ASCI upholds complaints on 5 ads

MUMBAI: Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has pulled the plug on five advertisements from Prabhat Khabar, DNA, Naidunia, FMCG brand Sprite and Liquor brand McDowell’s No.1, finding them misleading.

ASCI‘s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) pulled up newspaper Prabhat Khabar, which claimed No 1 position in Jharkhand by citing data from Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) July-December 2009.

The CCC’s findings show that the ABC July-Dec’09 results do not reflect Prabhat Khabar as the numero uno newspaper in Jharkhand as the claim is not substantiated by ABC report taking into account the circulation of Jamshedpur. After ASCI upheld the complaint, he advertiser has discontinued the advertisement. 
Similarly, CCC found that the DNA newspaper’s advertisement claims of being “The No1 Daily for the independent people”, “The No.1 daily for the new Indian”, “The No.1 daily for the people’s voice”, “The No.1 daily for tomorrow’s leader” are not substantiated with any data or research from any independent organisation. The advertiser did not did not state any source or explicit study conducted before making these claims. The said advertisement was suspended by the advertiser. 
In case of Nai Dunia newspaper, the advertiser’s assurance of compliance was still awaited by ASCI. The advertisement of Nai Dunia stated, “This remarkable growth rate of Nai Dunia can perhaps be an indication of the future, as much as that of current value”.

The advertisement is considered misleading by CCC as per Chapter I.4 since although the growth rate of NaiDunia and Dainik Bhaskar may have been correctly depicted, the absence of a base index renders the advertisement misleading.

In the Sprite TVC, which shows ‘two explorers captured by a tribe who are, apparently, cannibals and appear, quite distinctly, African’, CCC concluded that the ad projects negative stereotype of Africans and hence violates Chapter III, 1 (b) of ASCI which doesn’t permit derision of race, caste, colour, credd or nationality. This led to the TVC being withdrawn by the advertiser. 
In case of McDowell’s No1 Platinum CD ad having slogan, “Get inspired by the rare and legendary”, the CCC concluded that the ad was a surrogate ad for a liquor product – McDowell’s No. 1 and hence contravened Chapter III.6 of the Code. As the ad appears in the middle of a live cricket match, it is not distinguishable from the programme and hence, it also violates The Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994. Subsequently, the TVC was withdrawn.

CCC also received complaint against Manforce Chocolate Flavoured Condoms. However, ASCI concurred that the TVC was not likely to cause grave or widespread offence, but found that it was not suitable for family viewing and, hence, the advertiser has been advised to air the TVC after family viewing hours - between 11 pm to 6 am.

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