ASCI upholds complaint against 144 ads in June 13

MUMBAI: The Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has upheld complaints against 144 out of 174 advertisements in June.

The category leading the pack of misleading ads was health and personal care category followed by education sector. For the first time ever, ASCI has also tracked and upheld complaints against four online advertisements,   out of which one is an advertisement of Hindustan Unilever on the YouTube.

The CCC found two ads violating Chapter III 1(b) of the ASCI Code as they deride colour of the skin in the digital space. The complaints were upheld against HUL’s Ponds BB Cream which is titled ‘The Future of India’ and goes on to talk about various benefits of the product and how women yearn to have fair skin and Emami Fair and Handsome cream ad which shows a flow chart depicting various problems such as inferiority complex, not good looking, etc. affecting dark skin colored people.

In the health and personal care product or service category, the CCC found that claims of 58 ads released in the press is either misleading or false or not adequately/scientifically substantiated and hence violating Chapter I of the ASCI Code. Some of the health care products or services ads also contravened provisions of the Drug & Magic Remedies Act.

The complaint against HUL’s Sunsilk Perfect Straight ad that shows a girl packing/selecting all her hair straightening equipment and her friend telling her about a shampoo that can keep the hair perfectly straight after attending a gym session, party or even in other situations’  has been upheld for misleading the customers.

Another one making to this list is Johnson’s Baby Natural Massaging Oil advertisement. The ad claims that the ‘oil helps in 47 per cent more weight gain.’ Similarly, Dabur’s Fem Turmeric Herbal Bleach claim of it being a ‘herbal, mild and ammonia free bleach’ and  Zee Laboratories’ advertisement of Virgin Again Gel claiming that the ‘Vagina tightening and rejuvenating gel improves muscle tone’ complaints have been upheld.

Livon Hair Gain Tonic in their print ad claiming ‘Increase hair growth with the latest hair gain formula- Livon Hair Gain Tonic’ is another one making to the list of products being upheld.

The Himalaya Complete Care Toothpaste TVC begins with a message depicting importance of the `anti-oxidant’ having health benefits. The commercial which communicates that anti-oxidant not only kills the germs but also removes toxins and further strengthen the gums and teeth and then, ultimately, concludes with a message that it is much more than gum protection was upheld too.

Second in lead was the education category wherein CCC found 57 different advertisers in print violating the ASCI guidelines for advertising of educational institutions and hence the complaints were upheld.

Eight complaints were upheld in the consumer durables category with brands like Godrej, Samsung, Microtek etc.

In the telecom category, the advertisement of Tata Docomo Network showing a husband quietly eating a pizza at night when the Tata Docomo signature sound starts playing in the background. A voice over that starts ‘When you are enjoying your pizza, think of us because leading pizza chains use our network. So, are you on the network that is everywhere?’ The CCC viewed the TVC and concluded that the claim, ‘leading pizza delivery chains  use Tata Docomo network’, was not substantiated as the support was provided only for one chain i.e. Pizza Hut.   The advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code.  The complaint was upheld.

Complaints against Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd, CNBC Awaaz and Punjab Kesari were upheld in the media category.  

Other categories against which complaints were upheld were auto, food and beverage and many other.

ASCI, through the National Advertising Monitoring Service (NAMS), has already started post tracking of advertisements in print and TV against which complaints are upheld.  Initial tracking results show overall there is 90 per cent compliance from advertisers on ASCI’s decisions.

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