Mumbai-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.
- Maja Health Care Division (Vi-John Boroshield Antiseptic Cream): The pack claims, “Quick healing from nicks and cuts”, “Treats minor burns/injury “and “Prevents nappy rashes”, were inadequately substantiated and are misleading.
- Dr. Dassan’s Life Care Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment and Research Centre (Kidney): The advertisement’s claim, “Ek mahiney ke ilaaz se hi Creatinine 10.24 se 1.9 par samanya aah gaya” (Creatinine was reduced by treatment of Dr. Dassan) was not substantiated with authentic, credible scientific / clinical evidence. The claim, “Kidney rogi transplant se bachh gaya”, implying cure for kidney diseases, is misleading by gross exaggeration and exploits the consumers’ lack of knowledge and is likely to lead to grave or widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers.
- 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.
The CCC found following claims in the advertisements by two advertisers not substantiated and thus, violated ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions.
- Koneru Lakshmaiah Charities (KL University): The visual presentation of the advertisement’s claim, “Deemed to be University”, was misleading by ambiguity and implication of the institute being a “University”.
- Active Computer Institute & Study Circle: The advertiser’s institute claiming to be an “authorized centre” was not substantiated with supporting evidence of the certificate of authorization from the parent institute.
FOOD AND BEVERAGES:-
- 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.
- 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.
- ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd (OLA cabs): The advertisement’s claim, “Ola Auto Rs.29 for four kilometres”, was misleading by omission of a qualifier that the offer is subject to terms and conditions.
- Vodafone (Vodafone) India Ltd: The advertisement’s claim, “Unlimited Calls Rs.198/month”, is false and misleading in view of the capping of 250 minutes per day and 1,000 minutes per week.
SUO MOTO Surveillance by ASCI
- The Body Care: The advertisement’s claims, “Fat reduction and inch loss”, “Reduce up to 6.8 centimetres from tummy, hips and thighs” and “Reduce weight up to 10 kilograms* + 40-50 centimetres*”, were not substantiated with supporting clinical evidence. Claims, “Fast track program in nine days”, “Get rid of surgery”, “Safe and long lasting”, were not substantiated with supporting data and are misleading by exaggeration. The visuals in the advertisement imply that a significant weight loss around tummy would be feasible, which is also misleading.
- Rainbow Group of Hospitals (Rainbow Children’s Hospital): The advertisement’s claim, “India’s No.1 Children Hospital”, was not substantiated with any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s hospital and other children hospitals in India or through a third party validation. The claim is misleading by exaggeration.
- 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.
FOOD & BEVERAGE:-
- Ultraapower Greenfield Botanical (Ultraapower Green Tea): The advertisement’s claims, “Increase blood cells” (Pomegranate Green Tea), “Dilute kidney stone” (Banana Stem Green Tea), “Produce more blood” (Beetroot Green Tea), “Cure eye sight” (Carrot Green Tea), “Strengthen bone” (Amla Green Tea), “Removes extra sodium/cholesterol from body” (Ginger/Garlic/Lemon Green Tea), “Improve memory power” (Centella Green Tea), “Strengthen nervous system” (Cumin Green Tea), “Cleans body cells” (Indian Copper leaf Green Tea), “Control diabetes” (Cinnamon Green Tea), “Increase immunity power” (Cloves Green Tea), “Control heart disease/diabetes” (Lemon blossom Green Tea), “Decrease joint pain/Rheumatics” (Veldt Grape Green Tea)”, were not substantiated with scientific rationale and / or clinical evidence of product efficacy. Advertisement promoting a food product claiming benefits of therapeutic nature, was misleading by implication and exploits consumers’ lack of knowledge and is likely to result in widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers.
- Saboo Sodium Chloro Limited (Surya Salt): The advertisement’s claim, “Has magnesium which gives relief in joints pain” and “Protects from acidity”, were not substantiated with evidence of product efficacy and are misleading by gross exaggeration.