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ASCI upholds complaints against 17 ads in July-August ’11

22-December-2011
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ASCI upholds complaints against 17 ads in July-August ’11

During July and August 2011, the Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of Advertising Standard Council of India (ASCI) upheld complaints made against 17 ads from various sectors like EDUCATION, HEALTH, FMCG and restricted products. During the same timeframe, the CCC did not uphold complaints against eight advertisements.

In a complaint received against the advertisement of Maruti Suzuki - Estilo Magic, the advertisement mentions the mileage of i10 (1.1) Era as “16 kmpl”, which is incorrect. i10 (1.1) Era ARIA certified mileage is 19.8 kmpl. The CCC concluded that the data stated in the advertisement about the mileage of the competitor did not tally with the ARIA Certification and is false.

There was a complaint relating to the advertisement of “Bata India – Think Weinbrenner, Think Outdoors.” As per the complaint, Bata was carrying out a print campaign for Weinbrenner, wherein the copy reads, “SMS Bata <space> <your e-mail id> to 58888 to win exclusive gifts”. Acting on the line, twice, the Complainant was never offered or sent any gifts. The CCC concluded that the statement, “SMS BATA…to win exclusive gifts”, was misleading as the advertisement did not state clearly all material conditions to enable the consumer to obtain a true and fair view of his prospects in such activities.

There was a complaint received against advertising communication of Hindustan Unilever - Pureit Water Purifier. As per the complaint, the commercials make a claim of “Pureit 1 Crore safety challenge”. The CCC considered the technical proof provided by the Advertiser and the Complainant and concluded that whilst Pureit “meets USA’s EPA stringent germ-kill criteria”, it is not the only one to do so. The claim, “It’s been 2 years and till date no purifier in India has been able to meet Pureit’s Safety challenge”, is misleading as this challenge is only against old generation products launched prior to December 2009. Thus, the communication creates a false impression that Pureit is the best water purifier. This complaint was Upheld.

In a complaint received against the advertisement of Triply Stainless Steel Cookware from Glen Appliances Pvt. Ltd., the print advertisement claims, “Is your cookware safe? Did you know aluminum cookware can cause cancer?” According to the complainant the claims are not truthful as it has not been substantiated by any reputed international organization such as WHO or by any country noted for a high standard of vigilance in consumer protection. The advertisement unfairly and directly denigrates attacks and discredits all aluminum cookware, and misleads the consumer about the safety of the same. The complaint was upheld.

In the education sector, there was a whole set of advertisement that received complaints. For T.I.M.E. – CAT’ 11/12, the claim “Largest student base: 1,30,000+ students trained for CAT’09 & CAT’10” was rejected as the claim was not validated by any third party nor the advertiser had compared any data of other service providers in the same category. Also, the Claim, “Best faculty team in Delhi – NCR”, is not supported by any comparative data. Another Claim, “Best Results: 50%+ of students in the IIMs are from T.I.M.E.”, is neither validated nor supported with any independent data, and the claim is based on 2009 and 2010 data as mentioned in the advertisement. The CCC concluded that pending the validation of the data by independent auditors, the claims are misleading and contravene Chapter I.4 of the Code and hence the complaint was upheld.

Career Launcher (I) Ltd in one advertisement mentioned that,“4300+ IIM calls in CAT”10”, “CL scores: 4/8 100 % in CAT’10, FMS’10 & 11 Toppers, JMET’10 Topper”. These claims were not backed up and substantiated with data/ evidence. The CCC concluded that pending the validation of the data by independent auditors, the claims mentioned in the advertisement and cited in the complaint are misleading. The complaint was upheld.

The advertisement of Team Satyam claims that “75+ Students and counting, in National Law Schools”, “95% of call getters from Lucknow are Clat Possible students”, “5/5 NLU-Delhi call getters from Lucknow are Clat Possible students”, “3 NLSIU, 5 NALSAR, 7 NUJS, 8NLU-D Students to National Law Schools”, “40+ Students to National Law Schools”. The CCC concluded that pending the validation of the data by independent auditors, the claims mentioned in the advertisement and cited in the complaint, are misleading. The advertisement contravened Chapter I.4 of the Code. The complaint was upheld. In another Team Satyam complaint, the advertisement claims, “20 IIM & 4 XLRI call getters”. This claim was also not supported by any duly validated and substantiated data. The CCC concluded that pending the validation of the data by independent auditors, the claim is misleading. The advertisement contravened Chapter I.4 of the Code.

A TVC of Greenply Industries Ltd. Greenlam Laminates showed “an old man going through the Catholic sacrament of baptism, and thereafter his funeral which shows a coffin made with Greenlam Laminates. The TVC is extremely offensive and mocks the Roman Catholic faith, by unnecessarily using sacraments to promote its product. The CCC concluded that the TVC appears to trivialize conversion and thus is likely to hurt religious sentiments. This advertisement was upheld.

In Indulekha Gold Hair Care Oil ad of Mosons Extractions the advertiser was asked to provide scientific evidence including clinical trials of the effectiveness of the product – Indulekha Gold Hair Care Oil, which it claims by implication. In the absence of comments from the Advertiser, the CCC concluded that the claims were not substantiated with technical data through clinical research. This advertisement was upheld.

Hindustan Unilever Ltd‘s Dove Damage Therapy TVC claimed that Dove is the most recommended shampoo by Indian women”, is qualified by a super stating “Based on a study conducted amongst 400 women”. It was stated that a base size of 400 is far too small to be used to support this claim and it also does not clarify the parameters for which the Dove shampoo is recommended. Also, the supers in the said advertisement are blurred and illegible. The print advertisement, TVC, and the hoardings contravened Chapter I.4 of the Code and the claims are misleading, hence the complaint was UPHELD. In another ad of Dove Hair Fall Rescue shampoo, the TVC claims, “No Hair Fall No Damage”, is qualified by a super stating, “No hair breakage and split ends according to the `sampling based on lab test’ when regularly used Dove Shampoo”. This claim needs to be substantiated with independent technical data. The super does not state the source of the study and nor does it state the date on which the said study was conducted. The complaint was upheld.
 

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