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ASCI upheld complaints against 87 out of 117 advertisements

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MUMBAI: In August 2015, ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against 87 out of 117 advertisements.

Out of the advertisements related complaints received, 37 belonged to the personal and healthcare category, followed by 41  in education and nine  from other categories.

In health and personal care 37 advertisers were found either misleading, false or not adequately substantiated and hence violating ASCI’s code. LG Electronics India, Hindustan Unilever, L’Oreal India, Lotus Herbals and VLCC Ltd were among them.

The CCC found that claims made by 41 advertisers in the education category were not substantiated which violates ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions. Therefore the complaints were upheld.

The advertisements against which complaints were upheld included HSIL Limited, Bharti Airtel, Amazon Kindle, Corona Plus Industries, Carlsberg India and 3M India Limited amongst others.

Health and personal care:

The CCC found the following claims in health and personal care product or service advertisements of 37advertisers 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 against the following advertisements were UPHELD.

  1.LG Electronics India Pvt. Ltd.  (LG Water Purifiers): The advertisement of LG Water Purifiers claims, "India’s only true water purifier" which was not adequately substantiated.

  2. Hindustan Unilever Ltd. (PureitUltima):The TVC of PureitUltima claims, “PureitUltima RO+UV. Sirf is meinhai Purity Indicator josaafsaafdikhatahaikipaanikitna pure hai”, which was false and misleading. Furthermore, the Print advertisement and Website claims, “PureitUltima with Purity Indicator. Purity you can see!” was misleading by implication.

  3.L’Oreal India Private Limited (L’Oreal Fall Repair):  The claims in the advertisement, “Its   triple action arginine nourisheshair from its roots, it reduces breakage, hair grow stronger” and “Save up to 2000 hair strands”, were inadequately substantiated and were misleading by ambiguity.

  4.Lotus Herbals Limited (Lotus Herbals Youth RX): The claims in the advertisement, “A firmer and younger skin in just seven days” and “In four weeks 96 percent of users have agreed that effects of ageing are almost gone”, were inadequately substantiated.

  5.VLCC Ltd Healthcare: The claims in the advertisement, “Listen to your DNA for weightloss. Presenting for the first time VLCC DNA Slim a scientific weight loss solution based on your DNA”, “Running 4KM daily helped your colleague Lose weight. But may only make you lose your cool” and “Lose four kilograms or get your money back”, were considered to be misleading by exaggeration and implication.

  6.Sanzyme Ltd (Nutrus Slim Tea): The claims in the advertisement, “Slim”, and “Green Tea reduces the risk of Diabetes and Cancer”, were not substantiated with clinical evidence.

  7.Dr. Amit Sharma: The claim in the advertisement, “Completely cure HIV AIDS and any kind of cancer through Ayurveda treatment”, was not substantiated.  Also, specific to the claim related to complete cure of Cancer, the TVC is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.

  8.Yogis Ayurveda: The claims in the advertisement, “Since 1944 Worldwide Safe & Successful Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment for Every one - Height increase” and “Takat Da TohfaKesar- Gold Course for newly married couples”, were not substantiated.  Also, specific to the claim related to height increase and for claims implying enhancement of sexual pleasure, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.

  9.ParthvimedaGauUtpadPvt Ltd. (Pathmeda Products): The claims in the advertisement, “Consume Pathmedagomutra ark regularly to get protected from the incurable diseases like obesity, Diabetes, Heart Diseases and Cancer”, were not substantiated.  Also, specific to the claims implying prevention of obesity, Diabetes, Heart Diseases and Cancer, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.

  10.Shreeji Herbal Products: The claims in the advertisement, “Shreeji Herbal Products - Stops hair fall in 24 hours - Money back if no results are seen - 100% result on damage caused due to medicines of thyroid - Makes skin whiter in 20 days”, were not substantiated. 

  11.Shree BaidyanathAyurvedBhawanPvt Ltd (BaidyanathMedoharGuggulu): The diagrammatic representations of before and after images shown in the advertisement and on the product pack were found to be misleading by exaggeration.

  12.Vaidic Clinic: The claims in the advertisement, “100% Ayurvedic Treatment by advanced technique - Premature Ejaculation - Night fall - Problem in penis – Impotency - Sexual weakness - Skin diseases – Arthritis - Female diseases – Piles – Obesity”, were not substantiated. Specific to the claims related to treatment of sexual impotency, Obesity, the advertisement is in Breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.   Also, specific to the claims related to treatment for Piles, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated Schedule J of The Drugs and Cosmetic Act, 1940 and Rules, 1945. The headline in the advertisement, “100% Ayurvedic Treatment by advanced technique”, was considered to be misleading.

  13.Hair Doc Trichology Hair Clinic: The claims in the advertisement which states, “Complete Baldness Treatment”, “White Hair Control”, “Specialized HDHT+ for 100% natural hair growth”, “Awarded with Keshratna”, “Stop Hair loss” and “Advanced Non-Surgical Mesotechnology for Hair Loss Control”, were not substantiated.  The visuals of before and after the treatment were misleading.  Specific to the claims related to complete baldness treatment (a condition referred in Schedule J of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act) is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Cosmetics Rule 106.

  14.RV New Visions Healthcare Pvt Ltd: The advertisement states, “After research by Dr. Manju Ray of Kolkata (a reputed scientist of Bose Institute and felicitated by Government of India), the effectiveness of this treatment M.G. (Methy/Glyoxal) has been proved, which was successfully tested at Kolkata as well as at the Chinchwad based hospital of Lokamanya Group of Hospitals. This medicine works very well as complementary to the regular cancer medicines; and treats it”, “Suitable for preventing regrowth of cancer tumor after removing it with surgery”, “It acts as a complementary while starting radiation or chemotherapy, making it more beneficial and helpful in preventing its side effects”, “Starting this treatment immediately is effective when radiation or chemotherapy is not possible”, were not substantiated. Also, specific to the claims for Cancer prevention, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.

  15.Nityanand Herbals (DiaNitya): The claims in the advertisement, “Miracle in the world DiaNitya - For Diabetes - Instant relief - Made from traditional natural herbs - Helps in reactivating the beta cells - Helps in high consumption of glucose by cells - Works as insulin - No Side effects”,  “Our aim to make the world diabetes free”,  were not substantiated. Also, specific to the claims implying cure for Diabetes, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.

  16.AsthaAyurved: The claims in the advertisement, “Successful treatment of nil sperms/ less sperms, impotency, premature ejaculation, less stress, looseness, nightfall, semen in urine, less desire of sex, etc. Ovarian/Uterus clot, blocked ovary tube, irregular periods, leucorrhoea/ white discharge, lack of desire in women by ayurvedic technique”, were not substantiated. Also, specific to the claims related to successful treatment for sexual impotency, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.

  17.Mardana Josh Range of Products: The advertisement’s claims, “Mardana Josh Herbal Majun& Capsule - Increases masculine energy, provides stoppage, increases stimulation and potential, stops premature ejaculation, successful in curing physical weakness”, were not substantiated.  Also, the advertisement claims read in conjunction with the advertisement visual implies that the product is meant for enhancement of sexual pleasure, which is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.

  18.Dilco Slimming Capsule: The claims in the advertisement, “Dilco Slimming Capsule - Get rid of obesity, immediately - Reduce obesity - Reduce fat - Increase energy - Without any side effect - Without operation - Without crash dieting - Without yoga - Without any exercise”, “Now Obesity, will never trouble you”, “Obesity gets over with Dilco Slimming”, “We have brought a natural and easy way to reduce weight”, “Dilco Slimming melts your fat like wax”, were not substantiated.  The visuals of before and after the treatment were misleading.  Also, specific to the claims related to cure / prevention of Obesity, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.

  19.SMG Healthcare  (Sugar Haran Kit): The claims in the advertisement, “Sugar Haran- For relief in sugar control, continue with your healthy life style, regular medicines, exercises, nutritious and balanced diet and take only ten drops of Sugar Haran per day”, were not substantiated.

  20.Weitrex Forte Capsule & Drops: The claims in the advertisement, “Weitrex Forte Capsule & Drops – Reduce Obesity”, “No Dieting” and “No Side Effects with pure ayurvedic treatment”, were not substantiated.

  21.Kiran Homeopathic Clinic: The claims in the advertisement, “Successful treatment of piles, stones, premature ejaculation in men, masturbation, weakness & impotency”, were not substantiated. Specific to the claims related to successful treatment for Piles, the Ad is in breach of the law as it violated Schedule J of The Drugs and Cosmetic Act, 1940 and Rules, 1945.

  22.Sultan Forte: The claims in the advertisement, “Sultan Forte - For the lost energy, passion and stoppage in men/women - Beneficial in nightfall, bad nerves, erectile dysfunction, nil sperms & all kinds of sexual problems”, were not substantiated.  Also, the advertisement claims read in conjunction with the pack visual implies that the product is meant for enhancement of sexual pleasure, which is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.

  23.Ramban Liquid: The claims in the advertisement, “Get Rid of Drinking - Use Ramban Herbal Liquid Medicine by Vedban Delhi. A person stops drinking forever by using this medicine”, were not substantiated. 

  24.NirogAyurvedic Center: The advertisement’s claims, “Treatment for Paralysis now completely possible in Himachal - Patients of Stroke, Non-functioning of legs, hands and tongue, facial muscle drop, loss of control over  urine & stool discharge and other dangerous initial  symptoms of paralysis like: stumbling, shocks, skin crawling, heaviness, numbness etc., can now be saved from paralysis by treating them with Ayurvedic Medicine developed by N.A.C”,  “This medicine removes the dead blood cells and smoothens the blood circulations. It saves from being paralysed by curing the weakened cells after attack”, “This medicine has no side effects and can be consumed with Allopathic Medicines. Clear improvement can be seen within few hours in new patients and within few days in case of old patients by this medicine” and “Epilepsy: Special medicine for all types of brain attacks, frothing in mouth, crooked neck, becoming moony, tongue not working, tremors, weakness of brain by balancing the cells and cures attacks. With the help of this English medicines stop slowly and gradually”, were not substantiated. Also, specific to the claims related to treatment/cure for Paralysis and Epilepsy, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.

  25.Laborate Pharmaceuticals India Limited (PathriNashak Range of Products): The advertisement’s claims, “Helpful in problems of all kinds of stone”, “Helps in dissolving stone by making it small and by which stone gets removed by the way of urine”,  “Helps in stopping the formation of stone and increases the functioning of kidney”,  “Beneficial in curing all types of urine disorders, inflammations in urine etc”, were not substantiated with clinical data to justify this particular composition for this proprietary product to provide the specific benefits as claimed.

  26.Claris Lifesciences limited: The claim in the advertisement, “Industry best in Healthcare” is false as it is ranked #2. The advertisement does not have a disclaimer qualifying the source and date of research for the claim made in the advertisement.

  27.Cure Sight Laser Centre: The claims in the advertisement, “Wavelight EX-500 which is US FDA approved and can remove one eye number in just 1.4 second”, were not substantiated.

  28.DharampalSatyapal Ltd. (Rajnigandha Pan Masala): The disclaimer in the TVC of Rajnigandha Pan Masala is not legible and contravened the ASCI Guidelines for Supers.

  29.Hindustan Unilever Ltd. (Fair & Lovely Men’s Fairness): The visual of “a model in the jeep without wearing seat belt” as depicted in the TVC of Fair and Lovely Men’s Fairness shows an unsafe practice. 

  30.BSY Noni India (BSY Noni Black Hair Magic): The claims in the advertisement, “No more chemicals”, “No more bye (black)”, “Used confidently by people in over 28 countries across the World”, “Just ten minutes”, were not substantiated. 

  31.Alaska Water Marketing (Amazing Water): The claims in the advertisement, “First Time in India”and “Amazing Water - Anti-Oxidant - Anti-Ageing - 7 X Faster Hydration - Increase Performance & Energy - Enhanced Electrolyzed Alkaline Functional Water - More PH More Healthy”, were not substantiated.

  32.Berry’s Skin Care Clinic: The claim in the advertisement, “White spots (Leukoderma), Psoriasis - Product awarded with Indira Gandhi award”, was not substantiated with authentic support data. The advertisement further claims the product to be the only Ayurvedic formula which gives 100% results. They further claim, “Cure completely from its roots”, “No chances for reoccurrence”, “No need to consume medicines for years”, were not substantiated. In addition to these claims, “Certified by Government of Dubai”, was not substantiated with authentic support data. Also, specific to the claims related to complete cure of White Spots, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.

  33.Abdan Pharmacare Private Limited: The claim in the advertisement, “Abdan Hair Tonic - Stops hair fall - Stop balding - Increases memory by dendrite cells”, was not substantiated with proof of efficacy. 

  34.Torque Pharmaceuticals (U B Fair): It was concluded that the name “U-B Fair” does not have FDA approval nor is it stated on the product licence.  The name of the product itself presents it as a Fairness product (U-B Fair) and along with the claims in body copy of various advertisements, promotes its use for several cosmetic benefits. The product contains topical steroids which are potentially dangerous when used over a prolonged period. Thus, the name of the product “UB Fair” and information provided in the advertisement was found to encourage its unsafe use. It was also concluded that the advertisement is misleading and is likely to exploit the lack of knowledge among consumers. In additions, specific to the reference of this “drug product” for fairness claim, the advertisement is in violation of Schedule J clause 18 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.

  35.Vishal Personal Care Pvt Ltd (Banjaras Hair Oil): The claim in the advertisement, “Banjara’sSamvridhi Hair Oil with Ayurvedic herbs and oils that gives upto eight centimetre of hair growth in just eight weeks”, was not substantiated adequately and was misleading by ambiguity.

  36.Johnson & Johnson Ltd (Aveeno Active Naturals): The claims mentioned on the pack and as cited in the complaint, state “Aveeno Active Naturals are ingredients derived from nature” for the declared active ingredient on the pack “Dimethicone” which is not considered to be natural was false and not substantiated.

  37.Rafael Medicare Centre: The advertisement’s claim, “An option beyond Bypass & Stents EECP Treatment”, is misleading since the indications for this treatment are limited. The advertisement also claims, “Safest, USA- FDA Approved Treatment for Chest Pain (Angina) & Heart Failure”, which was not substantiated.

Education

The CCC found that claims in the advertisements by 41 advertisers were not substantiated and, thus, violated ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions. Hence complaints against these advertisements were UPHELD.

  1.Personaliteez: The advertisement’s claim, “Making 2 lakhs per weekend”, was not substantiated. 

  2.Peoples Empowerment Group - ISB&M School of Technology: The claims in the advertisement, “100% Placement” and “ISB&M School of Technology Ranked 8th in Emerging Engineering Institutes in India”, were not substantiated.

  3.NIPS  School of Hotel Management: The claims in the advertisement,  “World Record Holder”,  “Ranked No. 1 Eastern India the Pioneer Newpaper 2014”,  “Best Placement Award- By South Asian Academy, New Delhi, 2012”,  “Ranked No. 2 Among India's Private Hotel Management Institute - The Pioneer Newspaper – 2013”,  “Holder of Limca, Asia & India Books Of Records”,  “Eastern India's Best Hotel Management College- Awarded By Brands Academy, New Delhi – 2013”, “Winner 8th National Education Award- Awarded by NEA, New Delhi- 2014”,  “Winner National W.B Education Award- Awarded by NEA, New Delhi – 2014” and “Worldwide Hospitality Award- Awarded by WWHA, Paris, France- 2003”, were not adequately substantiated with evidence.

  4.The Mentor’s Academy: The claims in the advertisement stating, “Get a reputed Government job. Get Bank, Railway, Police etc. in just one day exam”, and “100% Money Back Guarantee”, were not substantiated.

  5.CL Educate Ltd (Career Launcher): The claims in the advertisement stating, “CAT Test Series – The No.1 CAT Test Series Program”, “Most recommended test series”, “Rated the best by students” and “True percentile predictor”, were not substantiated adequately.

  6.SCMS School of Engineering & Technology: The claim, “Kerala's No. 1 Engineering College (SF) in quality and excellence”, was not substantiated with comparative data..Theclaim, “SCMS is ranked No. 1 in all ranking surveys conducted by RECCA-NIT”, was not substantiated with supporting data and also the claim is misleading by omission of what the ranking was specific to.

  7.Invertis University: The advertisement claims, “National Education Award 2014 for Outstanding B-School &Engg. Univ. – ABP”, “4 Star Ranking - The Pioneer”, “Bharat ShikshRatan–Velidictedby GAF, Delhi” and “Best Emerging University Of North India - Indian Achievers Podium”, were not adequately substantiated and were misleading by omission of disclaimers.

  8.Career Institute for Commerce & Accounting: The claim in the Advertisement, “AIR-26, 30, 36, 37, 41, 42” as a declaration is considered to be fake and not substantiated with supporting data. 

Complaints against advertisements of all educational institutes listed below mostly are upheld because of unsubstantiated claims that they ‘provide 100% placement/AND/OR they claim to be the No.1 in their respective fields’:

Vidyalankar Classes, Vivekananda Degree & PG College, Aim Entertainment Acting Academy, Learn & Earn Academy, Master of Science Information & Technology, Mediit Educational Institute,ADCC Infocad Private Limited (ADCC Academy), Wisdom Institute, Sri Shakthi Institute Of Engineering & Technology, Ponjesly College of Engineering, Vidyalankar Classes, One Dream, Blue Bells Innovative School, UEI Global Education, Tajinder Bhatia Achieve Max, Vidya Knowledge Park, MIST Plus, Happy Child College of Nursing, Sai Wellness Education, The Prayag International Institute of Hotel &Tourism, All India Computer Trainers Association, IPCA Accountancy, Millennium Institute of Management, Banda Para College Medical, KIPM College of Engineering & Technology, ISC CNC Training Centre, Chalapathi Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, National Power Training Institute Corporate Centre, Centre for Bioinformatics, SKML Defence Academy, Mangayarkarasi Educational Trust (Mangayarkarasi College of Arts & Science), NIV Foundations (NIV School of Hospitality Management) and Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies (Delhi School of Business).

Others

  1.HSIL Limited (Hindware Ensemble Kitchen): The claim in the advertisement, “Air Flow–1200 m3/hr”, was not substantiated with supporting technical data.

  2.Bharti Airtel Ltd. (Airtel Broadband): The claim offer of “Airtel Broadband – 60 GB @ Rs.1099 with unlimited calls”, was not substantiated with evidence of the customers who have availed this scheme.  

  3.Amazon Kindle: The advertisement claiming price off of Rs 1000/- from Rs. 5999 to Rs 4999 in large prominent font shown for an image of the product costing Rs.8999/-  is misleading by implication regardless of the disclaimer (in fine print), “Device shown in Image is Rs.8999/-”.

  4.Corona Plus Industries Limited (Plus Easy Washing): The claims in the point of sale material (POSM) of Plus Easy Washing state, “Rs. 5 KeChote, PatleSabuno Se DhulaiBadiKashtdayiHain”,  “ApkoBadiRahatDega, KashtdayiDhulaikoAsaan Karta HainAur 66% JyaadaKapdeAsani Se SaafDhulteHain”, were not substantiated with comparative data against competition products.  The claims used in conjunction with the images of the competition products in the POSM is denigrating and disparaging competition.

  5.Carlsberg India Limited (Tuborg Zero): The advertisement was a surrogate advertisement for a promotion of a liquor product – Tuborg Zero.  The advertiser did not provide the annual market sales data of the product/service advertised, thus the advertisement contravened Chapter III.6 (a) (b) of the ASCI Code and the Guidelines for Brand Extension product or service.

  6.3M India Limited (3M Car Care): The advertisement visual showing a car splashing water filled on the road, encourages people to indulge in dangerous practices without justifiable reason.

  7.City Broadband: The claim in the advertisement, “India's No.1 Leading Internet Service Provider”, was not substantiated.

  8.John Distilleries Pvt Ltd (Original Choice):The advertisement shows a bar situation with coloured liquid in bottles/glasses which appears to be a direct promotion of liquor product – Original Choice.  The advertisement is misleading by implication and contravened Chapters I.4 and  III.6(b) of the Code (“Whether there exists in the advertisement under complaint any direct or indirect clues or cues which could suggest to consumers that it is a direct or indirect advertisement for the product whose advertising is restricted or prohibited by this Code.”).  Also, the advertisement did not meet the requirements as per ASCI's Guidelines for Qualification of Brand Extension Products and thereby contravened Chapter III.6 (a) of the ASCI Code.

  9.Manappuram Finance Limited: In absence of a disclaimer to indicate that the earlier scheme of 5% reduction in interest rate has been extended to other branches, the advertisement is misleading by omission.       

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