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Misleading ad gives wrong notions about blood donation: Health Ministry

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NEW DELHI: Despite a letter to the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) by the Health Ministry, an advertisement that can potentially mislead blood donors is still running on air.

The advertisement has been put out by carwale.com – which sells used cars or car parts - and attempted to prove that the need for exactness in demand. The ad shows a doctor talking to someone on the phone for more blood for a patient. He says if you do not have more units of ‘A’, then send ‘AB’ type, and saying 19-20 ka farak hai (just a minor difference). The aim of the commercial is to say that there has to be exactness in what the customer wants.

The Health Ministry has taken objection to the commercial as it creates doubts in the minds of the donors.

The National AIDS Control Board, which is expected to check every blood sample for AIDS, has written to ASCI to ensure that the advertisement is pulled off air as it does not meet ASCI’s standards of honest representations.

Under Indian laws, human blood is treated as a ‘drug’ under the Drugs & Cosmetics (D&C) Act. During the HIV/AIDS crisis, the Indian government made it mandatory for any donated blood to be tested for HIV 1&2 antibodies, giving the Blood Safety Programme to NACO.

ASCI secretary-general Shweta Purandare told media that a decision on the complaint had not been taken yet. “We usually do not speak about individual complaints. In this case, we haven’t conveyed our final decision to the Ministry,” she said. 

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