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ASCI upholds complaints against 113 out of 144 ads in Nov 2014

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MUMBAI: In November 2014, Advertising Standards Council of India’s (ASCI) Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against 113 out of 144 advertisements.

Out of 113 advertisements against which complaints were upheld, 61 belonged to personal and healthcare category, followed by the education category with 33 advertisements.

The CCC found that claims in health and personal care product or service advertisements of 61 advertisers were either misleading or false or not adequately/scientifically substantiated and hence violated 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.

The advertisements against which complaints were upheld included the likes of Hindustan Unilever Limited, Godrej Consumer Products, Philips Electronics, The Colors Bar amongst many others.

HUL’s advertisement of Lifebuoy claims to provide “10 x more germ protection” and “10 x more skin care” than any other soap which was not substantiated. Godrej Consumer Products’ advertisement of Goodknight shows “a child standing near the mosquito vaporiser”, whereas the product’s leaflet includes a precaution that the electrical liquid vapourising machine should be kept away from the reach of children. The advertisement features a dangerous practice, manifests a disregard for safety and encourages negligence. 

Similarly, the advertisement of Richfeel Trichology Centre is in breach of code of medical ethics as the advertisement is soliciting patients and also mentions the names of Dr. Apoorva Shah and Dr. Ferrari, promoting the Clinic, which is in violation of the Central Council of Homeopathy Code of Ethics Regulations Clause II 6.1.

The advertisement of Jimmy Health Clinic claims 100 per cent successful treatment of sexual problems such as premature ejaculation, impotency, masculine vigour, semen disease, undeveloped organ, less sperms, night fall, infertility.  It also claims to increase weight and improve health permanently. Also, the advertisement shows Dr. Zed promoting the clinic which is in violation of the Medical Council of India (MCI) Code of Medical Ethics Regulation, Clause 6.1.

In the education category, the CCC found following claims in the advertisements by 33 different advertisers were not substantiated and, thus, violated ASCI guidelines. For instance, The advertisement of Bright Career Academy states “Job Assured on pursuing 3 month’s course” and “7+ Bands assured on undergoing IETLS 7 hours classes daily”, were not substantiated with supporting data.

In the food and beverages category, the advertisement of Coca Cola states that it contains no fruit juice, etc. This mandatory audio in the radio spot was played too fast and was not comprehensible.  The radio spot contravened the ASCI Guidelines on Supers. This advertisement of Haldiram Prabhuji claims to offer “any 2 packs of mixtures/ bhujia for Rs 100,” which in the absence of any disclaimers, was found to be misleading.

Click here to read the full report

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