In March 2018, ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against 191 advertisements out of the total of 269 advertisements that were evaluated by the CCC.
Out of the total 191 advertisements against which complaints were upheld, 114 belonged to the healthcare sector, 24 to the education sector, 35 to the food & beverages category, seven to the personal care and 11 were from the ‘others’ category. A total of 183 advertisements were picked up by ASCI’s Suo Moto surveillance and objections against 165 advertisements were upheld. Of the 86 advertisements complained against by the general public or by industry members, complaints against 26 advertisements were upheld by the CCC.
1. Lifespan Wellness Pvt Ltd. (Lifespan Diabetes Clinic): The advertisement’s claim, “Can’t get Diabetes under control? Get comprehensive solutions and treatments ……” implying cure for Diabetes, was not substantiated with supporting clinical evidence and is misleading by exaggeration and implication. The claims, “Most diabetics get only half the care they need, get the full care with expert dialectologist and comprehensive treatment at life span”, and “70% of Lifespan patients successfully managed their high blood sugar by actively adhering to the full care R.I.S.C. based treatment”, were not substantiated with supporting data and are misleading by exaggeration.
2. Dr. Dassan’s Life Care Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment and Research Centre (Kidney): The advertisement’s claim (in Gujarati) as translated in English, “… treatment can prevent dialysis in kidney diseases”, was not substantiated with authentic, credible scientific / clinical evidence. The claim, implying cure for kidney diseases, is misleading by gross exaggeration and exploits consumers’ lack of knowledge and is likely to lead to grave or widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers.
1. L’Oreal India Private Ltd: In this advertisement, celebrity Alia Bhatt is seen endorsing ‘New Garnier Light Serum Complete Cream’ wherein two of her friends in this advertisement have dark spots and dark skin and Alia Bhatt promises them that if they will use this Garnier serum cream, it will vanish in one week’s time. Next in the advertisement we see Alia and her friends in all glamour and fair skin at a premiere. The advertisement’s claim, “With new Garnier Light Complete …. de three tones lighter skin sirf ek week mein”, was not substantiated, and is misleading by exaggeration.
2. Hindustan Unilever Limited – Pure Derm Anti Dandruff Shampoo: The advertisement’s claim, “Dandruff Jayega Aur Waapas Nahin Aayega” is an absolute claim and was not adequately substantiated. Regardless of the statement “Purify your scalp everyday” the claim was misleading by exaggeration. Furthermore, the claim, “”10/10 derms recommend Pure Derm”, was not substantiated and was misleading by ambiguity and implication that all dermatologists recommend the advertised product over other anti-dandruff products in the market.
FOOD AND BEVERAGES:-
1. Guiltfree Industries Limited (Too Yumm): In the advertisement, cricketer Virat Kohli is seen munching on Too Yumm all through the commercial. Two men are shown eating vegetables whereas the cricketer is munching on the product. In the end he says, “Kyunki TOO YUMM sirf tasty nahi, it is filled with goodness. It’s not fried, it’s baked”. The claim “It is baked, it is not fried” holds for only three variants; However, the TVC showed nine product variants. The claim was therefore considered inadequately substantiated and misleading by ambiguity, implication and exaggeration. The advertisement’s claim, “Eat Lot and Fikar Not” and “Eat anytime anywhere, as much”, showing overindulgence of the product in the TVC and with other cues such as “binging”/“khaaye thoos thoos”, was misleading by implication and exaggeration that the advertised product would not have any negative effect despite excessive consumption. There was also a stark contradiction between the Claim, “Eat Lot and Fikar Not” and the disclaimer quoting “We promote responsible indulgence as a part of dietary requirement”. The visual of the celebrity when seen in conjunction with the claims are likely to mislead consumers regarding the product characteristics.
2. Tata Chemical Ltd (Tata Salt): The advertisement’s claim, “No Added Chemicals”, was misleading and contradictory to the disclaimer mentioned in the advertisement.
1. IMS Learning Resources P. Ltd: The advertisement’s claim, “Rutuja Mahohar GMAT 730”, was grossly misleading by implicating that the student had taken GMAT classes and by misusing the complainant’s name. The advertisement in the promotional material and the advertisement in the brochure, both contravened Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions and Programmes
2. Allnine Overseas Education: The advertisement’s claim, “Seven Band guaranteed achieving”, was not substantiated. The claim, “Highest Visa Success Ratio”, was not substantiated with verifiable supporting data of the advertiser’s institute versus other similar institutes offering visa assistance, and is misleading by exaggeration and implication.
1. Polycab Wires Pvt Ltd (Polycab Cables & Wires): The advertisement’s claim of power saving (“Polycab Wires lagao aur bijli bachao”,) was not substantiated and is misleading by implication. In the advertisement, celebrity Paresh Raval is seen convincing his neighbour to use Polycab wires to save electricity which was misleading and not justified. Moreover, in view of the CCC, a small saving, if any, is being projected as a significant saving.
2. HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Ltd (HDFC life): The advertisement’s claim, “Poor Air Quality can lead to Cancer”, is misleading by exaggeration. The advertisement uses the word “can” which is a more definitive term than the word “may”, thereby creating a fear in the consumer’s mind. The advertisement exploits consumers’ lack of knowledge and is likely to lead to grave or widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers.
SUO MOTO Surveillance by ASCI
1. GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Ltd (Crocin 650): The advertisement’s claim, “Its fast release formula starts working in just five minutes”, was not substantiated with evidence of product efficacy within five minutes. The claim exploits consumers’ lack of knowledge.
2. Kolors Health Care India Pvt Ltd (Kolors Slimming & Beauty): The advertisement’s claims, “Reduce up to six inches within short period (stomach, sides, thighs, hips) without exercise, pills, side effects and without surgery”, “Removes stretch marks”, were not substantiated. The claims and efficacy being depicted via visuals of before and after the treatment are misleading by gross exaggeration and exploit consumers’ lack of knowledge and are likely to lead to grave or widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers.
FOOD & BEVERAGE:-
1. GrassRoot Nutrition Pvt Ltd (NutriValue Aloera): The advertisement’s claim, “I started taking Nutrivalue’s aloe vera juice called as Aloera and within a month my energy was back. I have been taking this regularly since then and have had no health issues”, were not substantiated with evidence of product efficacy and are misleading by gross exaggeration and implication that heart conditions requiring angiography can be cured with this product. The claim exploits consumers’ lack of knowledge and is likely to lead to grave or widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers.
2. Surya Poultry Farms Pvt Ltd. (Surya Organic Chicken): The advertisement’s claim, “Organic Chicken”, was not substantiated and is misleading by exaggeration.
Complaints against advertisements of 21 educational institutes listed below are UPHELD mainly because of unsubstantiated claims AND/OR misleading claims that they provide 100% placement/ placement assistance AND/OR they claim to be the No.1 in their respective fields
Creative Skill Development, Gurukul Institute of Engineering and Technology, Alhind Academy, Antica Maritime Academy, Institute Of Fire Engineering and Safety Management (NIFS), National Small Industries Corporation Limited, National Small Industries Corporation Limited, Network Bull Technologies, Flamingo Air Academy, Flying Cats, Sangam University, Zet Airlink, Aspirant, National Institute of Financial Markets, Indian Institute Office of Management(IIOM), Institute of Design & Technology, Jumbo Jet Aviation Academy, Hindustan Soft Education Ltd – Oxford Software Institute, Parmanand Institute of Fire Engineering, Institute of Fire Engineering and Safety Management (NIFS) and Bicard Computer Education
1. Laiva Hair Oil: The advertisement’s claims, (in Hindi) as translated into English, “Thick black strong hair within 20 days, stops hair fall”, were not substantiated with product efficacy data and are misleading by gross exaggeration.
2. Chandra Brothers Medi-Med Pvt Ltd (Chandraboti Fairness Moisturiser): The advertisement’s claim (in Bengali) as translated into English, “Makes skin fairer”, was not substantiated with product efficacy data and is misleading by exaggeration.
1. Samsung Galaxy Note 8: The advertisement’s claim, “Best Camera Phone”, which was clearly attributed to a review by Hindustan Times, was false, misleading and exploits consumers’ lack of knowledge and is likely to lead to grave or widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers.
2. Shri Balaji Incense Industries (Balaji Madhu Kunj 100): The advertisement’s claim, “No. 1 Agarbatti”, was not substantiated with verifiable comparative data / market survey data of the advertiser’s product and other competitor products or through a third party validation, and is misleading by exaggeration and implication.
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