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ASCI upholds complaints against 12 ads in March-April 2012

Complaints against TV ads reduce while complaints against print ads continue. Two ads of Dainik Jagran pulled up. Even Vodafone comes under fire

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | May 16, 2012

During March and April 2012, the Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of ASCI (Advertising Standards Council of India) upheld complaints against 12 advertisements, most of them in the healthcare and/or personal hygiene sector. During this period CCC also did not uphold complaints against 12 other ads.

Euro Fashion Inners received complaints against its print ad in newspapers across the country.  As per the complaint, the advertisement shows ‘naked men holding cockerels against their pelvic region while asking ‘what’s your size’?’ This advertisement was seen as being obscene and seriously offensive to public decency. CCC concluded that the ad was indecent, vulgar and repulsive and the complaint was upheld and the advertiser was asked to stop the campaign.

The complaint against Sareen Hair Clinic’s ad was upheld for being misleading. The ad stated: “Hair re-growth – also treatment for hair falling, baldness, alopecia, and thinning of hair. Non surgical hair replacement – painless, totally natural, completely undetectable, look younger in just 120 days, surgical hair replacement – get your hair back naturally in just 1-day procedure.” The advertiser did not provide any proof or supporting clinical information, neither were any details provided on reports of tests/trails conducted from an independent recognized testing institution.

Fit and Fine Slimming Centre and Beauty Clinic was under the scanner for its ad which claimed that “Reduce up to 5 kg, Lose up to 15 inches with Ultra Lypolysis Program, Advanced treatment free.” The advertiser failed to provide data or supporting technical information to substantiate these claims. The complaint was upheld.

Fair Pharma was pulled up for its ad which stated: “Cancer – We open for you the door back to life.” The claim implies assuring consumers of curing cancer, which is a false claim. Since the advertiser failed to respond to ASCI’s letter and in the absence of supporting clinical information, it was concluded that the ad could be misleading and cause widespread grievance.

The advertisement of Smart Careers (BBS/BBA) was upheld as its claim of “guaranteed College Admission” was not backed or substantiated with data or evidence.

Similarly, the ad of Career Launcher (IIM Calls) was pulled up for the claim “24 YLP admits in ISB.” In the absence of any verification of claims from an independent body, CCC concluded that the ad contravened chapter 1.1 of the code.

Stoss Welle Healthcare came under fire for its ad which stated: “Many suffer from erection related problems/ pre-mature ejaculation/ leakage of urine/ difficulty in urination. Are you one of them? Obtain desired results with the help of latest proven state-of-the-art non surgical Swiss Technology.” CCC concluded that the claims were not substantiated and upheld the complaint.

Shree Baidyanath Ayurved Bhavan P Ltd’s ad for Rheumartho Gold Capsules stated that “Enriched with most effective swarna bhasma and salal guggul; Offer lasting relief from backache, joint pain, muscular pain, etc; Helps to treat the root cause of pain and Helps to regain the flexibility of joints”. In the absence of adequate clinical information, CCC concluded that the claims were not substantiated.

In April, two ads of media house Dainik Jagran were pulled up for being false and misleading. The ads claimed: “Haryana mein Dainik Jagran 2 guna Dainik Bhaskar se”. Dainik Jagran has used the data of readership in Faridabad and implied all-state leadership. As a standard practice, while comparing two publications, city data cannot and must not be referred to as state data. The CCC noted that the claim “Haryana mein Dainik Jagran 2 guna Dainik Bhaskar se” was not made on the basis Average Issue Readership (AIR), which was considered misleading.  On another occasion, the Jagran ad which stated that the daily is “Haryana’s No. 1 newspaper” was also pulled up for misleading readers by using visual aids to create the illusion of its leadership and gap with other newspaper brands. Complaints against both these print ads were upheld for being false and misleading.

Vodafone, which is known for its excellent taste in advertising, was under the radar in April for its TVC which depicted schoolgoing kids getting attracted towards each other and falling in love. CCC concluded that the sexualised subtext of young teens being attracted to one another was likely to cause grave and widespread offence, and thus upheld the complaint.

Pernod Ricard’s print ad on Absolut Kher shows the visual depiction of a ‘bottle’ which is suggestive of a well-known liquor brand – Absolut. CCC concluded that the depiction of the bottle with the titles ‘Absolut’ was in violation of the ASCI code as it propagated a product the use of which is banned under the law.

During March, CCC also received complaints against two ads of Perfetti Van Melle, and one each against Gulf Oil India, HUL’s Vim Detergent Bar, Cadbury’s Perk chocolate, Johnson’s Baby Top-To-Toe Wash, HUL’s Close Up toothpaste, Parle Mango Bite, Uninor, HUL’s Axe Shower Gel, and Tata Chemical Ltd’s Tata Swach water purifier. As these advertisements did not contravene ASCI’s codes or guidelines, the complaints were not upheld.

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