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Education sector had most misleading ads in Sept: ASCI

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MUMBAI: ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) has upheld complaints against 151 out of 199 advertisements in September 2016. Out of 151 advertisements against which complaints were upheld, 75 to the Education category, 39 belonged to the Healthcare category, followed by 10 in the Food & Beverages category, 8 in Personal Care Category and 19 advertisements from other categories.

Sector wise highlights are as follows:

EDUCATION:-

Pratap University: The advertisement’s claims, “Ranked among Top 20 universities of India by ‘The Pioneer’”, and “Foreign University Collaboration UDG University of Montenegro Europe”, were not substantiated with supporting proof, and are misleading.

ITM University: The advertisement’s claims, “100% Placement of MBA (Supply Chain Mgmt)”, and “Highest Placements in 1st year in central India”, were not substantiated with relevant data (such as evidence of batch size, enrolment forms, and appointment letters received by the students etc.) nor any independent audit or verification certificate. Also, the claims are misleading. The advertisement also claims, “05 Lac Highest package (CTC)” and “3.25 Lac Average package (CTC)”, were not substantiated with evidence to prove that students were offered the claimed salary packages, and also the claims are misleading.

Sujas: The advertisement’s claims “Institute holds Record for Highest Number of Jobs Provided in Government and Private Sector”, and “100% Guarantee Employment/Job”, were not substantiated with authentic supporting data such as detailed list of students who have been placed through their Institute, contact details of students for verification, enrolment forms and appointment letters received by the students, nor any independent audit or verification certificate. Also, the claims are misleading by gross exaggeration. Also the claim, “Chance to work in a Government office in 6 Months for 10th/12th Passed Students”, was not substantiated with evidence to conclusively prove that 10th / 12th passed students were indeed offered jobs in government offices and also the claim is misleading by ambiguity.

HEALTHCARE:-

Cosmic Grace: The advertisement’s claims (in Hindi), “Cure prostate Cancer, Stone, Eye disease”, were not substantiated, and are misleading. Also, specific to the claims related to cure of prostate cancer, Stone, Eye disease, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act. Also, the advertisement exploits consumers’ lack of knowledge and is likely to lead to grave or widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers. Advertiser did not produce explicit permission from the political personalities whose reference have been made in the advertisement. This tends to bring these persons into ridicule and disrepute.

Thosh (Thosh Ion Shower): The advertisement’s claims, “Good news for those who are suffering from Asthma, Respiratory diseases & Breathing problems, Allergy, Migraine Insomnia, And those who are fed up of taking heavy medication and pills for the same. Now Negative Ion therapy has a solution”, were not substantiated, and are misleading by exaggeration.

Nanophyto Pharmacy (UR Halt): The advertisement’s claims, “100% Natural and Scientific”, “No side effects”, Don’t Stress Just Put A Full Stop To Urinary Incontinence”, “URhalt control Naturally”, “100% natural phytomedicine.”, “No more dependence on adult diapers or surgical procedures”, “Controls urinary incontinence naturally”, “100 percent natural and scientific phytomedicine medicine derived from plants”, “Clinically evaluated formula”, “No side effects”, and “No more dependence on adult diapers and surgical procedures”, were not substantiated with clinical evidence of product efficacy, and are misleading by gross exaggeration.

FOOD & BEVERAGES:-

Buzz Live Foods (Pelicana DD Drinker’s Drive): The advertisement’s claims, “Pelicana DD is a beverage when added to acidic alcoholic drinks converts them into a positive health drink which reduces oxidative stress. Performs the role of a whole body stress reducer which gives freshness all over to the drinker”, were not substantiated with supporting clinical data specific to the product, and are misleading by gross exaggeration. The claim is also likely to encourage negligence among consumers regarding alcohol intake. Also the claims, “A Noble Prize winner and Tamil Scientist has invented this product after many years of research”, “Certified by World's Leading Laboratories” and “World’s first breakthrough product”, were not substantiated with supporting proof, and are misleading by gross exaggeration.

M.K Agrotech Private Limited (Sunpure Sunflower Oil): The advertisement’s claims, “Get the Natural Vitamins” and “Get the benefits of Vitamins in their pristine form, not to forget Natural Oryazanol”, were not substantiated with supporting technical data for the advertised product, and are misleading.

Bhagat Marketing Corporation (Amrut Dana Dal):- The advertisement’s claim (in Gujarati), as translated into English, “To be No.1 in India”, was not substantiated with comparative data versus other similar brands in the same category, and with market share sales data, and is misleading by exaggeration.

PERSONAL CARE:-

J.K. Helene Curtis Limited (Park Avenue Acti-Cool Deodorant): The advertisement’s claim, “Lasting cooling effect”, was not substantiated adequately with technical data to prove how long the cooling effect stays. Also, the claim is misleading as it implies that the cooling effect is lasting for considerably long time.

VLCC Personal Care Limited (VLCC Slimmer’s range of products): The product name and the variant name, “Slimmer’s Herbal Infusion with Green Tea” and “Slimming” respectively, are likely to mislead consumers by implication and the benefit of slimming attributable to the advertised product was not substantiated adequately.

Johnson & Johnson Ltd (Clean & Clear Foaming face wash): The advertisement’s claims, “To give 8 hours’ oil control”, was not substantiated adequately, and is misleading by implication as the claim “control” implies maintenance of sebum level at a particular fixed value whereas, the product is demonstrating “reduction” and not “control” over the eight hour period. Also, the study indicates that even simple water has demonstrated reduction of the sebum levels at different time points.

OTHERS:-

Digital Radio Broadcasting Limited (Mumbai) (Redtro 106.4 FM): It was concluded that regardless of the disclaimer in the advertisement, the visual showing a boy hanging out of a moving train shows a dangerous practice without justifiable reason, manifests a disregard for safety and encourages negligence.

Fever 104 HT Media Ltd. (Fever 104 FM): The advertisement’s claims, “Bangalore's No.1 FM Station!” and “1 > 2+3+4+5 -FEVER 104 Bangalore has more listeners than the combined listenership of RED FM (No.2), Radio One (No.3), Radio Indigo (No.4) & Mirchi (No.5). Well there is a reason we are called the BAAP”, were not substantiated and are misleading.

Berger Paints India Limited (Berger Express Painting): The advertisement’s claims, “You will be amazed to see how the trained painters use the hi-tech sanding machines to scrape your walls without any dust and use the automatic paining machines to paint the walls perfectly in no time.” were inadequately substantiated with supporting evidence, and are misleading.

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