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Asci pulls up misleading teleshopping ads

MUMBAI: The Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of Advertising Standards Council of India (Asci) has upheld complaints made against 10 advertisements, most of them being products of home shopping networks, during September and October 2011.


During the same period, the CCC also did not uphold complaints against eight advertisements as they did not violate the Asci Code.


The TVC Sky Shop‘s ad for Sandhee Suddham Oil made claims that using the product could alleviate problems related to pain. The claims needed to be substantiated with technical data through clinical research. They appeared to be gross exaggerations and portrayed that the product advertised, inclusive of its ingredients, possessed special properties, which were not yet proven scientifically. This was likely to lead to grave or widespread disappointment in the minds of the consumers. The complaint was upheld.


GTM Teleshopping‘s ad of Divyarishi‘s Kuber Kunji claimed that ‘Kuber Kunji will protect you if you have not got the fruit of your labour, if you are continuously in debt, if your money is spent as soon as you earn, if you have to struggle for anything in life.‘


In another ad of Badha Mukti Yantra, the TVC‘s copy suggests that ‘All of a sudden the happiness of your family disappears, your shop and business goes into a loss, your farm produce is poor inspite of good rainfall and sowing of good grain, inspite of being healthy you are not able to become a mother due to miscarriage, if you come under the spell of black magic, then Badha Mukti Yantra is the cure/solution.‘


One more complaint against the advertisement of Shani Shubh Yantra which claimed that ‘Shani Shubh Yantra will protect you from your business failing, from your marriage being on the rocks, from you not getting interview calls for a job, from your family members falling sick inspite of eating well, from marriage proposals for your beautiful daughter breaking down.‘


The TVC of AAA Teleshoping‘s Maha Dhan Laxmi Yantra, encourages the use of this product for ‘procuring the blessings of Goddess Lakshmi and better finances and assets.‘ It claimed that the Maha Dhan Laxmi Yantra has miraculous powers to provide financial advancement and stability to the consumers. In all the above cases, the CCC concluded that, in the absence of any response from the advertiser, the claims made in the advertisements and cited in the complaints, were not substantiated and were likely to cause widespread disappointment in the minds of the consumers. The complaints were upheld.


In a complaint of Skymall/ Global Skyshop‘s Sai Darshan Pendant, the TVC claims that ‘Sai Darshan pendant has miraculous powers to grant everything one wants in life. The product is said to have the blessings of Sai Baba.‘ The CCC concluded that, in the absence of comments from the Advertiser, the claims made in the advertisement and cited in the complaint, were not substantiated and were likely to cause widespread disappointment in the minds of the consumer. The complaint was upheld.


Bharat Business Channel Ltd‘s Videocon d2h advertisement claimed that ‘Videocon d2h is the No.1 DTH service.‘ This claim was in clear contradiction of the fact, since Videocon is neither the oldest nor largest DTH service provider nor does it provide largest number of channels. Moreover, no survey or study has ever been conducted in the market which has given such "No.1" rating to Videocon to make such claims. The advertisement was seen as being false and misleading. The CCC concluded that the claim, Videocon d2h is the ‘No.1 DTH service‘ was not substantiated with data or independent market research. The complaint was upheld.


Shri Lal Mahal Empire Basmati Rice‘s recent advertisements were under the CCC scanner with their claims on ‘Fat and Sugar Free Rice.‘ The ad claims, ‘Empire Basmati rice is India‘s first sugar free, fat free rice with no cholesterol content‘ while the TVC claimed the product to be ‘Sugar and fat free rice.‘ As per the complaint, sugar, cholesterol, and being fat free are general characteristics of rice, and are not limited to a particular brand. Moreover, rice is produced naturally and not mechanically, so one can‘t change its nutritional value without genetically engineering the crop. Claims need to be substantiated with data from an independent scientific research. The CCC concluded that the claim, ‘India‘s first sugar free, fat free rice‘, was not substantiated and is misleading. The complaint was upheld.


TVC Sky Shop‘s advertisement of Dr. Slim Tea claimed that ‘Lose weight with a cup of Herbal Tea; Ayurveda offers a comprehensive approach to tackle this lifestyle disease; Dr. Slim Tea is a premium blend of therapeutic herbs like Garcinia, Gymnema, Licorice, Ocimum, Pippali and Marich etc, formulated to boost your Metabolism and Digestion, improve your immune system and shed kilos of extra fat, weight and inches and you will feel a noticeable effect from the first cup of Dr. Slim Tea.‘ It was stated that these claims needed to be substantiated with technical data based on an independent clinical research. In the absence of comments from the Advertiser, the CCC concluded that the claim, ‘Lose weight with a cup of Herbal Tea,‘ was not substantiated and the complaint was upheld.


There was a complaint received against the TVC of Popular Finance - Gold Loan, which is said to have appeared on Asianet TV. As per the complaint, the TVC claimed that Popular Finance is ‘India‘s No.1 Gold Loan Company.‘ It was stated that this claim is false, as Muthoot Finance is India‘s largest Gold Loan company (in terms of Gold Loan Portfolio source: ICRA Management Consulting Service Ltd - IMACS report on Gold Loan Market in India). The CCC concluded that the claim, "India‘s No.1 Gold Loan company", was not substantiated and complaint was upheld.


The CCC also received complaints against Idea 3G, Maruti Stepney, Lilliput Kidswear, Rohit Surfactants‘ ad of Expert Dishwash Bar, Ceat Tyres, Tata Docomo Mobile Network, Mankind Pharma‘s Manforce Condoms and Max New York Life Insurance. As these advertisements did not contravene Asci‘s codes or guidelines, they were not upheld.

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