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ASCI brings 27 ads under scanner; 9 ads withdrawn, 5 modified

24-November-2008
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ASCI brings 27 ads under scanner; 9 ads withdrawn, 5 modified

The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has released its report for the period July-September 2008 on ads that were either withdrawn or modified. A total of 27 ads have been brought under scanner, out of which nine ads have been withdrawn, five have been modified, while 12 were not upheld by the Consumer Complaints Council (CCC), and one was considered to be a non-issue by the CCC.

Amongst the ads withdrawn is that of P&G’s ‘Olay Total Effects’. The ad stated had called Olay ‘India’s best Anti-Ageing Cream’. As per ASCI, the claim made was completely unsustainable and unqualified and was a mere attempt to mislead the consumers. The advertisement did not provide statistically significant data and the TVC had to be withdrawn.

Under same claims, other ads that were withdrawn were of Tata Sky, HUL’s Fair & Lovely, Ponds and Samsung Guru 200 mobile TVC. However, the Fair & Lovely TVC has been off air since August 1, 2008. Lowe is the creative agency behind this TVC, which was featured on channels like Star, Sony and Zee TV.

Under the print category, the Alkem Laboratories ad, which had featured in DNA, has been withdrawn. The print ads of Samsung Bio Sleep Air Conditioners has been suspended temporarily as the ad’s claims of being ‘designed to give you the deepest sleep’ and ‘They work with your bio-rhythm to adjust the room temperature’ were not sustainable. The ad agency for this campaign is Cheil Communication.

Yet another ad in the print category, that of Triveni Media Ltd featured in Economic Times has been withdrawn on the basis of the complaint that the ad is offensive, in bad taste, hurts the sensibility of common readers, and has apparently no connection whatsoever with whatever they trying to sell or provide.

The radio spot of RG Stone Urology and Laparoscopy Hospital has also been brought under the ASCI scanner. The radio spot is now off air since September 9, 2008, on the complaint that the voice-over was misleading and was likely to cause grave or widespread offence. The ad claimed was if a lady was suffering from irregular or heavy periods, she should get rid of her troublesome uterus by contacting RG Hospital.

Amongst the already modified ads are Amara Raja Batteries, Yum! Restaurants, Ponds, Axe from HUL, and Garnier Light from L’Oreal.

The Amara Raja Batteries ad had appeared on the company’s website that claimed to be ‘India’s most powerful battery - Last long’. The agency on this ad is O&M India. The advertiser did not provide any market report in support of their claims and has assured that the claim is being modified appropriately.

Another ad created by O&M India, this time for advertiser Yum! Restaurants TVC, has been modified as the visual depiction of a driver licking his finger implied that he had been eating whilst driving, which could result in harm to the driver/ passengers.

The Axe Chocolate TVC, too, came under the scanner as it was found to be in bad taste and vulgar, as it shows the girl licking and biting the boy. These actions were considered to be highly objectionable. As for the Ponds and Garnier light, both the TVCs have been appropriately modified as the claims were not sustainable adequately in both the cases.

There were more 12 ads that were bought under the scanner, but were not upheld by the CCC. They are Sony Entertainments DLF IPL success story, Tata Motors, Big Flicks, Deccan Chronicle, Kothari Products Pan Parag Pan Masala, Samsung Mobile, ITC Ltd’s Fiama Di Wills Skinsense Soap, Kent mineral water purifier, Hyundai Motor India, Department of Environment – Plastic Bags, and NDTV Imagine for promoting the serial ‘Ramayana’.

One ad was brought under the scanner for a non-issue by the CCC. It is of Planet Retail Holding’s Seventeen India which states, ‘Get Lippy and prevent HIV’. According to the Council, the magazine is for pre-teens and teens. General levels of knowledge about HIV are still very low. However, the advertisement is dangerously misleading and gives wrong information by implications. Hence, the Council declared that the advertiser did not advertise the product and the magazine in its editorial had misprinted the headline.

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