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ASCI upholds complaints against 9 offending ads in May 2012

The guilty ads include Brooke Bond Red Label Natural Care Tea, Lokmat – No. 1 Newspaper, Glenmorangie’s print ad, Nikon camera TVC, Shree Maruti Herbal

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | July 13, 2012

During May 2012, the Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of ASCI upheld complaints against nine out of 14 advertisements. At the same time, CCC found that complaints against five TV ads were not substantiated.

The complaint against Brooke Bond Red Label Natural Care Tea was upheld. According to the complainant, the ad claimed that the product “has a scientifically proven combination of five ayurvedic ingredients like tulsi, ashwagandha, mulethi, ginger and cardamom to strengthen your body’s defence”, “it helps to protect you and your family from cold, cough and flu”, and that “it is clinically shown that drinking three cups of Brooke Bond Red Label Natural Care daily helps enhance one’s immunity”. CCC concluded that the claims that Brooke Bond Red Label Natural Care “helps to protect you and your family from cold, cough and flu” and “drinking three cups daily helps enhance one’s immunity” were not substantiated adequately.

The complaint against IMS – Score more at BBA/BBS was upheld. The ad that appeared on its website claimed that “143 IMS students got selected into SSCBS in the year 2011”. The  ad shows a “bar chart showing selection of IMS students into SSCBS over the years 2008 to 2011”. CCC concluded that in the absence of validation by an independent agency/Chartered Accountant, the claims cited in the complaint were not substantiated.

The complaint against Tata Sky’s print ad which appeared in The Hindu, Chennai edition, dated March 30, 2012, was upheld. The ad stated that “Cable is just a Dabba”, meaning non-standard or poor quality box, which is not a fact.  CCC concluded that the ad unfairly denigrates other products.

The complaint against Lokmat – No. 1 Newspaper ad was upheld. The ad claimed that “Lokmat has added 65,000 readers in SEC A segment in Pune”. They have not mentioned the period over which this growth has been attained, which in itself is misleading. As per IRS 2011 Q4, Lokmat has added only 5,000 SEC A readers in Pune city. CCC concluded that the claim “Lokmat has added 65,000 readers in SEC A segment in Pune” was misleading.

The complaint against Glenmorangie’s print ad which appeared in Conde Nast India in the February 2012 issue was upheld. The ad states: “Why is it so important that we only use our casks twice? Taste Glenmorangie and the question becomes rhetorical.” The visual depiction of the brand name is suggestive of a well-known brand of liquor – Glenmorangie. In the absence of specific information, CCC concluded that it was a surrogate ad for a liquor brand.

The complaint against Alchemist’s claim of being “India’s most successful MBA prep” was upheld. It has not been backed up and substantiated and there is no validation/check by any independent agency that confirms this claim.

The complaint against Shree Maruti Herbal’s print ad on “Maruti Stay – On Capsules & Oil” was upheld for claiming it “helps improve vitality, stamina and energy”. The website also claims “Stay-On guarantees – Sexual performance of adults in all age groups”,  “Rectifying temporary/partial/occasional or permanent  erectile dysfunction”,  “Increasing the extent of orgasm”,  “Augmenting libido”,  “Increasing the lengh & size of penis”,  “Mending premature (early & sudden) ejaculation”,  “Enhancing vitality, vigor and stamina”,  “Stay-On is 100% natural with no side-effects”, “It is a totally secure tested product”. The claims in the print ad and on the website are not substantiated and do not provide any scientific data related to the safety and efficacy of the product. CCC concluded that the claim, “helps improve vitality, stamina and energy”, was not substantiated.

Jake’s Beauty-Spa-Salon & Academy received a complaint related to its design and copy. It is similar to the complainant’s advertisement of “Schnell Hans Salon Spa & Academy”. CCC concluded that the headline “Your Passport to Success” was similar to the complainant’s ad and thus suggested plagiarism.  The complaint was upheld.

The complaint against the Nikon camera ad was upheld. According to the complainant, the TVC required permission from the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) for the use of birds in ads or films. In the application by Nikon, permission was asked for four sparrows to be shown in their natural habitat with a girl playing and passing through. In reality, the birds turned out to be cockatiels which are being used as toys by the girl and perch on her shoulders among other things. CCC concluded that as the requisite permission was not received from AWBI to shoot cockatiels in the TVC, it was in violation of The Performing Animals Registration Rules 2001.

During May, CCC also received complaints against five television commercials which it did not uphold. The ads are: Midas Care’s Clean & Dry Cream, Sprite Cold Drink, Emami’s Fair & Handsome for Men, Gillette Mach 3 and Extra Strong Axe.

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