ASCI upheld complaints against 62 out of 97 ads in Dec

MUMBAI: In December 2014, the Advertising Standard Council of India’s (ASCI) Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against 62 out of 97 advertisements.

Out of 62 advertisements against which complaints were upheld, 40 belonged to personal and healthcare category, followed by the education category with 11 advertisements.

The CCC found the following claims in health and personal care product or service advertisements of 40 advertisers to be either misleading or false or not adequately/scientifically substantiated and hence violating ASCI’s Code. Some of the health care products or services advertisements also contravened provisions of the Drug & Magic Remedies Act and Chapter 1.1 and III.4 of the ASCI Code.

Complaints were upheld against Procter & Gamble Home Products (Pantene Total Damage Care Shampoo & Conditioner) as the advertisement of Pantene Total Damage Care Shampoo & Conditioner claims that 3,50,00,000 women got the proof of Pantene’s Split-end protection. The figure of repeat usage of 3,50,00,000 users substantiated by the survey does not prove that the users actually got the proof of Pantene’s split-end reduction.

Similarly, the ad of Super Height claims to be the best medicine, which increases height speedily, with two times faster results than usual. They claim to be an ayurvedic medicine made completely of herbs, to increase one’s height by up to five inches in three months, with full money refunded if no benefits are found. It also claims to be the “World’s No.1 product which increases height with speed now in India after Japan, China, America and Russia.”   

General Mills India (Pillsbury Fridge Cheesecake) advertisement of Pillsbury Fridge Cheesecake disparages a healthy diet of vegetable salads as the advertisement states “sada hua salad.”

In the education category, CCC found following claims in the advertisements by 11 different advertisers were not   substantiated and, thus, violated ASCI guidelines for advertising of educational institutions. For instance, the advertisement of Career Launcher claimed “No.1 CAT test series program,” “Closest to CAT Test series - on the new CAT pattern,” “Best rated test series by students,” “True percentile predictor enabled test series,” “CL was also the only player to predict accurately the change in pattern and the even the likely dates!”, were not substantiated.

Advertisements of news channels also caught CCC eye. TV18 Broadcast (CNN-IBN) ad depicts a see-saw, which has CNN-IBN at one side shown with a big number 1, out weighing all the other channels depicted with numbers 2, 3, 4 and 5 on the other side of the see-saw. The CCC concluded that the negative portrayal of image of other channels is misleading by implication and disparaging to other competitor channels. Also, the advertisement claims that News X is India’s No.1 English News Channel. The source and date of the research / assessment for the claim was not indicated in the ad.

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