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ASCI upholds complaints against Vodafone, Ola, Oppo, Horlicks, Complan ads

10-May-2018
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ASCI upholds complaints against Vodafone, Ola, Oppo, Horlicks, Complan ads

In February 2018, ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against 193 advertisements out of the total of 290 advertisements that were evaluated by the CCC.

A total of 187 advertisements were picked up by ASCI’s Suo Moto surveillance and objections against 163 advertisements were upheld. Of the 103 advertisements complained against by the general public or by the industry members, complaints against 30 advertisements were upheld by the CCC. Out of the total 193 advertisements against which complaints were upheld, 154 belonged to healthcare sector, 18 to education sector, eight to the food & beverages category, two to personal care and 11 were from the ‘others’ category.

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

‘’Food Safety Standards Authority of India recently renewed its Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ASCI as a reflection of its successful association in the first year. The MoU gives ASCI a suo moto monitoring mandate to co-regulate and curb misleading advertisements in F&B sector. This association has helped us to augment our efforts in curtailing false F&B advertisements,” said Abanti Sankaranarayanan, Chairman ASCI.


HEALTHCARE: - Total of 154 ads complained against

• Direct Complaints (10 ads complained against)
• Suo Moto Surveillance by ASCI ( 144 ads complained against)

PERSONAL CARE: - Total of two ads complained against

• Direct Complaints (Two ads complained against)

FOOD AND BEVERAGES: - Total of eight ads complained against

• Direct Complaints (Five ads complained against)
• Suo Moto Surveillance by ASCI (Three ads complained against)

EDUCATION:- Total of 18 ads complained against

• Direct Complaints (Two ads complained against)
• Suo Moto Surveillance by ASCI (16 ads complained against)

OTHERS:- Total of 11 ads complained against

• Direct Complaints (11 ads complained against)


DIRECT COMPLAINTS

HEALTHCARE:
The CCC found claims of 10 advertisements in health care products or services to be either misleading or false or not adequately / scientifically substantiated; hence in violation of the ASCI 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: Maja Health Care Division (Vi-John Boroshield Antiseptic Cream), Dr. Dassan’s Life Care Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment and Research Centre (Kidney), OPTM HealthCare Private Limited, Hindustan Unilever Ltd (Indulekha Oil), IPSA Labs Pvt Ltd (Arodent Ayurvedic Gum and Dental Paste)

The following advertisements were considered to be, prima facie, in violation of The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act 1954 and were referred to the concerned regulators: Shri Kalyan Ayurvedashra M, Berry Skin Care (Leuco Kit), Vaidya Ashwani Kumar.


PERSONAL CARE:-

Hindustan Unilever Ltd (Lifebuoy Soap): In the advertisement, celebrity Kajol poses as a doctor, wherein she states “doctor se suno ……Isiliye Silver Lifebuoy” and the last frame of the TVC, shows four people in white coat, giving an impression that doctors have endorsed the product. In the absence of any market research data indicating that medical professionals in general recommend the advertised product, such visual presentation was considered to be misleading by ambiguity and implication.

The Himalaya Drug Company (Baby Care Range): The advertisement’s claims, “India’s No. 1 Baby Care brand” , "Himalaya provides safest baby care products” and "Most Gentle baby care products", were inadequately substantiated and are misleading by exaggeration and implication that other competitor products are less safe or less gentle.

EDUCATION:-

The CCC found following claims in the advertisements by two advertisers, Koneru Lakshmaiah Charities (KL University) and Active Computer Institute & Study Circle not substantiated and thus, violated ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions. The visual presentation of the advertisement’s claim, “Deemed to be University”, was misleading by ambiguity and implication of the institute being a “University”.

FOOD AND BEVERAGES:-

1. Guiltfree industries limited (Too Yumm): The advertisement’s claims, “Eat Lot and Fikar Not” and “Eat anytime, anywhere, as much” encourage excessive consumption and product if overindulged as suggested in the TVC, it can add to calories, fat calories and sodium. The TVC contravened ASCI Guidelines on Advertising of Food & Beverages.

2. Gopaljee dairy foods private limited (Ananda Lassi): The advertisement’s claims, “Improves digestive system”, “Strengthen bones” and “Improves immunity power”, were not substantiated with scientific rationale or evidence of product efficacy and are misleading.

3. DANONE GROUP – (Protinex): The advertisement’s claim, “The only brand with Hydrolysed Protein,” was misleading as it was an absolute claim and neither held when compared to all health drink brands in the market nor its own variants. not substantiated and is misleading by implication and omission. The word “Instant” from the claim “Faster absorption for instant results and better protein delivery” was misleading.


4. GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Ltd – (Horlicks): The advertisement’s claim, “9-In-10 children’s diet could be deficient in essential nutrients”, was not substantiated and was misleading by implication and exaggeration

5. Heinz India Private Limited – (Complan): The advertisement’s claim, “Enhance IQ”, was inadequately substantiated and is misleading by exaggeration.

OTHERS:-

1. ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd (OLA cabs), Vodafone (Vodafone) India Ltd, Vodafone India Ltd (Vodafone Post-paid Plans), New Delhi Television Ltd (NDTV), BSH Household Appliances Manufacturing Pvt Ltd (Bosch Washing Machine), LG Electronics India Pvt Ltd (LG K7i Mosquito Away Phone), Ashok Limited Leyland, Ambica Wallpapers, OPPO Electronics (Oppo Mobiles), Springfit Mattress (Springfit Mattresses and sleep systems) and Eureka Forbes Ltd (Aquasure Maxima RO)

SUO MOTO Surveillance by ASCI

The advertisements given below were picked up through ASCI’s suo moto surveillance of Print and TV media via the National Advertisement Monitoring Services (NAMS) project. Out of 187 advertisements that were picked up, 163 advertisements were considered to be misleading. Of the total 163 advertisements, 144 advertisements belonged to Healthcare, 16 belonged to the Education category, and three belonged to Food & Beverage category.

HEALTHCARE: 

The Body Care, Rainbow Group of Hospitals (Rainbow Children’s Hospital), Abhay Ayurvedic Pharmacy (Medari Range of Products), Ayurnava Kerala Ayurvedic Treatment Centre, Sagar Malik Ayurveda, Caram Healthcare India Pvt. Ltd (Caram Healthcare Range of Products), OPTM HealthCare Private Limited (Phyto Proflex), (Varco Oil) and (Phytomax Vision), Ayurwin Pharma Pvt Ltd (Nutrislim Plus Range of Products), Lifespan Wellness Pvt. Ltd (Lifespan Diabetes Clinic).

Few of the following advertisements were considered to be, prima facie, in violation of The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act and were referred to the Ministry of AYUSH: Adila Biotech Pvt Ltd/ Asth Prash, VNV Herbal Tech/Stone King Range Of Products, Balaji Homeopathy, Dr. Balvinder Singh Waliya, Dr. Madhu Varanasi Super Speciality Homeo Clinic, Ganga Ayurvedic Clinic, Mahamaya Herbals, Jaipur Ayush Clinic. 

Few of the following advertisements were considered to be, prima facie, in violation of The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act / The Drugs & Cosmetics Rules and are being referred to the Ministry of Health: Fortis Healthcare Ltd/ Fortis Hospital, Poona Preventive Cardiology Centre, Benda Acupuncture & Slimming Centre, Dr Puris Health Center, Ksc Health & Beauty Care.

EDUCATION:- Rajyog Academy: The advertisement’s claim, “The only institute who has given highest selection in past recruitment”, was not substantiated with any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s institute and other similar institutes, or through a third party validation. The claim is misleading by exaggeration.
Complaints against advertisements of 15 educational institutes listed below are UPHELD mainly 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:
Kavira Classes & Defence Academy, National Small Industries Corporation (NSCI Tool Room), CL Educate Ltd(Career Launcher), Mission An Institute Of Professional Development, Royal IAS Academy, Om Sri Sai Siksha Samiti – (Sri Sai Institute of Paramedical Studies & Research), RC Teachers Academy, Saphalta Defence Academy & Hostel, Image Infotainment Ltd (Image Creative Education), Ramappa Police Academy, CV Raman Academy for IIT – JEE/PPB Hindu, BSH Household Appliances Manufacturing Pvt. Ltd (BRIDGE) /Sristi Community College, BPTDC Institute of Hotel Management, Parth Paramedical Institute, Sobhasaria Jankalyan Trust (Sobhasaria Group of Institutions)

FOOD & BEVERAGE:- Ultraapower Greenfield Botanical (Ultraapower Green Tea), Saboo Sodium Chloro Limited (Surya Salt), Flipbald Health And Wellness - Flipbald Health & Wellness Products.

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