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ASCI upholds 25 out of 38 ad complaints

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MUMBAI: Hindustan Unilever Ltd‘s (HUL) Pepsodent Germicheck Magnet and Ponds Gen White advertisements and Glaxosmithkline Consumer Healthcare‘s Boost advertisement were among those which were disapproved by the Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of the Advertising Standard Council of India (ASCI) in July.

These were among the 25 advertisements against which complaints were upheld by the council. The council had in July received a total of 38 complaints against advertisements by companies from various sectors including education, healthcare, FMCG and food.

The council upheld complaint against HUL‘s Pepsodent Germicheck Magnet ad. As per the complaint, the TVC claimed that Pepsodent Germicheck Magnet toothpaste "is better than the well-known toothpaste". The council concluded that the Survey Report submitted by the advertiser does not substantiate the claim made in the ad. The ad contravened Chapter I.1 of the advertising code.

Another ad of HUL that came under scanner was that of Ponds Gen White. As per the complaint, the TVC claimed that Ponds Gen White is the first cream which adapts to skin type and gives spotless fairness. The council said the advertiser needs to substantiate these claims with scientific and comparative data. It concluded that the claim was not substantiated adequately and hence, the ad contravened Chapter I.1 of the code.

A complaint against Glaxosmithkline Consumer Healthcare‘s Boost‘s ad was also upheld. As per the complaint, the TVC claims that "the consumption of Boost not only increases oxygen consumption but gives three times more stamina". The CCC concluded that the claim, "Boost gives three times more stamina", is misleading by reason of ambiguity. The ad contravened Chapter I.4 of the Code.

The complaints against other ads that were upheld in the healthcare category were Jyothy Laboratories‘ Maxo Max Power Liquid.

The number of advertisements examined by the council has more than doubled from an average of less than 15 every month to 38 in July, since the formation of National Advertising monitoring Service (NAMS).

Through NAMS, ASCI has received complaints against 131 advertisements in just one quarter, about 76 per cent more than the complaints against advertisements (177) in the last one year.

A complainant against Euro Fashion Inners‘ television commercial (TVC) said it offended decency and appeared vulgar and suggestive. The CCC concluded that in the light of generally prevailing standards of decency and propriety, the TVC was likely to cause grave or widespread offence. It contravened Chapter II of the Code and was Upheld. The CCC noted the advertiser‘s advice that the campaign concluded in mid-June and the said commercial is not on air presently.

In healthcare category, a complaint against Ranbaxy Laboratories‘ Revital Woman ad was upheld. The council concluded that in the absence specific scientific data, the claims made in the advertisement and cited in the complaint were not substantiated. The advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code.

There was a complaint against Knorr Soupy Noodles ad‘s claim that one crore children like it. According to the complainant, the advertiser needs to provide statistical proof in substantiation of the claim. The council considered the data submitted by the advertiser, and concluded that the claim "1 crore children like Knorr Soupy Noodles" was not substantiated adequately. The advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code. The complaint was upheld.

The complaints that were upheld were against ads of Career Launcher - CSAT Classroom Program, Oriental Group Of Hotel Management Institute, Tara Homeopathy Clinic, Umalaxmi Organics, Western Institute of Technology, Footwear Design and Development Institute, Dr K K R Gowtham International School, Flair Writing Instruments and The Kavery Engineering College.

A complaint against Fair and Kwick Fairness Cream‘s ad was upheld too. The council concluded that, in the absence of technical data, the claims made in the advertisement (Cream cleans the face deeply, removes spots, softens the skin) and cited in the complaint were not substantiated. The advertisement contravened chapter I.1 of the code.

A complaint against the print advertisement of Shopping India Times luring customers to purchase products through telephone was also upheld. A customer who purchases products by using a credit card was entitled to get free Indiatimes gift coupon worth Rs 250. The advertiser cannot or is unable to fulfill the promises made in the print advertisement. The advertisement is false and misleading. The council noted the correspondence between the advertiser and the complainant and concluded that the inordinate delay in sending the promised gift coupon did not amount to an unintentional lapse in the fulfillment of the advertised promise. The advertisement contravened chapter I.7 of the code.

Another complaint that was upheld was against the advertisement of Dhathri Hair Care Range. As per the complaint, the print ad claims that Dhathri Hair Care Plus Herbal Oil stops hair fall, it gives nourishment till the roots of the hair and stops hair fall within few weeks, contains high percentage of dye content which acts as a natural agent in hair colour, indigofera tentoria, bajeracoeniji, datura metal, cardiosperumhelikakadum and other 21 ayurvedic herbs are added in pure coconut oil to prepare Dhathri hair oil. The CCC concluded that the claims mentioned in the advertisement and cited in the complaint were not substantiated. The advertisement contravened chapter 1.1 of the code.

The print ad of Cosmetic Surgery Clinic claims that, after hair transplant there will be a natural growth of hair. They also claim that with liposuction there will not be any reformation of fat in the body. The advertiser needs to provide scientific proof and supporting clinical information with details of reports of tests/trails conducted by an independent recognised testing institution. The CCC concluded that the claims mentioned in the advertisement and cited in the complaint were not substantiated. The advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the code. The complaint was Upheld.

Yash Ayurvedic & Non Surgical Clinic‘s print advertisement claims things like that it cures diabetes within 90 to 120 days, give relief within 7 days from knee and joint pain, treats asthma and piles in 10 days. The advertiser needs to substantiate these claims with supporting clinical information and with details of reports of tests/trails conducted by an independent recognised testing institution. The CCC concluded that the claims mentioned in the advertisement and cited in the complaint, were not substantiated. The advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code. The complaint was Upheld.

As per the complaint, the Ayurved Bhavan‘s print advertisement claims that one can see an effect in seven days after treatment from Ayurved Bhavan and also reduction in creatinine and urea, fastest increase in haemoglobin. The CCC considered the lab reports of a few patients sent by the advertiser, and concluded that the claims mentioned in the advertisement and cited in the complaint, were inadequately substantiated. The advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code. The complaint was Upheld.

Passport Spray‘s ad shows "a mother sending her young son for delivering some gifts to the neighbour who is a young adult lady. She opens the door on arrival of the boy. She then seduces him and takes him inside the house. After a while the mother is shown on the door enquiring about her son, and the son is putting on his clothes". The advertisement ‘has crossed all limits of vulgarity. The advertisement will have a bad impact on the children,‘ the complainant said. The CCC concluded that, in the light of generally prevailing standards of decency and propriety, the TVC was likely to cause grave or widespread offence. The advertisement contravened Chapter II of the Code. The complaint was Upheld. The CCC noted the advertiser‘s assurance that they have modified the TVC appropriately.

The CCC also upheld Veg Fru Wash‘s ad. The CCC concluded that the claim, Veg Fru Wash "kills pesticides, bacteria and viruses from all fruits and vegetables", was not substantiated. The advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code.

During the month of July, the CCC also received complaints against three print advertisements and 10 television commercials. The complaints were received against the advertisements of "Smart Prep‘s Guidance & Expert Training‘‘, "Nestle Neslac‘‘, "Brainwork‘s Learning Systems Pvt Ltd ‘‘, "Eshwar Trust‘‘, "UTV Stars‘‘, "Lovable Lingerie‘‘, "Fast Track Bags‘‘, "Vivel Active Fair‘‘, "Aquaguard‘‘, "Dettol Liquid Hand Wash‘‘, "Vera Mustard Oil‘‘, "Himani Navratna Extra Thanda‘‘ and "AVJ InfoTech Pvt Ltd.‘‘ However, as these advertisements did not contravene ASCI‘s codes or guidelines, the complaints were Not Upheld.

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