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ASCI upholds complaints against 116 out of 165 advertisements

17-October-2017
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ASCI upholds complaints against 116 out of 165 advertisements

In July 2017, ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against 116 out of 165 advertisements. Out of 116 advertisements against which complaints were upheld, 51 belonged to the Healthcare category, 31 to the Education category, 10 in the Personal Care category, followed by 5 in the Food & Beverages category, and 19 advertisements from other categories.

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 73 advertisements, complaints against 32 advertisements were upheld.

HEALTHCARE:
The CCC found the following claims of four 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. Vadnere Chemical Works (Dr Vadnere Teething Syrup): The advertisement’s claims (in Hindi), “93 Varsho ka Bharosa” and “Ek karod Se Jyada baccho ki Hasi Ka Raj” were not substantiated with supporting evidence or any third party validation. Further the claim, “Daat nikalne Ki Kathinai ko Badla Ja sakta hai aasani se Agar Diya Jaye baccho ko Dr. Vadnere's teething syrup”, was not substantiated with product efficacy data. Also, the claims are misleading by exaggeration.

2. Shree Maruti Herbal (Stay On Power Capsules): The advertisement’s claim, “The ‘twenty eight day’ stay on course is all you need to revive vigour, vitality, stamina and energy”, was not substantiated with product efficacy data and was misleading by exaggeration. The advertisement provides a link to the web-site www.stayonpowercapsule.com which contains product claims in violation of the DMR Act. The advertisement headline, “Twenty eight days is all it takes to be `the man’ you always wanted to be”, when read in conjunction with the advertisement visual, the pack visual and reference to the product web-site implies that the product is meant for enhancement of sexual pleasure, which is in breach of the law as it violated the DMR Act.

FOOD & BEVERAGE:
1. Tata Chemicals Ltd. (Tata Nx Zero Sugar): The CCC opined that the term “Zero Sugar”, when read in conjunction with the claim “Beneficial sugar for people with Diabetes”, is contradictory and misleading by ambiguity and implication. Though the advertiser claims “zero sugar” in the advertisement, the advertiser’s own communication on their website etc. presents their product as a “low-calorie sugar”. Also the advertisement’s claim, “low calorie sweetener” may hold true for the product, the claim, “lactose is a low calorie sweetener”, was misleading by ambiguity as by the advertiser’s own submission, lactose is only an excipient in the product, the main active being Stevia.

PERSONAL CARE:
1. SBS Biotech Unit II (Roop Mantra Ayurvedic Cream, Capsules & Herbal Face Wash): The advertisement’s claim (in Hindi), "Sundarta Se Zindagi Mein Muskan aur utsah Aane De", “Sirf haldi Chandan hi nahi "Roop Mantra Ayurvedic cream" mein hai aloe vera Draksha Tulsi aur mulethi jeci 12 Jadi Butiyo ka adwitiya santulit Mishran Jo aapke Chehre ki twacha ka Rang bhitar se nikharne awam chamakdar Banane Mein Aati Sahayak hai! dark circles evam jhaiyon ko kam Karke Aap Ke Rang ko saaf rakhne me madad karta hai” and “Helpful in protecting from Jhurriya, jhaeyya, kale ghere, sawalapan, bejan tvacha”, were not substantiated with product efficacy data, and are misleading by exaggeration. Also, the visual showing the celebrity’s dark complexion becoming fair in three weeks is misleading by exaggeration.

2. Colgate-Palmolive (India) Ltd. (Colgate Active Salt): It was concluded that the font size of the disclaimers in the advertisement measures was less than 12 pixels, and hence the advertisement violated Clause 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 lines] in a 576 line raster.").

EDUCATION:
1. Cl Educate Ltd. (Career Launcher): The advertisement’s claims, “Best Results” in CLAT (Law entrance) & CAT (MBA entrance), “75/All-India Top 100 ranks in CLAT'17 are LSTians”, “Top 3 ranks in CLAT'17 from Kolkata are LSTians”, “3000+ IIM Calls in CAT'16 to CL kolkata students”, “Most advanced learning environment” and “Closed to CAT test series”, were not substantiated with verifiable supporting data. Further the claim, “Kolkata's Best Faculty”, was not substantiated with any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s institute and other similar institutes, or any third party validation. Also, the claims are misleading by exaggeration.

2. RACE Institute for Bank & SSC Coaching: The advertisement’s claims, “India's no.1 coaching institute for Bank & SSC”, “Best Competitive exam coaching institute with more than 84% success ratio”, “Only institute with more than 84% success ratio”, “Race is only institute to release registration id and password to differentiate us from fake results of other institutes”, and “In 2016-17, about 8500 of our students have got placed in various Public sector banks”, were not substantiated with any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s institute and other similar institutes, or any third party validation; and are misleading by exaggeration.

OTHERS:
1. ARG Outlier Media (Republic TV): It was concluded that the explanation given by the advertiser was unacceptable; and that the leadership claims of the advertiser were in violation of the guidelines made by BARC in this regard, and were therefore misleading. It was noted that as per “BARC India Ratings – Principles of Fair and Permissible Usage” the period of comparison for any claims of leadership should cover at least four consecutive weeks of data. However, as per the disclaimer put by the advertiser, the claims are based on a single week and not on four consecutive weeks of data as per BARC guidelines. Therefore it is violative of BARC guidelines. The subject matter of comparison is chosen in such a way so as to confer an artificial advantage upon the advertiser so as to suggest that a better bargain is offered than is truly the case. Thus the advertisement contravened the ASCI Code.

2. Republic TV: The advertisement’s claims, “BARC Declares India’s new leader”, “Republic No.1 across all segments”, “India’s No. 1 channel with 43% of viewership”, were not substantiated and are misleading by exaggeration. Advertiser has referred to BARC data as a source for these claims. It was noted that as per “BARC India Ratings – Principles of Fair and Permissible Usage” the period of comparison for any claim of leadership should cover at least four consecutive weeks of data. However, as per the disclaimer put by the advertiser, the claims are based on one single week and not four consecutive weeks of data as per BARC guidelines. Therefore it is violative of BARC guidelines. The subject matter of comparison is chosen in such a way so as to confer an artificial advantage upon the advertiser so as to suggest that a better bargain is offered than is truly the case. The advertisement thus contravened the ASCI Code.

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 92 advertisements, total of 84 advertisements were considered to be misleading. Of these, 47 advertisements belonged to the Healthcare category, 22 in Education category, five in Personal care category, four in Food & Beverage category and six were from other categories.

HEALTHCARE:
The CCC found the following claims of 48 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. Kolors Health Care India Pvt. Ltd. (Kolors Slimming and Beauty): The claims in the advertisement that “it is a single session treatment; it results in permanent fat reduction and hence causes no weight fluctuations, has no side effects and gives 100 percent desired result” contravened the provisions of the ASCI Code. It was further opined that the material given by the advertiser were woefully inadequate to substantiate their claims in the advertisement; and that the advertisement was misleading by ambiguity.

2. Jolly Health Care (Jolly Tulsi 51 Drops): The advertisement’s claims, “Natural immunity booster and its consumption along with any kind of medicine for any kind of ailment gives more better results”, and “One medicine for 100 diseases and keeps family away from diseases, gives healthy, disease free and long life”, were not inadequately substantiated and are misleading by exaggeration.

FOOD & BEVERAGES:
1. Saboo Sodium Chloro Limited (Surya Salt): The advertisement’s claim, ‘‘Surya salt being more tasty and healthy than other salts”, was not substantiated with comparative data of the advertiser’s product with other competitive products, or with any third party validation, and is misleading by exaggeration.

2. Raha Oils Pvt. Ltd. (Raha Rice Bran Oil): The advertisement’s claims, “Health benefits of Rice Bran Oil - Prevents premature ageing - Controls cholesterol - Menopausal issues - Prevent cancer - Aids weight loss - Boosts immunity - Heart friendly - Less oily”, were not substantiated with any clinical evidence and that the claims were misleading by exaggeration. Further it was noted that the claim, “World Health Organization recommends rice bran oil” was a general statement, when read in conjunction with the other health- related claims as described above, was misleading by ambiguity and implication of other health benefits.

PERSONAL CARE:
1. Hindustan Unilever Ltd. (Citra Korean Pink Pearls and Japan Green Tea): It was concluded that in the context set out in the advertisement, the claim, “Pink pearls from Korea that gives inner fairness and Japanese green tea for pimple clear skin”, was inadequately substantiated and is misleading by ambiguity and implication that the benefits being provided by the product are due to these two natural ingredients.

2. Nandini Herbal Care Pvt. Ltd. (Nandini Kesar Almond Goti): The advertisement’s claim, “Make skin fair in just five days”, was not substantiated with any evidence of product efficacy and is misleading by exaggeration. Also, the visual showing the model’s dark complexion becoming fair is misleading by exaggeration.

EDUCATION:
1. Graphic Era University: The advertisement’s claim, “More than 10000 placements across the globe” was not adequately substantiated, and was therefore false and misleading through ambiguity.

2. Adi Shankara Institute of Engineering and Technology: The advertisement’s claims, “Ranked No. 1 among the top prominent engineering colleges in India and No. 1 in Kerala” and “No. 5 among the top private engineering colleges in Kerala, ranked No. 10 in India for excellent industry exposure among top private colleges and No. 1 in Kerala”, were not substantiated. The claims were misleading by ambiguity and omission.

OTHERS:
1. Shree Kuberji Builders: The advertisement’s claim, “India’s biggest textile market making company”, was not substantiated with any data such as market survey, and is misleading by exaggeration.

2. Jyothi Chemical Industries (Texma Toilet Cleaner): The advertisement’s claim, “Texma - Best product of 2016”, was not adequately substantiated and was misleading by ambiguity and omission of mention of source and date of research.

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