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ASCI pulls up 11 ads in November 2012

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MUMBAI: The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) upheld 11 of the 19 complaints it received against product advertisements in November 2012, including Emami‘s advertisement about Himani Sona Chandi Chyawanprash and Dainik Bhaskar‘s about its position in Bhopal.

Complaints against advertisements by Bajaj Electricals and Havells India about their water heaters too were upheld by the Consumer Complaints Council (CCI) of ASCI.

Of the 11 advertisements found misleading, three are from the healthcare category, two from home and personal care, one from education, three from consumer durables and one each from media and ‘others‘.

A complaint against Signal Cavity Fighter toothpaste was not directed to consumers in India, and hence it was held to be outside the purview of ASCI.

ASCI‘s National Advertising Monitoring Service (NAMS) helped in tracking down the misleading claims made by advertisers in various sectors.

A complaint against Emami said its ad claims, "Take Himani Sona Chandi Chyawanprash every day for a strong body and razor sharp mind", "Gold removes toxins to boost immunity power", "Silver activates neurons to enhance memory and concentration", "51 rare herbs protect from weather changes, pollution and general illness" and thus the advertiser should provide supporting technical submission, details of tests/trials conducted, with comparative data, in substantiation of these claims. The CCC concluded that the claims mentioned in the advertisement and cited in the complaint were inadequately substantiated.

The complaint against Maruti Herbal‘s advert on Stay-On Capsules said that the advertiser claimed, "Stay - On Cap & Oil contains ginseng, shilajit, salampanja, valuable herbs and bhasmas that keep you energetic and powerful and makes you muscular," but there was no data provided to substantiate the same with proof of efficacy. The CCC concluded that the claims mentioned in the advertisement and cited in the complaint were not substantiated. Also, the advertisement violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act and contravened Chapters I.1 and III.4 of the Code. The complaint was thus upheld.

The third advertisement to be held misleading in the healthcare category was Diwan Chand Imaging and Research Centre‘s Stan Health Check Programme. As per the complaint, the advertiser claims that, Diwan Chand Imaging & Research Centre "has the most advanced diagnostic modalities" and "Is India‘s first integrated diagnostic chain of imaging network". These claims however are not substantiated with scientific evidence or proof of efficacy along with appropriate statistical and support data. The advertiser provided proof of the installation of the latest state of the art ultrasound machine. The claim, "have the most advanced diagnostic modalities", was substantiated. This part of the complaint was not upheld. In the absence of comparative data, the CCC concluded that the claim, "Is India‘s first integrated diagnostic chain of imaging network", was not substantiated and in this regard, the advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code and the complaint was upheld. The advertiser has subsequently modified the advertisement.

Amara Remedies Limited‘s advertisement for Elavo Toilet Seat Sanitizer Spray was also considered misleading by the CCC. The advertisement claims, "Spray Elavo on toilet seat and enjoy a 99.9 per cent safe toilet experience in just 5 seconds." Though the claim, "Spray Elavo on toilet seat and enjoy a 99.9% safe toilet experience" was substantiated, he advertisement though fails to substantiate the claim of being effective within five seconds with proof and efficacy, research data along with other appropriate support data. The complaint was thus upheld.

The complaint against Silvermaple Healthcare Services Pvt Ltd‘s advertisement on Direct Hair Implantation was pulled up for contravening Chapter 1.1 of the Code. The advertisement headline states, "No one gets you your hair back like DHI". Also, the advertisement claims that DHI "is the best hair restoration treatment in the world with Total Care System" .These claims need to be substantiated with statistical and other necessary data. In the absence of scientific data from the advertiser, the CCC concluded that the claims mentioned in the advertisement and cited in the complaint were not substantiated and thus the complaint was upheld.

The advertisement by CADD Centre Training Services Pvt Ltd was also pulled up for misleading content by ASCI. The advertisement claims, CADD Centre "is Asia‘s No.1 CADD Training Company". The claim needs to be substantiated with comparative data of other leading training institutes, certification and other necessary data. The CCC noted that CADD Centre Training Services is the largest network of dedicated CADD training centre in whole of Asia with over 300 training centres spanning across 13 countries in Asia and Africa. In the absence of comparative data, the claim, "Is Asia‘s No.1 CADD Training company" was not substantiated. The advertisement was found to contravene chapter i.1 of the code and the complaint was upheld. The advertiser has subsequently modified the advertisement.

Luminous Water Technologies Pvt Ltd‘s advertisement of Livpure RO Water Purifier was found to have plagiarised content. The TVC states that Livpure Water Purifier gives "Duniya ka sabse shudh pani". Kent Water Purifier‘s last campaign was based on the key proposition that Kent provides "Duniya Ka Sabse Shudh Pani". This has been carried out in all their communication material since 2011 consistently. The complaint pointed out that this was a blatant copy of the same proposition and a gross violation of Kent Water Purifier‘s brand property. The CCC concluded that the tagline of Livpure Water Purifier that it gives "Duniya ka sabse shudh pani" was similar to the tagline of Kent Water Purifier so as to suggest plagiarism. The advertisement contravened Chapter IV.3 of the Code and the complaint was thus upheld. The advertiser has subsequently modified the advertisement.

Bajaj Electricals Ltd‘s Bajaj Water Heater advertisement was found misleading on some counts. As per the complaint, the advertisement claims, Bajaj Water Heater is "India‘s No. 1 water heater", "Bajaj Rapidotherm Water Heaters‘ powerful heating coil helps heat water 50% faster than any other water heater". The CCC said these claims need to be substantiated with scientific evidence, comparative analysis data, and safety data along with appropriate support data. The CCC concluded that the claim that Bajaj Water Heaters is "India‘s No. 1 Water Heater" was substantiated on the basis of a syndicated retail audit done by independent market research company and thus this part of the complaint was not upheld.however, the advertisement‘s claim that "Bajaj Rapidotherm Water Heaters powerful heating coil helps heat water 50% faster than any other water heater" was not substantiated with comparative data of other water heaters of the same electrical rating (3000 watts). The advertisement thus contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code and the complaint was upheld. The advertiser has subsequently modified the advertisement.

Havells India Ltd‘s advertisement of Havells Water Heater was found to be exaggerated and misleading. The advertiser has claimed "24 Hours Hot Water in Just ? unit of electricity". The interpretation of this is that, one will get 24 hours hot water supply for usage in just ? KWH of electricity. The complainant found out that ? unit electricity is consumed by the geyser for keeping the water, already heated and stored inside, warm at a particular temperature for 24 hours if no water is drawn out for usage. The claim is hence highly exaggerated and misleading. The TVC also claims, "24 Ghante On Rahe to bhi Sirf ? unit bijli lage To Off Kyun Kare?" This is true only in the case where the water geyser is not used through the day. This claim is also misleading as the consumption of electricity would be considerably higher on usage of the water heater. The CCC concluded that the claim that "24 Hours Hot Water in Just ? unit of electricity" is misleading as it does not account for heating of water from ambient conditions to hot conditions. The advertisement contravened Chapter I.4 of the Code and the complaint was upheld. The advertiser has subsequently modified the advertisement.

The Dainik Bhaskar Group has once again been pulled up by the CCC. As per the complaint, "Dainik Bhaskar is making a comparison on the basis of Net Paid circulation as per market estimates treating Patrika newspaper on 1/8th position in respect of circulation in the city of Bhopal. The remarks are totally untrue and baseless as the basis on which the comparison was said to be made was not shown in the advertisement nor the publication Dainik Bhaskar has stated the name of any agency on which such comparison was made. As evident from the website of DAVP, the circulation data of Dainik Bhaskar (as provided by RNI) and circulation data of Partika newspaper (as provided by Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) are almost equal but despite of the above fact Dainik Bhaskar have diminished the circulation size of Patrika newspaper to the extent of 1/8th as shown by the graphical comparison." The CCC concluded that the claim that Dainik Bhaskar "had 8 times more Net Paid Circulation than Patrika in the city of Bhopal", was not substantiated with ABC/RNI or IRS Data, and was misleading and thus the complaint was upheld. The advertiser has subsequently withdrawn the advertisement.

Central UP Gas Limited‘s advertisement on CNG was pulled up by ASCI. As per the compliant, "Central UP Gas Ltd (CUCL) CNG", is 100% Safe". The claim needs to be substantiated with scientific evidence.The CCC concluded that the claim, "100% safe" was not substantiated with scientific evidence. The advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code and the complaint was upheld. The advertiser has subsequently modified the advertisement.

During the month of November, the CCC also received complaints against 7 advertisements. The complaints were received against the advertisements of Emami Ltd‘s ‘Himani Fast Relief‘, Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited‘s ‘Revital Capsules‘, Cure Spect‘s ‘Eye Care‘, L‘OREAL INDIA PVT LTD‘s ‘Inoa Hair colour‘, PARLE PRODUCTS P. LTD‘s ‘Parle Londonderry‘, MICROMAX INFORMATICS LTD‘s ‘Micromax Ninja 3.5 & Ninja 4‘, Dabur India Limited‘s ‘Dabur Chyawanprakash Sugar Free‘. However, as these advertisements did not contravene ASCI‘s codes or guidelines, the complaints were not upheld.

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