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Asci pulls up Dainik Jagran's & Vodafone's ads

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MUMBAI: Asci, the watchdog of the Indian ad industry, has received 24 complaints for the period of March and April, out of which it has upheld half of them.

Most of these ads are part of the healthcare and personal hygiene sector.

The Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of Asci has come down heavily on two of media house Dainik Jagran‘s advertisements in April for being false and misleading. The news papers through ads made claims like "Haryana mein Dainik Jagran 2 guna Dainik Bhaskar se" when in fact it had used the data of readership for the city of Faridabad.

The CCC noted that Dainik Jagran‘s claim was not made on the basis of Average Issue Readership (AIR) and thus was misleading.

On another occasion, Dainik Jagran‘s advertisement which stated that Dainik Jagran is "Haryana‘s No.1 newspaper," was also pulled up for misleading the readers by using visual aids to create the illusion of its leadership and gap between the newspaper brands. Complaints against both these print advertisements were upheld for being false and misleading.

Telecom service provider Vodafone was under the radar in April, for its TVC which depicted school going kids getting attracted towards each other and falling in love. The CCC concluded that the ad was upheld since the sexualised subtext of young teens being attracted to one another was likely to cause grave and widespread offence.

Euro Fashion Inners‘ print advertisement showing ‘naked men holding cockerels against their pelvic region while asking ‘what‘s your size‘?‘ received complaints saying it was obscene and seriously offensive to public decency. The ad was upheld and the advertiser was asked to stop the campaign.

Sareen Hair Clinic was reprimanded for its advertisement wherein it made unsubstantiated claims of helping get hair back naturally in just one day procedure.

The claims were made in the absence of any proof or supporting clinical information and reports of tests/trails conducted from an independent recognised testing institution. Considering the lack of information and proof, the CCC concluded that the advertisement is likely to mislead consumers and upheld the complaint.

Carrying the lines ‘Reduce upto 5 kg, Lose up to 15 inches with Ultra Lypolysis Program, Advanced treatment free,‘ Fit and Fine Slimming Centre and Beauty Clinic was under the scanner for its advertisement.

Here too the advertiser failed to provide data or supporting technical information with details of reports of tests/ trails conducted by an independent recognised testing institution to substantiate the claims. The CCC concluded that all claims mentioned in the advertisement were not substantiated and upheld the complaint.

Fair Pharma was pulled up for its advertisement that states "Cancer - We open for you the door back to life." The treatment given by the centre for curing Cancer is not provided and the claim implies assuring consumers of curing cancer, which is a false claim. Since the advertiser failed to respond to Asci‘s letter and in the absence of supporting clinical information, it was concluded that the advertisement could be misleading and could cause widespread grievance and the complaint was upheld.

The advertisement of Smart Careers (BBS/BBA) claiming ‘Guaranteed College Admission‘ was not backed or substantiated with data or evidence. Also, there was no validation provided by an independent agency to confirm the claim. In the absence of any proof, it was concluded that the advertisement contravened Clause 3 of the Asci Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions and Programs and hence was upheld.

Along the same lines Career Launcher‘s (IIM Calls) advertisement was pulled up for its claim "24 YLP admits in ISB." The CCC concluded that the claims are unsubstantiated in the absence of any verification and, thus, the advertisement contravened chapter 1.1 of the code and upheld the complaint.

Similarly, Stoss Welle Healthcare came under the scanner for its advertisement stating ‘Many suffer from erection related problems/ pre-mature ejaculation/ leakage of urine/ difficulty in urination. Are you one of them? Obtain desired results with the help of latest proven state-of-the-art non surgical Swiss Technology‘.

An advertiser is required to provide proof, supporting clinical information, with a detailed report of tests and trials conducted by independent recognised testing institutions. Since these were not supplemented, the CCC upheld the complaint.

Shree Baidyanath Ayurved Bhavan‘s advertisement on Rheumartho Gold Capsules that states ‘Enriched with most effective swarna bhasma and salal guggul; Offers lasting relief from backache, joint pain, muscular pain etc; Helps to treat the root cause of pain and Helps to regain the flexibility of joints‘ was also upheld as there was no proof provided to substantiate the claims.

Pernod Ricard‘s print advertisement on Absolut Kher, shows the visual depiction of a ‘bottle‘ which is suggestive of a well known brand of liquor product - Absolut. The CCC concluded that the depiction of the bottle with the titles ‘Absolut‘ was in violation of the Asci Code as it propagated a product, the use of which is banned under the law. The complaint was upheld.

During the month of March, the CCC also received complaints against two advertisements of Perfetti Van Melle, and one each against Gulf Oil India, HUL‘s VIM Detergent Bar, and Cadbury India‘s Perk Chocolate, Johnson‘s Baby Top-To-Toe Wash, HUL‘s Close Up toothpaste, Parle Mango Bite, Uninor, HUL‘s Axe Shower Gel, and Tata Chemical Ltd‘s Tata Swach Water Purifier. As these advertisements did not contravene ASCI‘s codes or guidelines, the complaints were not upheld.

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