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ASCI upholds complaints against 25 ads in June 2012

Claims made in ads of education, healthcare, FMCG and F&B categories under the radar

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | September 7, 2012

The Advertising Standards Council of India’s (ASCI) National Advertising Monitoring Service (NAMS) which started operating from May 2012 has significantly increased the number of ads coming under scrutiny of the Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) during June 2012. Out of 38 ads against which complaints were lodged, CCC upheld complaints against 25, most of which were from the education, healthcare, FMCG and F&B sectors. These ads are being tracked on TV and newspapers nationally by NAMS. During the period, CCC did not uphold complaints against 13 ads while decision on one ad was kept pending.

Career Launcher’s Powerful Prep Program: According to the complainant, the ad claims “DU BBS/BFIA: 212 calls, AIR 3”, “HM: 100% Success of CL students in JEE”, “CLAT:  18/Top 20 and 79/Top 100 Ranks”, “NLU Delhi: 54/70 Seats”, “NLU Orissa: 73/124 selections”. The advertiser should substantiate these claims with data/evidence and with validation/check by an independent agency that confirms these claims. CCC concluded that the claims “CLAT:  18/Top 20 and 79/Top 100 Ranks”, “NLU Delhi: 54/70 Seats”, and “NLU Orissa: 73/124 selections” were substantiated through validation by a chartered accountant. The claims “DU BBS/BFIA: 212 calls, AIR 3”and “HM: 100% Success of CL students in JEE” were not substantiated.  The complaint was upheld.

T.I.M.E. BBS/BCA/HM/LAW: According to the complainant, the ad claims “Largest number of full time faculty members”, which is not supported by any validation by an independent agency.  This claim needs to be substantiated with duly validated supporting data from a third party. In the absence of duly validated supporting data from a CA or a third party, CCC concluded that the claim “Largest number of full time faculty members” was not substantiated. The complaint was upheld.

Institute of Apparel Management: The print ad claims that “Past placement in Best-in-Class Companies & 100% placement assurance”. The advertiser did not provide the list of companies where their students were placed nor did they provide details of students to prove 100% placement.  CCC concluded that the claims were not substantiated adequately. The complaint was upheld.

NIPS School of Hotel Management: The print ad claims that it is the No. 1 Hotel Management Institute in Eastern India - Competition Success Review 2012; it holds the Best Global Placement Record; Top Hotel Management Institute in India- by CSR 2012; it has won a place in 4 Limca Asia & India Book of Records; it is Kolkata's Best Hotel Management College 2012 - Brands Academy by 2011, 2012; it has won Worldwide Hospitality Award – Paris; and it has a 5-star campus. These claims need to be substantiated with relevant data. CCC concluded that “It is the No.1 Hotel Management Institute in Eastern India” as listed by the Competition Success Review magazine is true.  This complaint was not upheld. But CCC found that the claim that it is the “Best Global Placement Institute” is misleading as the Institute only received Best Placement Award. This complaint was upheld. The award of a certificate in the category Best Training Programme was given in 2003 and hence cannot be used in today’s context. This complaint was upheld.

Nalanda Institute of Advanced Studies: In the print ad, the advertiser claims that “it offers Training & Placement in India & Abroad”, “it has the Highest Campus Recruitments”, “Special Certification from UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE, State of the Art Campus” and “100% Job Guarantee”. As there was no substantiation of the claims, the complaint was upheld.

Lovely Professional University: The TVC claims this university to be “India’s largest university” in terms of on campus students. The advertiser needs to provide comparative data of other leading universities to prove that it is the largest in India. CCC concluded that the claim was not substantiated adequately, and upheld the complaint.

Leonardo Olive Pomace Oil: The print ad claims that Leonardo Olive Pomace Oil  “Fights cholesterol & heart disease”, “Lowers blood pressure”, “Controls and prevents diabetes” and “Fights cancer”. Pomace Olive Oil is produced by solvent extraction and has polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) which are both mutagenic and carcinogenic. This is contradictory to the claim made for Olive Pomace oil in fighting cancer.  Additionally, the health benefits of olive oil are from Extra virgin olive oil due to its antioxidant content, which is not present in Pomace Olive oil.  Hence misleading claims are portrayed about the benefits of consuming Pomace Olive oil. The complaint was upheld.

Kwality Walls Selection: The advertorial makes a clear mention of Kwality Walls Strawberry and Cheesecake as being ice creams, when in reality they are frozen dessert.  Ice creams are made of real fresh milk and are a complete food high in proteins, calcium, dairy cream and vitamins.  On the other hand, frozen desserts are made with vegetable oils / fats and do not contain the nutrients naturally found in milk. Moreover, there is no clause or any caveat explaining the use of the term ice cream. The advertorial is misleading the consumer. The complaint was upheld.

Amul Ice cream: The communication in the leaflet shows a “Kwality Walls” cup to depict frozen dessert as the words “feel it say it” can clearly be noticed from the picture of the cup on the leaflet.  The communication is tantamount to generic disparagement of frozen dessert as a category in general and Kwality Walls Frozen Dessert in particular. The communication further tries to pass off ice creams as a complete food which is easy to digest and full of energy. It is categorically stated no food can be termed a complete food, much less an ice cream.  CCC noted the contents of the ad and checked the advertiser’s response and concluded that the ad did not denigrate the complainant’s product. This complaint was not upheld. However, the portrayal of ice cream as a “complete food” was misleading and the complaint was upheld.

Cadbury Chocolates: The TVC shows “a group of boys and girls (apparently senior students) ragging two junior boys”. This is in very bad taste.  It is illegal to show and encourage ragging in any form. The advertisement is clearly in breach of the Maharashtra Prohibition of Ragging Act, 1999 as it directly / indirectly propagates ragging. The complaint was upheld. In light of the complaint received, the advertiser developed a condensed version of the said TVC and removed the offending line “Meri Mummy kehtihai ragging se dosti badhti hai”. They have been airing only the condensed version since the month of June.

Lotus Mustard Oil: The TVC claims that Lotus Mustard oil “has natural flavour with omega 3 & 6”   “reduces cholesterol”. The advertiser needs to provide scientific proof in substantiation of these claims. The advertiser only provided lab reports certifying the composition of the product and not scientific proof of the efficacy of the product.  In the absence of scientific evidence, the CCC concluded that the claims were not substantiated. The complaint was upheld.

TV 24 Shopee India Dr. Tea: The TVC claims that Dr. Tea “Increases the metabolism.  It destroys the stubborn fat groups, breaks down fat and makes it burn”, “It strengthens the Immune system. Melts body fat boosts energy and clears skin, giving your face a clear, radiant glow”.  “It makes the skin firm, smooth and delicate with a variety of nutrients and vitamins”. In the absence of supporting clinical information from the advertiser, CCC concluded that the claims mentioned in the advertisement and cited in the complaint were not substantiated. The complaint was upheld.

Om Healthcare Centre’s Good Health: The print ad claims that the “use of the product will result in relief from joint pains and piles in 7days”, “Underweight persons become healthy in 30 days”, “treatment for Diabetes with results  in 30 days”, and “successful treatment  through natural medicines”. These claims need to be substantiated with supporting clinical information and with details of reports of tests/ trials conducted by independent recognised testing institutions. CCC concluded that the claims were not substantiated, and the advertisement contravened The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act. The complaint was upheld.

Perma Healthcare’s Seatone: The print ad claims that GLME is made from pure extract of New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel. According to a marine scientist, "GLME is a marine natural product that contains components such as anti-inflammatory agents, immune modulators and many essential building blocks, helps to maintain joint mobility". Over 30 years of research combined with the experience of arthritis sufferers worldwide has indicated a success rate of about 75% in most arthritis conditions and aids joint health by inhibiting the deterioration of cartilage, aids joint mobility by improving joint lubrication, Inhibits inflammation and swelling, is gastro- protective (stomach friendly), enhances natural vitality, and reduces injury damage for athletes. These claims need to be substantiated with scientific proof and other tests and data. CCC concluded that the advertisement contravened The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act. The complaint was upheld.

Natural Medicine: The print ad claims that it is a sure cure for Diabetes (Sugar), Renal Problems (Kidney), Obesity (Over Weight) and Psychological Problems. These claims need to be substantiated with scientific proof. In the absence of supporting clinical information from the advertiser, the CCC concluded that the claims mentioned in the advertisement and cited in the complaint, were not substantiated. The complaint was upheld.

Dainik Bhaskar: The hoarding claims that Dainik Bhaskar “is 3 times of Dainik Jagran” and quoted false circulation figures both for themselves and for Dainik Jagran and also did not mention any source in their ad. Dainik Bhaskar has claimed that their circulation is 26566 and DainikJagran circulation is 7800. CCC noted that the claim “Dainik Bhaskar is 3 times of Dainik Jagran” was made on the basis of MIS (what is MIS?) figures and not on the basis of Average Issue Readership (AIR), which was considered misleading.  The complaint was upheld.

Sesa Hair Oil: The print ad claims that “Sesa Hair Oil is 5 times MORE (??) effective”, “Sesa Oil/ Shampoo/ Capsule contains 18 herbs, 5 nutritious oils and milk extracts that helps in overcoming hair problems such as: hair fall,  low volume hair, weak hair, dandruff, dryness and rough hair”. These claims need to be substantiated with supporting clinical information and with details of reports of tests/ trials conducted by an independent recognised testing institution. CCC concluded that the claims mentioned in the advertisement, and cited in the complaint were not substantiated adequately. The complaint was upheld.

Slim Life: The print ad claims that “weight loss of up to 5 KGs in 1 month, naturally”, “It offers 100% natural meal replacement”,   “24 [24 WHAT??} essential, it is Clinically proven and it helps you stay hunger-free up to 6 hours”. These claims need to be substantiated with supporting clinical information and with details of reports of tests/ trials conducted by an independent recognised testing institution.  The complaint was upheld.

Kirloskar Proprietary: The TVC starts by showing “some engineers and builders standing on a hill from where a lake is visible in the background.  The only thing which stands in the way of their dream development project is the lake and predictably, one of the builders hits upon the million dollar idea – hire Kirloskar to relocate the lake”. This ad actually encourages builders and promoters to tamper with the environment whenever environmental concerns stand in the way of lucrative real estate projects. CCC concluded that the desire to implement suggestion to relocate the lake would tamper with the environment, which is likely to cause grave or widespread offence. The complaint was upheld.

Parachute Advansed Coconut Hair Oil: The print ad claims that “I have the World’s Best Hair and so do you”, “International hair research has found that Parachute Advansed users have the World’s Best Hair”. Claiming that Parachute Advansed users have the world’s best hair is a superlative claim. The quality of hair does not depend only on hair oil.   The advertiser should provide scientific evidence in support of the claim on the parameters of thickness, softness, length, damage resistance and strength. CCC considered the technical data and concluded that the claim that its users have the “World’s Best Hair”, is misleading. The complaint was upheld.

Luminous Battery/Inverter: The TVC claims that “Luminous Batteries give more backup when compared with other batteries”. The advertiser needs to provide proof in substantiation of this claim with comparative and other necessary data.In the absence of supporting scientific proof from the advertiser, the CCC concluded that the claims mentioned in the advertisement and cited in the complaint, were not substantiated.  The complaint was upheld.

Leads Bariatrics: The TVC claims “to give a scar less weight loss surgery”. The Advertiser needs to substantiate the claim with scientific proof.The CCC concluded that the promotion of weight loss surgery is an oversimplification of the remedy to reduce weight.  The claim, “Gives a scar less weight loss surgery”, is misleading.  The complaint was upheld.

Pure Roots Gold Cream Bleach: The TVC claims that Pure Roots Gold Cream Bleach has pure gold added in it.It also claims to remove dead cells and opens pores and gives instant glow in just ten minutes. The advertiser needs to provide scientific proof to substantiate this claim.In the absence of supporting clinical information from the advertiser, the CCC concluded that the claims mentioned in the advertisement and cited in the complaint, were not substantiated. The complaint was upheld. On receiving a complaint from ASCI, the advertiser has already modified the ad.

Third Eye of Nirmal Baba: Te TVC of “Third Eye of Nirmal Baba” is not suitable for public exhibition and it encourages superstition and blind belief among common people. The CCC concluded that the TVC is likely to encourage superstition as well as it is likely to lead to grave or widespread disappointment in the minds of the consumers.  The advertisement contravened Chapter I.5 of the Code.  The complaint was upheld.

Videocon Air Conditioner: The print ad claims that “Your daily dose of good health from Videocon air conditioners”, “Vita Air technology releases Vitamin C into the air”, “Vitamin C filter boosts immunity”, “Ionizer improves room freshness”, “Anti-bacterial filter eliminates bacteria and filters dust particles”, “Auto clean prevents bacteria formation”, “Gold Fin Evaporator prevents formation of bacteria, fungus and bad odour”. The advertiser needs to substantiate these claims with technical comparative data. In the absence of comments from the advertiser, CCC concluded that the claims mentioned in the ad were not substantiated. The complaint was upheld.

Smart Prep Education’s Guidance & Expert Training: Smart Prep claims that its faculty has “delivered 5 out of top 10 Ranks and 46 out of top 100 ranks in BBS’11”. Smart Prep should submit detailed evidence / independent substantiation to validate its claim. KEPT PENDING. CCC considered the data submitted by the advertiser.  The claim can be considered substantiated subject to a spot check by the ASCI Secretariat.

Not upheld: During June, CCC also received complaints against two print advertisements and 10 television commercials. The complaints were received against the ads of Smart Prep Education Pvt Ltd.’s Unique Training System’, Kamal  Toordal, Uninor, Airtel, Indica 10 minutes Herbal Hair Colour, Fiat Punto Sport, Ayur Sunscreen Lotion, Nasivion, Fiama Di Wills’s bathing bar, Sanofi Seacod, New Extra Strong Axe and Mahindra Duro 125 DZ. However, as these ads did not contravene ASCI’s codes or guidelines, the complaints were not upheld.

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