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Sharp increase in complaints received by ASCI in July 2012

Since NAMS’ inception, ASCI has received 131 complaints in just one quarter which is about 76 per cent of the total complaints received (177) in the last one year

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | October 4, 2012

The newly-introduced NAMS system is already producing results. Every month, thousands of advertisements in major languages are examined by ASCI (Advertising Standards Council of India) and its affiliates, and the ones that are likely to violate the ASCI Code are placed before the Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of ASCI. As a result of this system, the number of ads examined by CCC has more than doubled from an average of less than 15 every month to 38 in July 2012. Since NAMS’ inception, ASCI has received 131 complaints in just one quarter which is about 76 per cent of the total complaints received (177) in the last one year.

During July 2012, the CCC upheld complaints against 25 out of 38 advertisements. During the same period, CCC did not uphold complaints against 13 ads. There was an increase of misleading claims in the education, healthcare, FMCG and food sectors in July.

Complaints upheld

Hindustan Unilever: Pepsodent Germicheck Magnet: As per the complaint, the TVC claims that Pepsodent Germicheck Magnet toothpaste “is better than the well-known toothpaste”. This comparative superiority claim has no basis and is false and misleading.  Such a claim cannot be made based only on a consumer study unless it is clinically proven. The advertiser has no basis to claim that its toothpaste is superior to the well-known toothpaste, unless such claim is supported by a published peer-reviewed clinical study done for the products on a head to head basis. CCC concluded that the survey report submitted by the advertiser does not substantiate the claim made in the advertisement that ‘Pepsodent Germicheck Magnet toothpaste is better than the well-known toothpaste’. The ad contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code.

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare: Boost: The TVC claims that “the consumption of Boost not only increases oxygen consumption but gives three times more stamina”.   The TVC depicts that by merely consuming Boost one can achieve the stamina levels of a sportsman without emphasizing the need for consuming a balanced and fortified diet or without any additional effort or sports training. These claims are misleading.  The TVC seeks to make a disclaimer that “Based on an independent study conducted on a group of school children who consumed Boost, performed three times better on the endurance test (from baseline) as compared to the control groups”.  This disclaimer does not relate to the claim that “the consumption of Boost increases oxygen consumption in the body”, and thus continues to be misleading. The advertiser should provide clarification with adequate substantiation of these claims. The CCC concluded that the claim, “Boost gives 3 times more stamina”, is misleading by reason of ambiguity. The advertisement contravened Chapter I.4 of the Code.

Jyothy Labs: Maxo Max Power Liquid: The TVC claims that just one drop of Maxo is enough to get rid of mosquitoes. The advertiser needs to substantiate the claim with proof. The CCC concluded that the claim “one drop of Maxo is enough to get rid of mosquitoes”, was not substantiated.   The advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code.  CCC noted the advertiser’s assurance that an appropriate disclaimer would be added to give clarity to the claim.

Hindustan Unilever: Ponds  Gen  White: The TVC claims that Ponds Gen White is the first cream which adapts to skin type and gives spotless fairness. The advertiser needs to substantiate these claims with scientific and comparative data. CCC concluded that the claim that Ponds Gen White “gives spotless fairness”, was not substantiated adequately. The ad contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code. 

Career Launcher: Classroom Program: The print advertisement’s claim “80+ Selections in CS Prelims’11” has not been backed and substantiated with data/evidence. Also, there is no validation by any independent agency that confirms this claim. CCC concluded that the claim “80 + Selections in CS Prelims’11” was not substantiated. The advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code.

Ranbaxy Laboratories: Revital Woman: As per the complaint, the print ad claims that Revital Woman is a daily health supplement, it has balanced combination of 12 vitamins, 18 minerals and ginseng which fights weakness, fatigue and tiredness, keeps physically active and mentally alert, maintains healthy hair, skin and nails, strengthens immunity and promotes bone health, take care of general body ache and pains, helps manage daily stress better. The advertiser needs to substantiate the claims with supporting clinical information and with details of reports of tests/trials conducted by an independent recognised testing institution. CCC concluded that in the absence specific scientific data, the claims made in the advertisement and cited in the complaint were not substantiated. The advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code.

Knorr: Knorr Soupy Noodles: The TVC claims 1 crore children like Knorr Soupy Noodles. The advertiser needs to provide statistical proof in substantiation of the claim. The CCC considered the data submitted by the advertiser, and concluded that the claim ‘1 crore children like Knorr Soupy Noodles” was not substantiated adequately and thus contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code.

Euro Fashion: Euro Fashion Inners: The TVC shows “still photographs of three muscularly and sturdily built men, without any clothes and with their crotch area covered with a cock, a melon, a drum shaped object and a guitar respectively. A background voice suggestively runs, “What’s your size?” The TVC offends decency and appears to be vulgar and suggestive. CCC concluded that in the light of generally prevailing standards of decency and propriety, the TVC was likely to cause grave or widespread offence. The ad contravened Chapter II of the Code. CCC noted the advertiser’s advice that the campaign concluded in mid-June and the said commercial is not on air presently.

Flair Writing Instruments: Flair Writo Meter Pen: The promotion message on the pack of Flair Writo Meter Pen claims that Flair “is the longest writing pen in the world”, “World’s first pen which writes 10,000 meters non-stop”. These claims need to be substantiated with comparative data. CCC considered the reports submitted by the advertiser and concluded that the claim “Flair Writo meter writes 10,000 meters non-stop” was substantiated. This complaint was not upheld. However, in the absence of comparative data, the claims “World’s first pen” and “longest writing pen in the world” were not substantiated. The promotion messages on the pack contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code. The complaint was upheld.

Oriental Group of Hotel Management Institute: As per the complaint, the print advertisement claims that it is the Best Hotel Management College in Asia; it is India’s Best Hotel Management Institute and gives 100% track record with attractive salary. These claims need to be substantiated. CCC concluded that the claims mentioned in the advertisement and cited in the complaint were not substantiated adequately. The advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the code.

Nimson International: Fair and Kwick Fairness Cream: As per the complaint, the print ad claims that Fair and Kiwi Fairness Cream cleans the face deeply, removes spots, softens the skin, protects skin from harmful rays and daily use removes wrinkles and dark spots. The above 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 CCC concluded that, in the absence of technical data, the claims made in the advertisement and cited in the complaint were not substantiated. The ad contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code.

Shopping India Times: The print advertisement is luring customers to purchase the product through telephone.  Those who purchase by using credit card are entitled to get free Indiatimes gift coupon worth Rs 250. The advertiser cannot or is unable to fulfil the promises printed in the advertisement.  The advertisement is false and misleading. CCC noted the correspondence between the advertiser and the complainant and concluded that the inordinate delay in sending the promised gift coupon did not amount to an unintentional lapse in the fulfilment of the advertised promise. The ad contravened Chapter I.7 of the Code.

Tara Homeopathy Clinic: As per the complaint, the print ad claims that, getting hair on a bald head is no longer a dream as Tara Homeopathy Clinic grows hair naturally in few days. This claim needs to be supported with scientific and other necessary data. The CCC concluded that, in the absence of scientific data, the claim “Getting hair on a bald head is no longer a dream”, was not substantiated and was misleading. The advertisement contravened Chapters I.1and I.4 of the Code and upheld the complaint. CCC noted the advertiser’s assurance that the said claim will no longer be used in their advertisements.

Umalaxmi Organics: Sugar Remedy: As per the complaint, the print advertisement claims that Sugar Remedy is a natural diabetic medicine. It is as effective as standard allopathic medicine, without any side effects, it is totally vegetarian and gelatine free. The sugar level comes back to the normal level with regular 21 days’ use. The advertiser needs to substantiate these claims with supporting clinical information and with details of reports of tests/trails conducted by a recognised testing institution. CCC concluded that the claims made in the advertisement and cited in the complaint were not substantiated. The advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code.

Dhathri Ayurveda: Dhathri Hair Care Range: As per the complaint, the print advertisement claims that, Dhathri Hair Care Plus Herbal Oil stops hair fall, it gives nourishment till the roots of the hair and stops hair fall within few weeks, contains high percentage of dye content which acts as a natural agent in hair colour, indigofera tentoria, bajeracoeniji, datura metal, cardiosperumhelikakadum and other 21 ayurvedic herbs are added in pure coconut oil to prepare Dhathri hair oil. Dhathri Fair Skin Cream brings back your natural Fairness, Dhathri Fair Skin Cream helps in removing darkness on face, dark circles and darkness in area around neck, Dhathri Fair Skin Cream does not contain bleaching agent and contains turmeric, Lotus petals and Juyi and Dhathri Fair Skin Cream protects skin from sun and ultraviolet rays. The Advertiser needs to provide scientific proof to substantiate the above claims. The CCC concluded that the claims mentioned in the advertisement and cited in the complaint were not substantiated. The advertisement contravened Chapter 1.1 of the Code.

Western Institute of Technology: As per the complaint, the print advertisement claims that Western Institute of Technology offers Diploma and degree of highest demand in the global market, it has given 100% placement to all its batches of hotel and hospitality students and it has placed many students in more than 40 locations/companies- MRPL, MCF, ONGC,BASF, Plantech, UPCL, South Korean construction, Hamon Shriram Cottrell, Mercedes, Hotel Taj, Oberoi Hotels, Hotel Gateway, Toyo Engineering, KIRBY building system, ARAMCO, ADCO, Venigum, Dyn-Corp, Afghanistan, CSA& AMEC, Kuwait, Roam works, Dubai, National Training Institute Oman, Weatherford, Saudi Arabia, etc. The advertiser needs to provide comparative and other necessary data to prove these claims. CCC concluded that in the absence of comparative data, the claim that it has the “highest demand in the global market” was not substantiated.  The advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code. 

Cosmetic Surgery Clinic: The print advertisement claims that, after hair transplant there will be a natural growth of hair. They also claim that with liposuction there will not be any reformation of fat in the body. The advertiser needs to provide scientific proof and supporting clinical information with details of reports of tests/trails conducted by an independent recognised testing institution. The CCC concluded that the claims mentioned in the advertisement and cited in the complaint were not substantiated. The advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the code.

Yash Ayurvedic & Non-Surgical Clinic: The print advertisement claims that Yash Ayurvedic & Non-Surgical Clinic cures diabetes within 90 to 120 days, give relief within 7 days from knee and joint pain, treats asthma and piles in 10 days, increases 5 kg weight within 28 days, it decreases 7 kg weight within 28 days, makes you fair and removes scars in 40 minutes and is 100% Ayurvedic. The advertiser needs to substantiate these claims with supporting clinical information and with details of reports of tests/trails conducted by an independent recognised testing institution. CCC concluded that the claims mentioned in the advertisement and cited in the complaint, were not substantiated.  The advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code.

Fenfuro: The print ad claims that FENFURO is a first of its kind product derived from a single herb with proven results for maintaining blood sugar levels. Scientific research behind the product supports the non-toxicity of the product. The product is scientifically processed without affecting the chemical properties of the active ingredient to give maximum benefit. The people regularly using FENFURO have been benefited significantly resulting in: ‘reduction of insulin intake to a large extent’, ‘in many case intake of insulin is no longer required’, ‘dosage of OHA have reduced drastically’, ‘HbA1c level reduced from high risk level to recommended level of < 7%’.These claims need to be substantiated with supporting clinical information and with details of reports of tests/ trails conducted by an independent recognised testing institution. The CCC concluded that the claims mentioned in the advertisement and cited in the complaint, were inadequately substantiated.  The advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code.

Ayurved Bhavan: The print advertisement claims that one can see an effect in seven days after treatment from Ayurved Bhavan and also reduction in creatinine and urea, fastest increase in haemoglobin. CCC considered the lab reports of a few patients sent by the advertiser, and concluded that the claims mentioned in the advertisement and cited in the complaint, were inadequately substantiated. The ad contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code.

Footwear Design & Development Institute: The print ad claims a 100% placement record with leading corporates in India and abroad. This claim needs to be substantiated. The CCC concluded that the claim, “100% placement records with leading Corporates in India and abroad” was not substantiated.  The advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code.

Thew Kavery Engineering College: The TVC claims that Kavery Educational Institution gives 100% job placement. The advertiser needs to substantiate the claim. The CCC concluded that the claim of “100% Job placement” was not substantiated and was misleading as only ‘eligible’ students were placed. The advertisement contravened Chapters I.1 and I.4 of the Code.

Dhupar Sales Org India: Passport Spray: As per the complaint, the TVC shows “a mother sending her young son for delivering some gifts to the neighbour who is a young adult lady.  She opens the door on arrival of the boy. She then seduces him and takes him inside the house.  After a while the mother is shown at the door enquiring about her son, and the son is putting on his clothes. The ad “has crossed all limits of vulgarity”. The advertisement will have a bad impact on children. CCC concluded that “in the light of generally prevailing standards of decency and propriety, the TVC was likely to cause grave or widespread offence”. The ad contravened Chapter II of the Code. CCC noted the advertiser’s assurance that they have modified the TVC appropriately.

Jegson Innovative Industries: Veg Fru Wash: The TVC claims that Veg Fru Wash kills pesticides, bacteria and viruses from all fruits and vegetables. The advertiser needs to provide scientific proof for the claim that Veg Fru Wash kills all pesticides, viruses and bacteria. They also need to prove that the vegetables and fruits are fit for human consumption after product usage. The CCC concluded that the claim Veg Fru Wash “kills pesticides, bacteria and viruses from all fruits and vegetables” was not substantiated. The ad contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code.

Dr. K.K.K. Gowtham International School: The TVC claims that Dr. KKR to be No. 1 in IIT exam clearance. It also claims that all the students of Dr. KKR Gowtham International School will clear the 1st stage of IIT exam at any cost. The advertiser needs to provide comparative and statistical data as proof in substantiation of the claim. The CCC concluded that in the absence of comparative data, the claim “No.1 in IIT exam clearance” was not substantiated. The ad contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code.

Not Upheld

During the month of July, CCC also received complaints against three print advertisements and 10 television commercials. The complaints were received against the ads of Smart Prep’s Guidance & Expert Training’, Nestle Neslac’, Brainwork’s Learning Systems, Eshwar Trust’, UTV Stars, Lovable Lingerie, Fast Track Bags, Vivel Active Fair, Aquaguard, Dettol Liquid Hand Wash, Vera Mustard Oil, Himani Navratna Extra Thanda and AVJ InfoTech. However, as these advertisements did not contravene ASCI’s codes or guidelines, the complaints were not upheld.

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