Processes for the first time ever a complaint against SMS ad. Health & Personal Care and Education were the main categories that continued to make misleading claims
BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | June 25, 2013
In April 2013, ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against 40 advertisements. Health & Personal Care and Education were the main categories that continued to make misleading claims and come under the scanner of the CCC. Health & Personal Care sector leads with a whopping 52 per cent (148 out of 287) complaint upheld in the first four months of 2013.
ASCI is proactively strengthening its awareness to cover ads in every media form. One such step was taken in April this year when, for the first time, it received and upheld a complaint against an SMS ad sent out by Hardcastle Restaurants for McDonald’s.
Health & Personal Care:
The CCC found the following claims in Health & Personal Care product or service ads released in (newspapers) the press to be either misleading or false or not adequately/scientifically substantiated and hence violated Chapter I of the ASCI Code. Some of the Healthcare products or services ads also contravened the provisions of the Drug & Magic Remedies Act. Complaints against the following ads therefore were UPHELD:
The CCC found following claims in print ads by 12 different advertisers were not substantiated violating the ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions and hence the complaints against the ads were UPHELD:
Ganesh Wheat Product Pvt Ltd: Ganesh Atta’s print advertisement claimed that they are ‘processed through reverse osmosis, Ganesh bajra Atta and Ganesh Makkai Atta, prevent several health hazards and give you more nutritious and delicious rotis every day, Bajra (pearl millet) and Makai (Maize) are processed through water purified by reverse osmosis which makes the rotis more wholesome’. These claims need to be substantiated. In the absence of comments from the advertiser, the CCC concluded that the claims mentioned in the advertisement were not substantiated. The advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code. The complaint was UPHELD.
Aqua Corporation: Aqua Pure Guard Water Purifier’s print advertisement claimed that it is ‘World's No.1 water purifier’. This claim needs to be substantiated. In the absence of comparative data from the Advertiser, the CCC concluded that the claim, ‘World's No.1 water purifier’, was not substantiated. The advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code. The complaint was UPHELD.
Hardcastle Restaurants Pvt. Ltd: - McDonald’s promotional SMS shows ‘McVeggie or McChicken FREE on order of Rs. 200/- above with McDonalds. Mention coupon code MCD07 while ordering, valid till 7/1/13. Call Now 66000666. T & C.’ The complainant was at the McDonald counter at the Food Court, Inorbit Mall, Malad(West) on 6/1/2013 and was informed that this SMS was sent purely for home delivery ONLY.
According to the complaint, (The) the SMS advertisement that McDonalds sent was totally misleading. It simply said “call now” and not that it applies only for “Home Delivery”. The CCC concluded that the advertisement - SMS was misleading by omission, as it did not mention that the offer of a free McVeggie or McChicken applies only to Home Delivery. The advertisement - SMS contravened Chapter I.4 of the Code. The complaint was UPHELD.
Pernod Ricard India P. Ltd: Jacob’s Creek, the print advertisement is a promotion of a liquor brand. Advertising of liquor is prohibited is prohibited by most States. The CCC concluded that the communication was an Advertorial pertaining to a Surrogate product. The complaint was UPHELD as it contravened the Brand Extension Guidelines as mentioned in Chapter III.6 of the Code.
Dr. Nigam’s Health Pvt Ltd.: Dr. Nigam Hair Multiplication’s “Dr. Nigam” has been tarnishing the brand of RichFeel and maligning it in their ads. The brand has also been deliberately using RichFeel’s brand template colour and a misrepresented brand look alike logo (RichFeel’s logo has two E’s, one of which is a mirror image of the other) as well, besides picking up scientifically proven points pertinent to RichFeel in their communication and negatively portraying the brand. The CCC concluded that the advertiser has made unjustifiable use of the name of Richfeel and taken unfair advantage of the goodwill attached to its trade mark and goodwill acquired by its advertising campaign. The advertisement contravened Chapter IV.2 of the Code. The complaint was UPHELD.
Akansha Hair & Skin Care Herbal Unit Pvt Ltd: Akansha Sukhparash’s advertisement claimed that it‘makes your face fair and removes wrinkles from your face’. After reviewing the advertisement and advertiser’s response, the CCC concluded that the claim, “makes your face fair”, was not substantiated. The advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code. This complaint was UPHELD. After reviewing the advertisement, the CCC realized that the ad does not claim to remove wrinkles from face, this complaint was NOT UPHELD.
During the month of April, the CCC also received complaints against 11 other advertisements. The complaints were received against the advertisements of Aviva Life Insurance Company India Ltd, Euro Fashion Inners International (P) Ltd - Euro Briefs, Great Eastern Management School - GEMS B School, Hindustan Unilever Ltd - Comfort 1 Rinse Fabric Conditioner, Keya Seth’s Ayurvedic Solution - Keya Seth’s Umbrella Sunscreen Lotion, Kaleesuwari Refinery Pvt Ltd - Gold Winner Sunflower Oil, Mankind Pharma Ltd -Manforce Condom, McNROE Consumer Products P. Ltd - Wild Stone Deodorant, Piaggio Vehicles Pvt Ltd– Vespa, Times Business Solutions Ltd - Magicbricks.com, United Spirits Ltd – Kingfisher. However, as these advertisements did not contravene ASCI’s codes or guidelines, the complaints were NOT UPHELD.