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Asci upholds 25 out of 38 complaints

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MUMBAI: The Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of the Advertising Standard Council of India (Asci) upheld complaints made against 25 advertisements from various sectors like education, healthcare, FMCG and F&B sectors, ads of which are being tracked on TV and newspapers nationally by NAMS in June 2012.

During the same period, the CCC did not uphold complaints against 13 ads while decision on one ad was kept pending.

In the healthcare sector, Leonardo Olive Pomace Oil ad, which claimed that the oil "fights cholesterol and heart disease" and "lowers blood pressure", was upheld. The CCC concluded that the claims mentioned in the ad and cited in the complaint were not substantiated. The advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code.

Another ad that was upheld was of Kwality Walls Selection. According to the complainant, the advertorial makes a clear mention of the Kwality Walls Strawberry and Cheesecake as being an ice cream, when in reality it is a frozen dessert. The CCC concluded that the "mention of Kwality Walls as an ice cream", is misleading and the advertorial contravened Chapter I.4 of the Code.

According to the complainant, the communication in the Amul Ice cream‘s leaflet shows a "Kwality Walls" cup to depict Frozen Desserts as the words "feel it say it" can clearly be noticed from the picture of the cup on the leaflet. The communication tantamounts to generic disparagement of the Frozen Dessert as a category in general and Kwality Walls Frozen Dessert in particular.

The communication further tries to pass off ice creams as a complete food which is easy to digest and full of energy. It is categorically stated no food can be termed a complete food, much less an ice cream. The CCC noted the contents of the advertisement and checked the advertiser‘s response and concluded that the advertisement did not denigrate the complainant‘s product. However, the portrayal of ice cream as a "complete food" was misleading and contravened Chapter I.4 of the Code. This complaint was upheld.

Also, the complainant noted that Cadbury Chocolates‘ ad is clearly in breach of the Maharashtra Prohibition of Ragging Act, 1999 as it directly/indirectly propagates ragging. The CCC concluded that the ad is in breach of the law and contravened Chapter III.4 of the Code. The complaint was upheld.

The other ads that were upheld in the healthcare sector were of Lotus Mustard Oil, TV 24 Shopee India, Om Healthcare Centre‘s Good Health, Slim Life, Sesa Hair Oil, Perma Healthcare‘s Seatone and Natural Medicine.

Dainik Bhaskar‘s ad was also pulled up by the CCC. According to the complainant, the print advertisement on the hoarding claims that Dainik Bhaskar "is 3 times of Dainik Jagran" and quoted false circulation figures both for themselves and for Dainik Jagran and also did not mention any source in their advertisement. The advertisement contravened Chapter I.4 of the Code.

According to the complainant, the print advertisement of Parachute Advanced Coconut Hair Oil claims that, "I have the World‘s Best Hair and so do you", "International hair research has found that Parachute Advanced users have the World‘s Best Hair". Claiming that Parachute Advanced users have the world‘s best hair is a superlative claim. The quality of hair does not depend only on hair oil. The CCC considered the technical data and concluded that the claim that its users have the "World‘s Best Hair", is misleading. The advertisement contravened Chapter I.4 of the Code. The complaint was upheld.

Luminous Battery/Inverter as was also upheld because the CCC concluded that the claims mentioned in the advertisement like "Luminous Batteries give more backup when compared with other batteries" and cited in the complaint were not substantiated. The ad contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code.

Leads Bariatrics‘ TVC, which claimed "give a scar less weight loss surgery", was upheld as the CCC concluded that the promotion of weight loss surgery is an oversimplification of the remedy to reduce weight. The claim is misleading.

Pure Roots Gold Cream Bleach‘s TVC claimed that the bleach has pure gold added in it. It also claims to remove dead cells and opens pores and gives instant glow in just ten minutes. According to the complainant, the advertiser needs to provide scientific proof to substantiate this claim. In the absence of supporting clinical information from the advertiser, 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 advertiser‘s response, their company believes in fair and proper competition. On receiving a complaint from ASCI, the advertiser has already modified the said advertisement immediately.

The CCC concluded that the TVC for Third Eye of Nirmal Baba is likely to encourage superstition as well as it is likely to lead to grave or widespread disappointment in the minds of the consumers. The advertisement contravened Chapter I.5 of the Code. The complaint was upheld.

Videocon Air Conditioner‘s ad with claims like "Your daily dose of good health from Videocon air conditioners" and "Vita Air technology releases Vitamin C into the air" was pulled up by the CCC. The complaint said that the advertiser needs to substantiate these claims with technical comparative data. In the absence of comments from the advertiser, 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.

In education sector, the CCC upheld the complaint against ads of Career Launcher‘s Powerful Prep Program, T.I.M.E. BBS/BCA/HM/LAW, Institute of Apparel Management, NIPS School of Hotel Management and Nalanda Institute of Advanced Studies Lovely Professional University.

Smartprep Education Smart Prep‘s Guidance and Expert Training was also upheld. As per the complaint, Smart Prep claims that its faculty has "delivered 5 out of top 10 Ranks and 46 out of top 100 ranks in BBS‘11". Smart Prep should submit detailed evidence/ independent substantiation to validate its claim and is kept pending. The CCC considered the data submitted by the advertiser. The claim can be considered substantiated subject to a spot check by the ASCI Secretariat.

The CCC also received complaints against two print advertisement and 10 television commercials during the month of June 2012. The complaints were received against the ads of "Smart Prep Education Pvt Ltd.‘s Unique Training System‘‘, "Kamal Toordal"," Uninor", "Airtel"," Indica 10 minutes Herbal Hair Colour", "Fiat Punto Sport", "Ayur Sunscreen Lotion", "Nasivion ", "Fiama Di Wills‘s bathing bar ", "Sanofi Seacod ", "New Extra Strong Axe" and "Mahindra Duro 125 DZ". However, as these advertisements did not contravene Asci‘s codes or guidelines, the complaints were not upheld.

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