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ASCI upheld complaints against 82 out of 124 ads in April 2014

Out of these 82 advertisements, 44 belonged to the Personal and Healthcare category. The ‘upheld rate’ in this category was over 95 per cent

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Mumbai | June 27, 2014

asci-logoIn April 2014, ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against 82 out of 124 advertisements. Out of these 82 advertisements, 44 belonged to the Personal and Healthcare category. In fact, the ‘upheld rate’ in this category was over 95 per cent (46 advertisements were complained against; 44 complaints were upheld).

Health & Personal Care

The CCC found the following claims in health and personal care product or service ads of 44 advertisers, released in the press 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 ads also contravened provisions of the Drug & Magic Remedies Act.  Complaints against the following advertisements were UPHELD.

1.        Hindustan Unilever Ltd: The advertisement of Axe Extra Strong claims that Axe has a crazy effect on women. The ‘NSFW Make Them Strip’ video shows women turning into nymphomaniacs after smelling the deodorant. The TVC shows indecent depiction of women which is likely in the light of generally prevailing standards of decency to cause grave or widespread offence.

2.        Bright Lifecare (Healthkart Plus) : The complainant  cited that a disturbing advertisement on FM radio that suggested that customers must download this free mobile app, Healthkart Plus. It mentions a diabetic being happy about finding alternatives to his medicines which cost Rs.2000 but because of this app he was able to find alternatives and bring the cost down to Rs.800. Doctors specialize in fields such as endocrinology for a reason. It is irresponsible to have ads asking people to find substitutes with similar salts, especially for a problem like diabetes.

3.        Sthul Har Capsule: The advertisement Sthul Har Capsule claims of reducing weight - Reduces belly, reduces obesity and weight and makes body light and fit.

4.      Hezbotech India: The advertisement of Zero Mark claims that by applying Dr. Thapar's Fair n Beauty Sundari and fair up cream one can become fair in 30 minute. Black complexion becomes fair and fair complexion becomes softer and brings glow and shine on the face. Wash face with Dr. Thapar's Fair & beauty face wash and apply pimple eater on different pimples with different fingers and see result in 4 days.

5.       Dr. A’s Clinc: The advertisement claims that Dr. A’s Clinic gives “BEST of the BEST” result worldwide in hair transplant. The clinic reported 427 verified and uninterrupted results in 10 years and overall top ranked No.1 hair transplant clinic in the world.

6.       Kunanath Pharmaceuticals: The advertisement of Musli Power Xtra claims that it is  official licensee for Health Power Delhi Commonwealth 2010. And the visuals in the ad and on pack shots imply that the product is meant to enhance sexual pleasure.

7.       H Dhari Shah Pharmacy: The advertisement of Calm- Hi Tablet claims that Calm - Hi Tablet helps in getting rid of high blood pressure. Backed by Ayurveda treatment it is completely safe with no side effects. It has 7 kinds of pure herbs ingredients and has over lakhs of satisfied patients.

8.      Enhance Clinic: The advertisement claims that Enhance Clinic is the World's Best Hair Transplant Clinic”, “The World's Best Aesthetics Clinic".

9.      Kerala Ayurvedic Health Care: The website advertisement claims to reduce 8 to 10 kgs of weight within 28 days. The web content appears to be misleading.

10.    Urintone Ayurvedic Capsule: The advertisement claims that Urintone Ayurvedic capsule has ayurvedic solutions which help in treating prostrate glands / knot and requires neither an operation nor does it have any side effects. Even though today there are advanced treatments available which has temporary medicines but it has some side effects. In some cases it has led to impotency. The ad claims that many people have got relief from the problems of prostrate glands/knots through Urintone. Urintone Ayurvedic Capsule is a tonic for every male which has no side effect. It’s not mere medicine, it’s an innovation.

11.     Jalan Healthcare: The advertisement claims that one can lose 15kgs in 60 days of treatment. Only place in Pune that offers weight loss with a written money back guarantee since 2009. No diets, no exercise, no blame game and no side effects.

12.    Maharishi Badri Pharmaceuticals: The advertisement claims that Nari X Capsules helps in curing weakness due to leucorrhoea, physical-mental tiredness, raktalpata, infirmity of pulses, weakness of heart etc. The other product named “V Tight Gel –helps in tightening vaginal walls and enhances sensitivity during sexual intercourse. Helpful in vaginal compression”.

13.    Tara Homeopathy Clinic: The advertisements claims to get rid of hair problem with 100% result.

14.    Jolly Pharma: The advertisement of Jolly Tulsi claims that Jolly Tulsi is made of the extract of five types of Tulsi. Every drop of Jolly Tulsi 51 removes bad elements from the body and naturally increases immunity. Sure shot treatment for more than 200 diseases.

15.    Venus Remedies: The advertisement of Ezenus claims to be world’s first anti-stress herbal candy.

16.    Nine Star Brands: The advertisement of Protect Life claims that the product Protect Life is the perfect cure for people addicted to alcohol and also helps in curing addiction to any health condition of person too. It also provides various health benefits in human beings.

17.    Life Slimming and Cosmetics: The advertisement claims that they are pioneers in non-surgical liposuction. Before and after visuals are misleading.

18.    Marico Ltd: The advertisement of Nihar Naturals Shanti Amla claims that “It is one of the fastest growing Hair Oil Brands in the country.

19.    Nisargalaya Herbal (Roop Nisarg Cream Gel): The advertisement claims that the product gets rid of pimples, dark circles, pigmentation and blemishes. Reduces dark circles around the eyes. Reduces wrinkles and rejuvenates the skin.

20.    Detox: Advertisement claims of losing 6-20 inches from Tummy, Thighs, Arms and Hips. Expect guaranteed results with no pain, and no surgery. Visuals are misleading.

21.    Homeocare International: The advertisement claims that it gives treatment for Diabetes, Thyroid problems, Back, Neck and Joint Pains, Sex Problems, Infertility, Hormone Problems and Asthma Problems. Claims to be leaders in world-class homeopathy.

22.   Nisarga Ayurvedic Medicine Research Center: The advertisement claims that for first time in the world they can prevent heart attack. Proud to save ‘Heart without Surgery’.

23.   Manoj Vaidyasalai: The advertisement claims 100% cure from diabetes. People suffering from diabetes for many years and are in critical stage will get 100% cured within few months. No side effect in the medicine. If any wound is there due to diabetes it will be cured completely within fifteen days. So there is no need of surgery on wounds due to diabetes.

24.   Indira Infertility & Test Tube Baby Centre: The advertisement claims that more than 1900 couples have successfully conceived from Test Tube baby technique in last 3 years. Approved by government of Rajasthan.

25.   Mind and Soul Care Clinic: The advertisement claims complete relief from stress and depression. Guarantees prevention throughout the future in just 2 hours.

26.   Stammering Relief Centre: The advertisement claims of curing stammering in just two weeks of treatment. Many successful treatments since 11 years. Patients have started seeing differences on the third day itself. 100 % guarantee.

27.   Lotus Eye Hospital & Institute: The advertisement claims of 1 Crore eyes thanking lotus.

28.   Oriflame India (Oriflame Optimal White): The advertisement claims that Oriflame Optimals White has oxygen active that boosts skin cell respiration. It is World Exclusive Patented Antioxidant Technology that shields your skin against environmental stress on a cellular level - Oxygen Boost.

29.   Dr. Batra’s Homeopathic Clinic: The advertisement claims that more than 1.41* lac skin cases successfully treated. The success rate for “’Psoriasis (Scaly Skin)” has been 90% and for “White Patches” it has been 89%”.The experience of treating over 1.41 lac skin cases - (AQA) has super: *Certified and Authenticated by AQA.

30.   Shathayu Ayurveda: The advertisement claims that Psoriasis is curable. As it is known to the medical field that Psoriasis is incurable but at Shathayu ayurveda with its continuous research since 1901 has come out with a promising treatment which gives a complete cure from it. Its treatment comprises special detoxification process combined with a traditional blend of herbal medicines. Patients with more severe psoriasis may have social embarrassment, job stress, emotional distress, and other personal issues because of the appearance of their skin.

31.    Shathayu Ayurveda: The advertisement shows a testimonial for diabetes that cannot be cured and advertises and publishes the same on the website. A disorder that cannot be cured is claimed to be cured on the internet to attract patients.

32.   Vardhan Ayurvedic Organisation: The advertisement claims of successful treatment of liver problems. They provide successful treatment of kidney stones without operations and help in quitting alcohol. They also provide successful Ayurvedic Treatment of STD - Impotence - Premature Ejaculation.  The Ayurvedacharya's of Chandigarh's famous Ayurvedic institute Vardhan Ayurvedic  have made a sure shot medicine for successful ayurvedic treatment of all types of diseases  like nightfall, impotency, premature ejaculation, small penis, semen in urine, heat etc.  This medicine has proved successful in curing any type of STDs due to any reason and at any age.  It has got first position for increasing sex time, full passion in organ, desired time, shape of the organ and sperm count. If sagginess is seen due to sugar diseases unbelievable benefit can be found by consumption of this medicine for a few days.

33.   AOA Health –De (Addiction Capsule):  The advertisement claims of quitting alcohol without any side effect or else get money back.

34.   Abhijay Hospital (Abhijay Reproductive Care & Research Centre): The advertisement claims complete solutions for all Infertility treatments.

35.   Brihans Natural Products (Cleancomb Lotion Hair Loss): The advertisement claims that Cleancomb has improved formulation and has popular natural anti Hair loss solution for 10 years.  It has been proven to stop hair loss in men and women.

36.   Diawin Mutli Speciality Siddha Hospital: The advertisement claims  to treat stone and pile problems; claims to cure it completely within seven days by using herbal treatment and those with surgery treatment can also be cured though our treatment.

37.   Vishwas Hospital: The advertisement claims of losing 6 inches off the waist in 2 hours. No More Cellulite. Reduce weight with injection.

38.   Patna IVF &Endo Surgery Centre: The advertisement claims of one stop solution for all InfertilityProblems.

39.   Suyash Stone clinic & lithotripsy: The advertisement claims to give permanent solutions for all types of stones.

40.  R S Hair Life Care: The advertisement claims to get rid of baldness in 1 hour. Have solutions of stopping hairfall in just 15 days. End spots marks freckles - acne pimples - unwanted hair moles warts and remove permanent tattoo with the help of laser. Visuals are misleading.

41.    Looks Cosmetics Clinic: The advertisement claims for stem cell treatments.

42.   Marico Ltd: The website advertisement of Nihar Naturals Shanti Amla claims to keep hair looking youthful for long. But what does keeping hair youthful for long mean? Does it mean keeping it black or lustrous or thick?  The quality of hair depends on lot of things like lifestyle, diet, hair care, genetic factor and medical condition. All these factors together determine the characteristics of a person’s hair.

43.   SG TEL-Telemarketing-Swamarishi: The (So Slim) advertisement claims of keeping you slim and healthy forever with 100% result. You can lose weight without any dieting. It reduces the thyroid and weight which happens due to thyroid. Controls diabetes and reduces constipation and gastric problems. It claims to reduce vath and joint pains.

44.    Godrej Consumer Products (Godrej Expert Rich Crème Hair Color):   Advertisement claims “Aa gaya Best ever hair color – Godrej Expert Riche Crème” which is not qualified by any disclaimer or super. The claim has been creating a deceptive impression that it is the “best ever hair color” while it is not substantiated with any supporting data.  Advertiser should produce comparative data from independent Third party sources against ALL HAIR COLOURS in the world.

·         There is a deliberate attempt to mislead and confuse the gullible consumers by using the term “best ever”, thereby creating an impression that this product gives much more benefits than and that it is absolutely superior to, all other hair colours available in the market.

·         The claim “Best? Haan, kyunki isse naapna nahi bas mix karo aur lagao”, is misleading,  because there are multiple Crème Hair Color products available in the market within the country and internationally which do not require to be measured  before being used.

·         The claim “Best! Kyunki doosre hair colors ki tarah iss main ammonia nahi hai” is untrue, unqualified, and needs substantiation.  There are multiple products available in the markets which are ammonia free.

·         The claim “Baal rahe damage free” with the disclaimer “Prayogshala protocol ke anusaar prayogshaala ki stitthiyon  main godrej expert rich crème hair color ke liye ammonia yukt hair color ke mukable tannan Shakti ke anusaar baalon ke  fiber ko huye nuksaan ke ghareloo moolyankan dwaara prapt jaankari par aadharit” is contradictory and not substantiated.

·         Their disclaimer is illegible and contradictory to the said claim. Despite the fact that the claim is absolute by stating “damage free”, the study to substantiate the claim has been done on only one category of hair colors i.e. hair color containing ammonia. Such inadequate study, not including ammonia-free hair colors, is clearly not sufficient to support the absolute claim, especially when the said product is claiming itself to be “Best Ever” and also “Ammonia free”.  The advertiser should present scientific and technical data to prove the claim of “No Damage” and also be called upon to provide data on comparison of the product with ALL other hair colors available in the markets all across the globe including non-ammonia & ammonia containing hair color products.

·         The claim “Best!  Kyunki iss main hai aloe aur milk protein” is disparaging, misguiding and needs substantiation.  Advertiser needs to provide scientific & technical evidence that “Aloe” & “Milk Protein” at the exact concentration present in the formulation of the Product would provide such benefits so as to make the said Product the “BEST HAIR COLOR” in the world.

 

Education:

The CCC found following claims in print advertisements by 21 different advertisers were not substantiated and thus, violated ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions and hence the complaints against these ads were UPHELD –

1.       International Management Institute (IMI):  The advertisement claims that IMI is ranked No.2 among private institutions. As per ranking survey done by National HRD Network. Excellent 100% placements for PGDM students.

2.       Bharath University: The advertisement claims that it is one of the Top 10 Universities as the Best Multi stream university in India.

3.        Times Centre for Learning: The advertisement of Timespro claims that get a top job in banks even before you start to learn banking.

4.      Himalai Classes: The advertisement claims that if one joins the institute, he/she will become an IAS officer. The advertisement for IAS / IPS coaching, contains statements such as – ‘pass the exam and become the most powerful person in India’, ‘Conquer your destiny so you can conquer India’. The advertisement claims that by joining the institute one will clear the exam.

5.       Ace Edutech: Advertisement claims 100% Fees Back If Don't Qualify NATA. This was not substantiated

6.      ACE Engineering Academy: The advertisement claims it is the only institute which has secured all India 1st rank 24 times.

7.       Arjun Classes: The advertisement claims of written guarantee return of full fees if not selected.

8.      Lakshya Career Academy: The advertisement claims money back guaranteed

9.      Nehru Group of Institutions: The advertisement claims Ranked no.1 in Calicut University for last couple of years. Ranked 5th among B-schools of Kerala by the Week Hansa Survey. Guarantees 100%. W

10.    Seth M.R Jaipuria School: The advertisement claims a Rank of No. 2 in UP-Education World. Ranked 9th in India-IMRB.

11.     Vidyul IAS Academy: The advertisement claims that it is Haryana’s No. 1 coaching institute.

12.    Career Defence Academy: The advertisement claims that Rajasthan Police –Selection Agreement Batch starts from 24th March. Refund of entry fees if not selected.

13.    GLA University: The advertisement claims that the University is No. 3 in India.

14.    Satguru Classes: The advertisement claim to provide a certificate within 60 Days for SSLC, +2, Diploma, BTech, Degree, MBA, MCA.

15.    Seed Infotech Pvt. Ltd.: The advertisement claims to provide placement to 2600 in last 12 months with a 100% job guarantee.

16.    CL Ltd. Educate: The advertisement claims that out of 1637, 1044 students were selected in CLAT. The results published in the advertisement appear to be unverified and misleading.

17.    Dr. D Y Patil Vidyapeeth: The advertisement claims that the Vidyapeeth is Ranked A++ by Business India. Ranked among Top 100 B-schools in India by Dalal Street Journal. Most Promising B- School by Brand Academy .Ranked 57th in India, the Week and has given 100% Placements in past years.

18.    Institute of Financial Banking: The advertisement claims that “Get your banking Career started in 60 minutes.”

19.    Smt. Shakuntala-Educational and welfare society-Galgotias University: The advertisement claims that Galgotias University was ranked among the Top Institutions of India with 100% placements.

20.   Krutagnata Career Point: The advertisement offers a money back guarantee scheme.

21.    Punjab University-(University Business School): The advertisement claims to be India's No.1 University.

Food & Beverages:

1.        Pink Papaya Foods: The advertisement of Subway has disclaimers/written information on the screen but in very small font, illegible and unreadable. The CCC viewed the TVC and concluded that the disclaimers/supers in the TVC, and the content / text shown in the last frame of the TVC were not legible. The complaint was UPHELD.

2.        Rajguru Global: The advertisement of Ret Shrilal Mahal Empire Basmati claims to introduce minimal sugar fat and cholesterol free rice. Exclusively treated and processed to produce healthiest rice available in market with minimal sugar and fat content. Lead a Healthy Life with Shree Lal Mahal Rice. In the absence of comments from the Advertiser, the CCC concluded that the claims made in the Ad were not substantiated. The complaint was UPHELD.

3.       Adani Wilmar: The advertisement of Fortune Rice Bran Health shows a kid talking about how her dad is the healthiest. The advertisement is in Hindi and the disclaimers are in English. The CCC concluded that the disclaimers/supers in the TVC, were not legible.  The CCC concluded that the Ad contravened the ASCI Guidelines on Supers dated December 2013.  The complaint was UPHELD.

4.      Naga Limited: The advertisement of Naga Bubbly Bubbly Maida shows that consuming maida would make young children energetic and bright. In the absence of comments from the Advertiser, the CCC concluded that the claims in the TVC were not substantiated. The complaint was UPHELD.

Others:

1.        Ascent Meditech: The advertisement of Flamingo Orthopaedic is about an orthopedic heating belt. It revolves around a hospital scene where a baby girl is born but the father does not go to see her. On probing by his relative he says he can't get up because of a back problem. Ad is disrespectful to girl child as a girl's birth is shown in negativity here. The man's situation or the advertised product has no relevance to a child's birth and the event of a girl's birth has unnecessary been shown in a negative aspect which is very offensive to the general public. The CCC viewed the TVC and considered the Advertiser’s response.  The CCC concluded that the TVC unnecessarily poses a question for the protagonist, emphasizing and perpetrating discrimination and bias against a girl child. The complaint was UPHELD.

2.       Life Insurance Corporation: The advertisement show unreadable content on screen. Even though there was an oral disclaimer that was read-out / called-out in the advertisement, it was spoken at a rapid pace which makes it difficult to understand / register what it meant. The CCC viewed the TVC and considered the Advertiser’s response.  The content / text shown in the last frame of the TVC was not legible, and the mandatory audio in the TVC was played too fast and was not comprehensible.  The CCC concluded that the Ad contravened the ASCI Guidelines on Supers in text and recommended that the audio mandatories should be at the speed of six syllables per second.  The complaint was UPHELD.

3.       Vimal Pan Masala: The radio advertisement clearly claims that Vimal Pan Masala is the world’s largest selling pan masala which is said with enough pause and clarity. But the statutory warning is read out in an unclear manner. Such products need to have a statutory warning in the ads they air. The advertisements on radio channels in Bangalore both 94.3 radio one and 93.5 red FM has the warning after the advertisement which is garbled. One cannot understand what is being said. It does not serve the purpose. The CCC heard the Radio spot, and concluded that the mandatory audio in the Radio Ad was played too fast and was not comprehensible.  The CCC recommended that the audio mandatories should be at the speed of six syllables per second.  The complaint was UPHELD.

4.      Tata Sky: The advertisement of Tata Sky Karaoke Application shows a male actor dressed in blue t-shirt is shown making fun of beggars who have leprosy and are visually challenged. The sequence happens when one lady in the ad is singing and this actor starts imitating the people whose hands get damaged by the leprosy. The ad derides people who have leprosy and people who are visually challenged and show them in poor light. They need not make fun of anyone and should focus on creating promos which are truly humorous, funny but not at the cost of playing with the sentiments of people. The message which goes out to innocent children while watching this advertisement is that it's acceptable to humiliate and make fun of someone as long as one gets benefitted. The CCC viewed the TVC and considered the Advertiser’s response.  The CCC concluded that the TVC derides “people who have leprosy and people who are visually challenged” and shows them in poor light. The complaint was UPHELD.

 

5.       Jasper Infotech: The advertisement of Snapdeal.com shows a house maid using her sexuality to get things she wants, shows women in poor light. It shows house maids in very poor light. They are professionals who are struggling to make a living, and they mostly suffer from sexual harassment at the workplace. To show it in lighter vein and to reinforce stereo types is objectionable. The CCC viewed the TVC and considered the Advertiser’s response.  The CCC concluded that the “portrayal of a maid using her sexuality to get the things she wants”, shows women in poor light which is likely to cause grave or widespread offence. The complaint was UPHELD.

 

6.      ICICI Bank (Corporate Banking Services): The advertisement claims that  ICICI Bank Corporate Banking Services offers 24 hour customer care services. However when you ring the number they say they only open from 8 AM to 8PM. The CCC concluded that the claim, “ICICI Bank Corporate Banking services offers 24 hour customer care services.”, is misleading. The complaint was UPHELD.

 

7.       HDFC Bank: The advertisement of HDFC Bank Personal Loan says: Getting married, leaving for a vacation or buying your new home? Whatever your need, you can say goodbye to financial worries. HDFC Bank takes care of all your needs with best-in-class benefits and experience for Personal Loans. Borrow upto *Rs. 15 lacs / Special loan offers for working women / Transfer your existing personal loan to us at 12.99%* interest rate / Speedy loan approval / No Guarantor/ Security / Collateral required .The subject states, “Pre Approved Personal loan – Disbursal in 48 Hours”. At the bottom of the mailer it says that the loan is at the sole discretion of the Bank. If one says it is pre-approved then the meaning is that the necessary checks have been done prior to sending the e-mailer. Post that what is needed is the necessary documentation. This has not been stated in the advertisement. The factual position is that the bank treats this mailer only to lure prospective loan seekers. There is no pre approval of the loan. If there is no pre approval and each loan application is treated on its merits then using the header pre-approved personal loan appears to be misleading the recipient. The CCC concluded that the e-mailer Ad distorts facts and the word “pre-approved” creates a wrong impression and is misleading.  The complaint was UPHELD.

 

8.      Tata Teleservices: The advertisement of Tata Docomo has disclaimers / written information on the screen but in very a small, illegible and unreadable font.  The CCC viewed the TVC and concluded that the disclaimers/supers in the TVC, and the content / text shown in the last frame of the TVC were not legible.  The CCC concluded that the Ad contravened the ASCI Guidelines on Supers.  The complaint was UPHELD.

 

9.      Aschir Events: The advertisement of Rang De mentions availability of Bhang counters at a Holi bash. Bhang is a cannabis derivative and is a banned substance. Youngsters can easily be tempted by such ads to believe that it is acceptable to use these addictive drugs. In the absence of comments from the Advertiser, the CCC concluded that the Ad contravened the ASCI Code (“Ads shall not propagate products, the use of which is banned under the law”).  The complaint was UPHELD.

 

10.    Marriot International: The advertisement of Java+Courtyard claims that Wednesday evening is a time for drinks for all ladies between 4pmto 7pm. On Monday, a surprise gift also awaits. The ad was misleading by omission of conditions applicable. The CCC concluded that the claim offer, “Wednesday – Eve’s Time Drinks for all ladies are on us 4pm to 7 pm” and “Monday – A surprise gift awaits you.”, was misleading by omission.  The complaint was UPHELD.

 

11.     Lux Industries Ltd: The advertisement of Onn Premium Wear shows Shah Rukh Khan sitting on an open railway track waiting for a train. When The Government of India is spending crores of rupees for creating awareness to not cross railway tracks or squat on the track, this ad makes a mockery of the campaign and endangers the safety of the passengers as this ad is encouraging such irresponsible behaviour and manifests disregard for safety. In the absence of comments from the Advertiser, the CCC concluded that the Ad without justifiable reason shows a dangerous practice of “a man sitting on an open railway track waiting for a train”, and manifests a disregard for safety. The complaint was UPHELD.

 

12.    Godrej & Boyce Mfg. Co.  Ltd: The advertisement of Godrej Locks claims to commoditize women, indicating that with age they become useless and that a man must upgrade to a newer model. In the absence of comments from the Advertiser, the CCC concluded that the Ad copy read in conjunction with the visual of a woman shown in the Ad, is demeaning to women and shows them in poor light.  The complaint was UPHELD.

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