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ASCI upholds complaints against 31 ads out of 81 for Dec 2017

05-March-2018
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ASCI upholds complaints against 31 ads out of 81 for Dec 2017

In December 2017, ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against 31 advertisements out of the total 81 advertisements evaluated.

From the total of 20 advertisements picked by ASCI’s suo moto surveillance, complaints against 18 advertisements were upheld. Of the 61 advertisements complained against by the general public or by industry members, complaints against 13 advertisements were upheld by the CCC.

Amongst the above 31 advertisements, 13 belonged to the healthcare category, seven to the education category, three to the food & beverages category and eight were from the ‘others’ category.

Gross exaggeration of product efficacy was the number one reason for upholding complaints, followed by violation of the Drugs and Magic Remedies Act (DMR Act) and the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules (D&C Rules). The other reasons were failure to provide substantial facts and figures to support claims and the advertisements were considered to be misleading by ambiguity or implication.

Among the various complaints, CCC observed that a realty service provider was giving misleading information with gross exaggeration on the discounts and exclusive deals to attract customers. Similarly, a couple of advertisers were claiming market leadership which was not conclusively proven.

“ASCI has effectively strengthened the professional and ethical standards in the advertising industry. Our continuous focus is to deal effectively and accurately with the complaints received against misleading advertisements. “Independent Review Process” under the chairmanship of Justice Mohit Shah, Former Chief Justice and Justice Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, Former Judge, Bombay High Court, was one such step that we took to further improve transparency for both, the advertiser as well as the complainant, to facilitate fair adjudication of complaints” said Abanti Sankaranarayanan, Chairman, ASCI.

HEALTHCARE:
The CCC found claims of 13 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 clinic advertisements also contravened provisions of the Drug & Magic Remedies Act and Chapter 1.1 and III.4 of the ASCI Code. Complaints against the following advertisements were UPHELD: Balaji Ayurved Sansthan, Ayurnet Healthcare (Piles free), Orichem Drugs & Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd (Zalim Lotion), Astha Clinic, Zenlabs Ethica Ltd (Zenivot Tonic and Capsules), Jaipur Ayush Clinic, Rediscover Clinic, Ayurwin Pharma Pvt Ltd (Nutrigain Range of Products), Herbal Creations (Herbo Gold Tulsi Power, Alkaline ionizers India Pvt Ltd (Life Ionizers), Medinn Belle Herbal Care Pvt Ltd (Endura Mass) and Ara Pharmaceutical Trade Company (Athiri Dia Care Herbal Tea).

EDUCATION:
The CCC found claims in the advertisements by seven different advertisers were not substantiated and thus, violated ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions. Hence complaints against these advertisements were UPHELD: IELTS Classes, Krishanam Classes. Also, complaints against advertisements of all educational institutes listed below are UPHELD mostly because of unsubstantiated claims that they ‘provide 100% placement/AND/OR because of misleading claim that they provide ‘100% placement assistance/AND/OR they claim to be the No.1 in their respective fields’: Sapphire Global School, IMS Polytechnic, Akhil Institute Of Hotel Management, BBN ITI and New Rays Academy.
In FOOD AND BEVERAGES, complaints against these advertisements were UPHELD: Kamla Kant & Company LLP Pan (Rajshree Masala), Singhal Brothers (Saadar Supari) and Sheelpe Enterprise (Aava Mineral Water). 
OTHERS:
Under this, complaints against these advertisements were UPHELD: Blue Star Ltd (Blue Star Air purifier), Kimberly Clark Lever Pvt Ltd (Huggies), Dishnet Wireless Ltd, Magicbricks Realty Services Ltd, M/s Salebhai Internet Private Limited, Apollo Paints Pvt Ltd (Apollo Paints Aqua), Apollo Paints Pvt Ltd (Apollo Paints Eco Plus) and Corvi LED Pvt Ltd (Corvi Led Lights).

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