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ASCI upheld complaints against 52 of 84 ads; healthcare

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MUMBAI: ASCI‘s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against 52 out of 84 advertisements, which came under the scanner of the self regulatory body in March 2013. Taking a proactive measure to protect the interest of healthcare, education and personal care consumers, ASCI upheld complaints against those ads that were making misleading claims to engage clients, in forming pseudo brand image.

The major brands that had come under ASCI‘s scanner, include Dabur India Ltd, Procter & Gamble Hygiene & Health Care Ltd, Hindustan Unilever Ltd, Johnson & Johnson Ltd, Ag Herbs (Singapore) Pte Ltd, Zaptech, Garima Career Foundation, Montfort Group of Institute, The Economic Times, Honda Siel Power Products Ltd, Hindustan Unilever Ltd and Eureka Forbes Ltd.

In March 2013, ASCI witnessed a surge in number of complaints against the deceiving ads, which had mounted to 84. However, all of them did not contravene ASCI‘s codes or guidelines, and 32 complaints were later taken back. Those which didn‘t trespass the code were, Aditya Birla Management Corporation Pvt Ltd- Idea 3 G, Applect Learning Systems Pvt Ltd– Meritnation.com, Cadbury (India) Ltd – Perk Glucose, Carrier Midea India Pvt Ltd – Midea Air Conditioners, Hindustan Unilever Ltd – Dove Elixir Hair Oil and Nitta Gelatin India Limited, Parle Products Pvt Ltd – Parle Londonderry.

In the case of health & personal care products or services ASCI upheld complaints against those inadequate and unscientific print ads, which had violated the Chapter I of the ASCI code. Some of the healthcare product or services ads also contravened the provisions of the Drug & Magic Remedies Act. Due to which industry‘s major players, including Dabur India Limited, Hindustan Unilever Ltd, Johnson & Johnson Ltd, Dr. Monga Clinic, ClinTech Medical & Aesthetic Center, Rvita Ayurveda Centre, Vaarid Herbal Face Pack and Soliel International came under the fire.

On the educational fore, there were 14 advertisements that could prove its essence and had violated the ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions. For instance, players like Zapak, Garima Career Foundation, Mazenet Solution Pvt Ltd and BS Abdur Rahman University, Montfort Group of Institute‘s claims came up futile in providing 100 per cent job to people.

ASCI‘s regulation didn‘t spare India‘s biggest media conglomerate like Times Group, when ET Now came under scanner for its print ad saying, "ET Now is the undisputed leader on the budget date, and only our competitor will say it was a bad budget." They have quoted ET Now has 64 per cent of the market share and CNBC TV18 has 36 per cent of the market share.The CCC noted the contents of the ad and concluded that the market share claimed by the advertiser was not adequately substantiated. The advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code; therefore, the complaint was upheld.

Above all, there were some other companies from Automobile, FMCG and consumer durable products that flouted the codes of ASCI‘s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC).

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