner; seven now withdrawn and three modified

20-September-2007
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ASCI brings 13 ads under scanner; seven now withdrawn and three modified

The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has brought 13 ads under the scanner, out of which seven advertisers have already withdrawn their ads. While three advertisers have assured necessary modifications, two have assured no release of such controversial ads in future.

Publicis India’s campaign for Maggie Soups has come under the scanner due the campaign’s misleading implications in both the print and the television media. The campaign’s strategy to position the product as ‘making happy hearts’ has backfired. In a test conducted independently, it was revealed that the product had high levels of salt and sodium that is harmful to the heart.

Grey Worldwide’s ad on Suzuki Motorcycle depicted rash bike riding, and the Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) took a clear stance against it as the ad portrayed dangerous acts that could cause or enhance accidents. As per the CCC guidelines, the agency has already modified its TVC.

Similarly, in a print ad of Kingfisher Premium packaged drinking water, there was no connection between the headline and the visuals. The headline ‘Where the night rocks’ didn’t match with the visuals that showed a couple dancing. It came under the scanner, following which the parent company United Breweries decided to withdraw the ad. Antiquity by United Spirits and Johnnie Walker by Diageo India also faced similar issues of mismatch, and the companies decided to withdraw the ads, with Antiquity agreeing to replace with appropriate ads in the future.

Other advertisers who had to withdraw ads for making contentious claims were Horlicks and Dr Batra Clinic/ The latter’s two ads, one for curing white patches and the other for breathing disorders, were brought under the scanner.

Reliance Communications’ TVC done by Mudra showed how children made paper toys out of inland letters and postal covers as Reliance Communications had opened more than a million PCOs for people to connect in a better way. The CCC thought that the ad was unfair against other products, and was subsequently brought under the scanner; after which Reliance decided to modify the same at a later stage.

In a special case against FCB Ulka, a company has filed a suit in the Delhi High Court stating that the campaign theme ‘Sugar free. Guilt free’ was similar to ‘Indulge guilt free’, a tagline of one of the products of the complainant’s company .The CCC considered this situation and decided not to adjudicate any further on the issue as the matter was brought under the jurisdiction of the court.

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