Mumbai: During the month of July 2019, ASCI investigated complaints against 489 advertisements, of which 151 advertisements were promptly withdrawn by the advertisers on receipt of communication from ASCI. The independent Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of ASCI evaluated 338 advertisements, of which complaints against 299 advertisements were upheld. Of these 299 advertisements, 201 belonged to the education sector, 59 belonged to the healthcare sector, nine to personal care, four to the food & beverages sector, and 26 were from the ‘others’ category.
ASCI’s Guidelines for
Celebrities in Advertising were not adhered by a consumer durable brand. The
brand’s advertisement featured two top celebrities acting as a couple endorsing
a renowned brand of air conditioners. The advertisement implied extremely rapid
cooling performance whereas the claim was considered to be misleading.
Moreover, there was no evidence of celebrity due diligence submitted by the
In the Food and Beverages
category, a popular brand ran a digital campaign that tried to misrepresent a
scientific study by distorting the information to mislead gullible consumers.
Another complaint was against a prominent airline offering cheap fares as part
of an offer; however, all the important details were either missing or buried
in the fine print.
Over 200 advertisements belonged
to the education sector with advertisers making unsubstantiated claims such as being
No. 1, holding awards or providing ‘100% placement’ misleading students and
parents. Few educational institutes were observed to downplay their status of
being a “Deemed to be University” and presenting it in a misleading manner by
overly emphasizing the word “University”.
The healthcare sector also
saw a large number of advertisements pertaining to hospitals and clinics claiming
best services, winning various awards or being able to cure various conditions
ranging from infertility to piles, diabetes, HIV and cancer. A renowned
hospital claimed to be the pioneer in overcoming Parkinson’s without providing any
Mr Rohit Gupta, Chairman, ASCI said “We have seen an increasing trend by advertisers to use reference of “Awards and rankings” to make superiority or leadership claims in their advertisements. These claims may mislead the consumer by communicating that the advertised institute, product or service is recognised, esteemed or evaluated by experts or a large body of experts, whereas this may not be the case. There are also dubious cases where such awards are self-sponsored. Effective November 1, 2019, ASCI is rolling out ‘Guidelines for Usage of Awards/Rankings in Advertisements’. This would ensure that the awards and rankings claimed are authentic and credible.”
EDUCATION: – 201 advertisements complained against
HEALTHCARE: – 59 advertisements complained against
PERSONAL CARE: – Nine advertisement
FOOD AND BEVERAGES: – Four advertisements complained against
OTHERS: – 26 advertisements complained against
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