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ASCI CCC Recommendations: September 2017

 

In September 2017, ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against 232 out of 305 advertisements. Out of 232 advertisements against which complaints were upheld, 62 belonged to the Healthcare category, 151 to the Education category, followed by 7 in the Food & Beverages category, 4 in the Personal Care category, and 8 advertisements from other categories.

 

DIRECT COMPLAINTS

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 92 advertisements, complaints against 28 advertisements were upheld. Of these 13 advertisements against Healthcare, 2 belonged to the Education category, 1 belonged to the Personal category, 4 belonged to Food & Beverage category and 8 belonged to the ‘others’ category.

 

HEALTHCARE:-

The CCC found the following claims of 13 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.       Jolly Healthcare (Jolly Fat Go Slimming Powder): The advertisement’s claims, “Control your increasing weight” and “Now you'll always be slim smart and fit, with delicious remedies” were not substantiated with the details of the product, its mechanism of action and evidence of product efficacy for the powder, capsule and oil being advertised and are misleading by gross exaggeration.

 

2.       Shreejee Honey (I) Pvt. Ltd. (Shreeji Ashtamrut): The advertisement claims (in Gujarati) as translated into English, “product is liquid base useful in more than 500 diseases”, claims implying that the product is “useful in  Vaat, Pitt, Cold, Cough, Gas, Acidity, Monthly Cycle Pain, Vomiting, Kaf, Nautia, Constipation, Blood Pressure, Breathing Problems, Obesity, Allergy, Blood Purification, Sexual Stamina Improver” and “Special product for controlling diabetes is also available”, were not substantiated with any technical data, scientific rationale or clinical evidence of product efficacy, and are misleading. Also the claim, “The product is based on eight main ingredients Ginger (Adrak), Amla, Tulsi, Ardusi, Phudina, Lemon, Honey, and Sugar”, was not substantiated with supporting data showing presence of these ingredients in the product, and is misleading.

EDUCATION:-

The CCC found following claims in the advertisements by two different advertisers were not substantiated and, thus, violated ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions. Hence complaints against these advertisements were UPHELD.

1.       Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd. (TimesPro): The advertisement’s claim, “90% + Placement Record”, was not substantiated and the claim is misleading by omission and exaggeration.

 

2.       National Institute of Computer Education (N.I.C.E Institute): The advertisement’s claim, “100% Job Guarantee”, 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, or any independent audit or verification certificate. Also, the claim is misleading by exaggeration.               

 

FOOD AND BEVERAGES:-

1.       N.K Proteins Pvt. Ltd. (Tirupati Cooking Oil): The advertisement’s claim, “Tirupati Oil is India’s #1 cottonseed oil”, was substantiated.  However, the claim was misleading by omission as it is not qualified to mention the source and date of research and that this is applicable for consumer packs market.

 

2.       G. D. Foods MFG. (India) Pvt. Ltd. (Tops Classic No Onion No Garlic Sauce): The advertisement’s claims, "Health Secrets of Classic NONG Sauce: It is a rich source of vitamin A that helps in keeping your eyes healthy, It can help in reducing the risk of prostate cancer, It is low in fat, thus good for your health”, were not substantiated with evidence of product efficacy, and are misleading by exaggeration. 

PERSONAL CARE:-

1.       Dabur India Limited - Dabur Odomos: The advertisement’s claim, claim “yani machoro se best protection” & “isliye na machine se, na coil se, best protection sirf Dabur Odomos se”, "sirf Dabur Odomos deta hai Dengue failane wale macchron se 99.9% suraksha" were not substantiated. It was noted that while the advertiser has suspended the TVC with these objected claims, the web-site advertisement continues to have the claim “To find a product that gives BEST protection against mosquitoes…”. Further it was observed that while the TVC is in the context of protection being provided for the first 30 minutes, the claim continues to exist in the Facebook communication / other digital platforms. Furthermore, the the claim on the website, “In the fight against Dengue, India can now be 99.9% safe” was considered to be misleading by ambiguity, omission and exaggeration.

 

OTHERS:-

1.       A-One gold TMT bars: It was noted that the characters shown in the advertisement do not make any attempt to follow the precautions required to be taken in case of an earthquake. Thus, it was concluded that the advertisement while attempting to portray strength of their product, manifests a disregard for safety.

 

2.       Volkswagen Group Sales India P. Ltd. (Volkswagen): The advertisement claims of low EMI subject to terms and conditions of the offer are acceptable, but the advertiser has not substantiated the basis with calculations for claiming low EMI of Rs.7999/- for Polo version, and Rs.11999/- for Vento version in the advertisement, nor have they given any evidence of such low EMI being availed by any of their customers. Furthermore, the advertisement is misleading by omission of the details regarding the number of months for the EMI payment and the source / web-site details where a customer could look up the EMI calculations. 

SUO MOTO ACTION

The advertisements given below were picked up through ASCI’s Suo Moto surveillance of print and TV media via National Advertisement Monitoring Services (NAMS) project. Out of 213 advertisements, total of 204 advertisements were considered to be misleading. Of these 49 advertisements against Healthcare, 149 belonged to the Education category, 3 belonged to the Personal category and 3 belonged to Food & Beverage category.

 

HEALTHCARE:-

The CCC found the following claims of 49 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.       Ayurwin Pharma Pvt. Ltd. (Nutrislim plus Range of Products): The advertisement’s claim, “For easy slimming Nutrislim plus Powder and Capsule is the most effective ayurvedic method” was not substantiated with evidence of product efficacy. Further the claim, “Approved by Department of Ayush”, was not substantiated with supporting evidence, and are misleading by ambiguity and implication that Ministry of AYUSH has approved the product efficacy.

 

2.       Ayurwin Pharma Pvt. Ltd. (Nutrigain plus Range of Products): The advertisement’s claim, “Skinny to Fit Body”, was not substantiated with evidence of product efficacy. The claim is misleading by exaggeration.

 

EDUCATION:-

The CCC found following claims in the advertisements by 149 different advertisers were not substantiated and, thus, violated ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions. Hence complaints against these advertisements were UPHELD.

1.       United Group of Institutions: - The advertisement’s claims, “Ranked No.1 private engineering college in U.P by Jagran Josh” and “Recognised by Forbes India as amongst “25 places to study in India”, were not substantiated with supporting data.  The claims are misleading by exaggeration.

 

2.       AISECT University:- The advertisement’s claims, “Ranked No.1 private University in central India by careers 360”,  “World education award 2016 (Dubai)”,  “World education award 2015”,  “ASSOCHAM excellence in education award 2014”,  and “NIELIT award 2014 and Shiksha Ratna award 2012”, were not substantiated with supporting data.  The claims are misleading by exaggeration.

PERSONAL CARE:-

1.       Godrej Consumer Products Ltd. (Godrej No. 1 Soap): The advertisement’s claims, “Godrej No.1 mein hai teen chauthai haldi, chandan aur anya prakrutik tatva……” was inadequately substantiated. Also the audio of the advertisement as well as the supers appearing in the advertisement are misleading giving an impression that the predominant / significant ingredients in the product are turmeric and sandal.  

 

2.       Zee Laboratories Limited (Myfair Fairness Forever Cream): The advertisement’s claims, “India’s Most Promising Brands 2016” and “Asia’s Greatest Brands and Leaders”, were not substantiated with details of the awards as well as references of the award such as the year, source and category for the awards received. The advertisement is misleading by exaggeration and omission of a disclaimer to qualify these claims. Further the claim, “Over 1,00,00,000 Sold”, was not substantiated with supporting evidence or by a third party validation, and is misleading by exaggeration. Also the claim, “Medically Proven”, was not substantiated with clinical evidence and is misleading. Furthermore, the pack visual showing the transformation of the model’s face from dark to fair is misleading by gross exaggeration.

FOOD AND BEVERAGES:-

1.       Gloss Protein Whey: The advertisement’s claims, “Boosts the immune system”,  “Promotes fat loss”,  “Improves heart health”,  “Promotes healthy insulin secretion”,  “Promotes rapid healing of wounds”, “improves cognitive performance”,  and “build stronger bones and muscles”, were not substantiated with clinical evidence of product efficacy, and are misleading by exaggeration.

 

2.       Gloss Mass Gainer: The advertisement’s claims, “Increase fat mobilization & decreased body fat”, and “Accelerate muscle tissue repair”, were not substantiated with clinical evidence of product efficacy, and are misleading by exaggeration.

 

 

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