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ASCI PROCESSES COMPLAINTS AGAINST 590 ADVERTISEMENTS, OF WHICH 558 WERE REGARDING MISLEADING CLAIMS

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MUMBAI: In August and September 2018, ASCI investigated complaints against 590 advertisements. For 131 advertisements, the advertisers promptly ensured corrective action as soon as the complaints were received. ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against 355 advertisements from a total of 459 advertisements evaluated by them.       

Of the 355 advertisements wherein the complaints were upheld, 201 belonged to the education sector, 62 to the healthcare sector, 24 to the food & beverages category, 24 to personal care, seven violated BARC Guidelines  and 37 were from the ‘others’ category.

The most common reason for upholding complaints were unsubstantiated claims in the Education sector such as providing “100% placement”, “guaranteed immigration”, “No.1”. This was followed by exaggeration of product efficacy and exploiting consumers’ lack of knowledge, violations of Guidelines for Celebrities in Advertising, BARC Guidelines, Drugs and Magic Remedies (DMR) Regulations. Many of the claims were misleading and likely to lead to widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers.

Amongst various advertisements that were examined, the CCC observed that, a renowned celebrity was found endorsing a well-known air hostess training institute claiming to be “World’s No. 1 institute”. Another advertisement had a popular celebrity endorsing an anti-pimple product promising pimple free skin whereas this claim was inadequately substantiated and misleading by exaggeration. Furthermore, a famous celebrity couple endorsed a soap brand; the advertisement implies that the product has the effectiveness of turmeric whereas the mechanism of action is due to another antimicrobial ingredient. These advertisements contravened ASCI’s Guidelines for Celebrities in Advertising.

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