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ASCI upholds complaints against Mathrubhoomi ads

08-November-2004
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ASCI upholds complaints against Mathrubhoomi ads

The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has upheld the complaints made by Malayala Manorama against Mathrubhoomi newspaper for putting out two advertisements with “unsubstantiated” facts.

According to documents available with exchange4media, one of the ads claimed that “Mathrubhoomi has more readers who are potential buyers of cars, jeeps, vacuum cleaners, airconditioners, refrigerators and washing machines every Onam”. The other ad claimed that Mathrubhoomi is “No. 1 in growth in circulation in Kerala”. The Consumer Complaints Council of ASCI, after going through the complaints, found both to be false.

The Consumer Complaints Council, at its meeting on September 14, upheld the complaint made on August 21, 2004, against the claim made by Mathrubhoomi -- that “it has more potential shoppers than competitor (Malayala Manorama)” -- in an ad put out in Brand Equity on August 11, 2004. The ASCI Council said in its final order that the claim was “false since the same was not substantiated by the survey reports cited in the advertisement”.

The CCC also upheld the complainant’s second plea made on September 2, 2004, against the hoarding put up by Mathrubhoomi claiming that it was “No. 1 in growth in circulation in Kerala”. The hoarding was put up at Desom, near Cochin International Airport. The CCC said in its order that the claim is “false as it is based on outdated information”.

When contacted by exchange4media, Varghese Chandy, General Manager, Marketing Operations, Malayala Manorama, said, “In the ‘potential buyers’ case, the interpretation of the figures by Mathrubhoomi were incorrect. In the “No. 1 in growth in circulation” case, they used outdated information from last year, as they weren’t comfortable with this year’s figures.”

Chandy also informed that the “advertising firm has assured ASCI that the hoarding will be modified appropriately to avoid any contravention of the Code and the campaign on potential shoppers is being discontinued”.

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