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ASCI Upholds Compliants againts 200 Advertisements out of 319

ASCI processed complaints against the following advertisements from the general public, industry as well as from the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Grievances against Misleading Advertisements (GAMA) Portal. Out of 100 advertisements, complaints against 52 advertisements were upheld. Of these 13 advertisements against Healthcare, 10 belonged to the Personal Care category, 7 belonged to the Education category, 3 belonged to Food & Beverage category and 19 belonged to other categories.

 

HEALTHCARE:-

The CCC found the following claims of 13 advertisements in healthcare products or services to be either misleading or false or not adequately / scientifically substantiated and hence violating ASCI’s Code. Some of the health care products or services advertisements also contravened provisions of the Drugs & Magic Remedies Act (DMR Act), Drugs and Cosmetics Rules (D&C Rules) and Chapter I.1 and III.4 of the ASCI Code. Complaints against the following advertisements were UPHELD.

1.      Meck Pharmaceuticals and Chemicals Pvt. Ltd. (Glucomeck Ayurvedic): The advertisement’s claims (in Gujarati) as translated into English, “Those having difficulty in walking can also run”, and “Effective in joint pain”, were not substantiated with the details of the product being advertised, clinical evidence of product efficacy and are misleading by exaggeration.

 

2.      Divisa Herbal Care (Dr. Ortho Oil): The advertisement’s claims (in Gujarati) as translated into English, “So effective that now pain will also bend its knees”, “Dr. Ortho Ayurvedic Oil is made of 8 excellent Ayurvedic oils, which enters the joints and helps in getting relief from the pain”, “Due to it being Ayurvedic its effect remains for a long time”, “Unmatched medicine for joint pain”, “It gives relief in cervical pain, knee pain, waist pain and shoulder pain”, and Javed Akhtar - Poet, lyricist, script writer says - “Dr. Ortho Ayurvedic Oil is not a temporary pain killer, it is an Ayurvedic medicine”, were not substantiated with clinical evidence of product efficacy, and are misleading by gross exaggeration. The claim “…is not a temporary pain killer” was considered to be misleading by implication that the product would cure pain. Also the advertiser did not submit any evidence that Mr. Javed Akhtar is in agreement with the claims being made in the advertisement in general. His endorsement seen in conjunction with the unsubstantiated claims is likely to mislead consumers regarding the product efficacy.

PERSONAL CARE:-

1.      Hindustan Unilever Limited (Lever Ayush Soap): The advertisement’s claims, “Based on 5000 year old Ayurved scriptures with 15 Ayurvedic herbs – Ayush Haldi soap, Saffron soap and cow’s ghee soap” (“5000 saal puraane Ayurvedic granthon pea dharit. 15 Ayurvedic jadi butti yukt – Ayush haldi soap, Kesar soap, aur cow’s ghee soap”) were inadequately substantiated and are misleading. Also the claims, “matlab sirf hari patiyan dikhane se koi Ayurvedic nahi ban jaata, sahi Ayurvedhai Lever Ayush”, and “Dikhawe se bacho. Sahi Ayurved chuno”, by implication denigrated the entire class/category of Ayurvedic products. Furthermore, the advertiser did not submit any evidence that the celebrity is in agreement with the claims being made in the advertisement in general. The visual of the celebrity (Akshay Kumar) when seen in conjunction with the claims are likely to mislead consumers regarding the product efficacy and contravened ASCI’s Guidelines for Celebrities in Advertising.

 

2.      Reckitt Benckiser (India) Pvt. Ltd. (Veet Wax Strips): The advertisement’s claim, “Removes the shortest hair that salon wax cannot”, and “Disclaimer: *Effective at removing even short (1.5mm) hair, basis clinical study performed under dermatological control. Salon wax means sugar wax”, were inadequately substantiated with objective measurement / study findings on the comparative efficacy of Veetwax strips and sugar wax.  The advertisement is misleading by omission of a disclaimer to qualify that the test is based on opinion survey of salon experts. Furthermore, the advertiser did not submit any evidence that the celebrity is in agreement with the claims being made in the advertisement in general. The visual of the celebrity (Shraddja Kapoor) when seen in conjunction with the claim “removes the shortest of hair that salon wax cannot” is likely to mislead consumers regarding the product efficacy and contravened ASCI’s Guidelines for Celebrities in Advertising.

EDUCATION:-

1.      Liza Handwriting and Calligraphy Course: The advertisement’s claims (in Gujarati) as translated into English, “YunusBalluwala - the only expert in Ahmedabad”, “Only in five days”, and “100% Guarantee”, were not substantiated with supporting data, and are misleading by exaggeration.

 

2.      Manav Rachna Educational Institutions: For the advertisement’s claim, “FMS,MRIU received A+++rating in ‘Best B-school Survey2017’ by Business India”, the data provided by the Advertiser was for the year 2016 and not 2017. Hence this claim was false and misleading.  Further for the claim, “1600+ placements in the last academic year”, the advertiser provided data for total 1366 placements.  No data was given on the number of passing out students placed for jobs, year of passed-out students, and total number of students passed out from the placed class.  Hence this claim was inadequately substantiated and is misleading by omission of the disclaimers as required under the ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions and Programs. For the claim, “17 are countries from which MREI students arrive” the advertiser provided only the name of the country as proof.  No data was given regarding the year, batch size, stream, and related details of the students.  Hence this claim was inadequately substantiated and is misleading. Also, for the claim, “40+ global collaborations” the advertiser did not provide data on (“MoU” with global universities/ institutions) for global tie-ups by the college. No details of students that got placed and passed out every year were given. The claim was inadequately substantiated and is misleading. Furthermore, for the claim, “3300+ research papers in International/ National Journals” the advertiser provided only aggregated figures of 3067 research papers. No ISSN number or publication year is mentioned in the annexure provided by the advertiser.  The claim was inadequately substantiated and is misleading. For the claim, “500+ reputed MNCs & Indian corporates patronizing us”. The advertiser provided only a list of the companies. No supporting data was given to substantiate the given figure.  The claim was inadequately substantiated and is misleading. Also the claim, “25000+ is our Alumni Base”, was not substantiated with supporting data and is misleading. Lastly for the claims, “Knowledge partners - HONDA, Ed Gate, and CMA” the advertiser did not provide MOUs of these Knowledge Partners with date of execution of the MOUs.  The claim was not substantiated and is misleading. 

FOOD AND BEVERAGES:-

1.      Synthite Industries Ltd. (Kitchen Treasures Brahmin Sambar Powder): The advertisement’s claim, “World's largest chilli company”, was not substantiated with market survey data/sales data, or any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s product and other competitors in the same category, or through a third party validation. Also the claim, “Awarded outstanding exporter of the year for the last 36 years by the Spices Board of India”, was not substantiated with verifiable supporting data and with copies of the award certificates for the claim made.

 

2.      Laxmi Protein Products Pvt. Ltd. (Laxmi Toor Dal): The advertisement’s claim, “Gujarat’s No.1 Desi Toor Dal”, was not substantiated with any market survey data or verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s products and other competitive products, or any third party validation to prove these claims. The claim is misleading by exaggeration.

OTHERS:-

1.      Hindustan Petroleum Corp (HP Petroleum):  The visual of “a rider and pillion rider on a two wheeler without helmet” as depicted in the advertisement shows violation of traffic rules and is an unsafe practice.

 

2.      M/s. Lamode Fashions Pvt Ltd (LaMode): The visual shown in the advertisement of “a rider and a pillion rider on a two wheeler without helmets”, shows violation of traffic rules and is an unsafe practice. Also, the pillion rider showed standing while the vehicle is in motion shows a dangerous practice, manifests a disregard for safety and encourages negligence.

SUO MOTO ACTION

The advertisements given below were picked up through ASCI’s Suo Moto surveillance of print and TV media via the National Advertisement Monitoring Services (NAMS) project. Out of 219 advertisements, total of 148 advertisements were considered to be misleading. Of these 69 advertisements were concerned Healthcare, 68 belonged to the Education category, five belonged to the Food & Beverages category, one belonged to Personal Care category and five belonged to ‘others’.

 

HEALTHCARE:-

The CCC found the following claims of 69 advertisements in health care products or services to be either misleading or false or not adequately / scientifically substantiated and hence violating ASCI’s Code. Some of the health care products or services advertisements also contravened provisions of the Drugs & Magic Remedies Act (DMR Act), Drugs and Cosmetics Rules (D&C Rules) and Chapter I.1 and III.4 of the ASCI Code. Complaints against the following advertisements were UPHELD.

1.      Perfect Point: The advertisement’s claim, “Lose up to seven centimetres in one session”, was not substantiated with supporting clinical evidence, and with treatment efficacy data, and is misleading by exaggeration. Also, the visual in the advertisement implies that a significant weight loss around tummy would be feasible, which is also grossly misleading.

 

2.      Evaa Fertility and Gynaecology Centre: The advertisement’s claim, “High Success Rate”, was not substantiated with supporting verifiable data, and is misleading by ambiguity. 

PERSONAL CARE:-

1.      Amrit 55 – Herbal Lip Therapy for Pink Lips: The advertisement’s claims, “Only within seven days, guarantee to make black lips pink like before” and “100% guaranteed solution”, were not substantiated with product efficacy data. Also the claim, “First time in India”, was not substantiated with any comparative data of the advertiser’s product and other competitive products in the same category.  The claims are misleading by exaggeration.

 

EDUCATION:-

1.      ALS Satellite Education Private Limited: The advertisement’s claim, “India's Largest IAS Coaching Network”, was not substantiated with any market survey data or with any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s institute and other similar institutes, or through a third party validation.  The claim was misleading by exaggeration.

 

2.      Saraswati Educational & Cultural Society - IPSR Group or Institutions: The advertisement’s claim, “1st ranked institute for pharmacy & management”, was not substantiated with any supporting verifiable data for the ranking as claimed in the advertisement and the methodology for the ranking.  The claim is misleading by exaggeration and omission of the reference to the source of this data. The claim, “100% Placement”, was 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. Hence, the claim is misleading by exaggeration. Also the claim, “Scholarship and fee reimbursement for all students”, was not substantiated with supporting evidence of scholarships availed and fee reimbursement given to any of their students.  The claim is false and misleading by ambiguity regarding the amount of scholarship and the total number of scholarships being offered.

FOOD AND BEVERAGES:-

1.      Pure Royale (Pure Royale Supari Mix): The advertisement which is for a Supari product is misleading by omission of a cautionary warning: “Chewing of Supari is injurious to health”.

 

2.      Gods Own Food Solutions Pvt. Ltd. (Jackfruit 365): The advertisement’s claim “Reduces stomach and weight” was inadequately substantiated since the benefit is directly attributed to the product but is not substantiated with data (either statistically significant results from a study or publication in peer reviewed scientific journal of repute). In absence of any other information regarding importance of other necessary lifestyle changes, the claim is misleading by omission and exaggeration.

OTHERS:-

1.      ARG Outlier Media Asianet New Pvt. Ltd. (Republicworld.com): The advertisement’s claim, “India’s biggest digital news network”, was not substantiated with any market survey data or with any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s institute and other similar institutes or through a third party validation.  The claim was misleading by exaggeration.

 

2.      Peram Group: The advertisement’s claims “To be No.1 realtor in Vishakha” and “To be most trusted realtor in South India”, were not substantiated with any market survey data or with any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s institute and other similar institutes, or through a third party validation.  The claims are misleading by exaggeration.

 

About The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI)

ASCI is a self-regulatory organization for the advertising industry to promote, maintain, monitor and uphold fair, sound, ethical and healthy principles and practices of advertising for the protection of interest of consumers and the general public. Established in 1985, ASCI’s role has been acclaimed by various Government agencies. The Govt. bodies including The Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA), Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and Ministry of AYUSH have partnered with ASCI to address all misleading advertisements in their respective sectors. In January 2016, the Supreme Court of India in its judgement has also affirmed and recognized the self-regulatory mechanism put in place for advertising content by ASCI. On the global platform, ASCI is a part of the Executive Committee of International Council on Ad Self-Regulation (ICAS). ASCI has also bagged six awards at the European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA) Global Best Practice Awards.

ASCI & its Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) deal with Complaints received from Consumers and Industry against Advertisements which are considered as False, Misleading, Indecent, Illegal, leading to Unsafe practices, or Unfair to competition, and in contravention of the ASCI Code for Self-Regulation in Advertising. Under its National Advertisement Monitoring Service (NAMS), ASCI proactively monitors over 80% of new print and all new TV advertisements released in the country every month, for contravention of Chapter I of the ASCI code. (Source: www.ascionline.org)

 
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