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ASCI upholds complaints against 40 ads in April

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:

  • Naaz¬†India Company:¬†Naaz¬†Fat Cut Granuals¬†in their advertisement claimed that they are a¬†‚Äėnew invention regarding obesity‚Äô,¬†‚Äėresult of 10 years of hard work of doctors‚Äô,¬†‚Äėno side effects on body‚Äô, ‚Äėbody does not become over weight or¬†underweight‚Äô,¬†‚Äėskin becomes tighter, youthful, beautiful &doesn‚Äôt¬†loosen¬†again‚Äô,¬†‚Äėstomach becomes flat for sure‚Äô,¬†‚Äėgovernment recognized medicine‚Äô,¬†‚Äėexpert doctors of¬†Naaz¬†India health care company have made¬†Naaz¬†cut granules for complete fat reduction & it is approved by Government Ayurveda department of India‚Äô.
  • Sagar¬†Dispensary‚Äôs¬†advertisement claimed¬†that¬†‚ÄėDr. S.A. Ali is an expert in STD‚Äô. ‚ÄėTreats patients with problems like less sperms, impotence & provides complete and¬†permanent¬†cure‚Äô, ‚Äėour¬†successful treatment¬†has cured lakhs of disheartened patients and given them new life‚Äô.
  • Anant¬†Clinic‚Äôs¬†advertisement claimed¬†that it¬†‚Äėprovides¬†successful cure of male infertility‚Äô,¬†‚Äėinternal weakness‚Äô,¬†‚Äėpremature ejaculation erectile dysfunction‚Äô,¬†‚Äėchildlessness‚Äô,¬†‚Äėskin disease‚Äô,¬†‚Äėpsoriasis and tumour¬†in breast‚Äô.
  • GM Pharmacy:¬†Sadabahar¬†Sugar¬†Free‚Äôs¬†advertisement claimed¬†that¬†‚ÄėSadabahar¬†sugar free¬†is a diabetes¬†killer powder‚Äô, ‚Äėmost effective medicine in diabetes‚Äô.
  • Nature Green Herbal Care‚Äôs¬†advertisement claimed¬†that, ‚Äėit increases¬†time of your sexual activities‚Äô, ‚Äėmade with miraculous¬†desi¬†herbs‚Äô, ‚Äė100% result, and no side effect‚Äô.
    • Herbal Icon India:¬†Trugesic‚Äôs¬†advertisement claimed¬†that it¬†‚Äėhelps to¬†get¬†rid of kidney stones in just 9 day course‚Äô,¬†‚Äėmagical¬†ayurvedic¬†medicine‚Äô.
    • Alshifa¬†Churna‚Äôs¬†advertisement claimed¬†that it¬†gives ‚Äėresult in 10 days of extra fat¬†reduction on stomach‚Äô, ‚Äėgets you relief from constipation, sugar, high blood pressure, gas, acidity and¬†piles without operation‚Äô.
    • Sarkar Dispensary‚Äôs¬†advertisement claimed¬†that it¬†‚Äėis the Best¬†Ayurvedic¬†clinic of 2011‚Äô
    • NCP Herbal:¬†Sovolin¬†Ayurvedic‚Äôs¬†advertisement claimed¬†that¬†it ‚Äėgives soft, smooth and silky skin with the touch of¬†Sovolin¬†which other cannot give‚Äô.
    • IPSA Labs¬†Pvt¬†Ltd.:¬†Eraser¬†Ayurvedic¬†Skin Cream‚Äôs¬†advertisement claimed¬†that it¬†‚Äėis a mixture of 8 essential herbs which removers every kind of spots from your face and skin‚Äô.
    • Musli¬†Sakthi¬†Herbals¬†Pvt¬†Ltd.:¬†Musli¬†Sakthi‚Äôs¬†advertisement claimed¬†that¬†there‚Äôs¬†‚Äėno need of¬†Viagra now‚Äô,¬†‚Äėfirst time in the world¬†Musli¬†Sakthi¬†in silver¬†colour¬†powder form‚Äô.¬†‚ÄėComplete result within 7 days‚Äô,¬†‚Äėhappiness in sex¬†and immediate solution for the sex problems‚Äô.
    • Gogaji¬†Hair & Skin Care Centre:¬†Gogaji¬†Hair Oil‚Äôs¬†advertisement claimed¬†that ‚ÄėGogaji¬†Hair Oil stops baldness, stops hair fall.‚Äô
    • Stammering Cure Centre¬†advertisement claimed¬†that¬†the¬†centre ‚ÄėPartha¬†Bagchi¬†(world¬†leader in stammering cure since 22 years) cures stammering in 12 days.‚Äô
    • R K Herbals Pharmacy‚Äôs¬†advertisement claimed¬†that¬†‚Äėthis formula is 400 years old and has been used by the¬†Nawabs¬†and the Maharajahs to enhance their sexual life.‚Äô¬†‚ÄėIt improves vitality, increases volume and quality of semen, helps in treating erectile dysfunction.‚Äô
    • Raj Power¬†Capsules‚Äôs¬†advertisement claimed¬†that¬†‚Äėrelief to sex weakness in males within 2 hours‚Äô, , ‚Äėnervous weakness‚Äô, ‚Äėquick disposal of sperms‚Äô, ‚Äėinability to enjoy long time sex‚Äô, ‚Äėsex effects due to diabetes to cure all these problem‚Äô.
    • KPR¬†Herbals‚Äôs¬†advertisement claimed¬†that¬†‚ÄėSex weakness in men and all sex related diseases can be cured by Power Booster‚Äô, ‚Äėnot interested in sex‚Äô, ‚Äėcouldn't achieve complete satisfaction in sex‚Äô, ‚Äėerotic¬† problems‚Äô, ‚Äėfast disposal of¬†¬†semen while on sex‚Äô, ‚Äėcouldn't satisfy sexually your mate‚Äô, ‚Äėweakness of sperms all these can be cured through our herbal medicine treatment‚Äô.
    • Lotus Granges (India) Ltd:¬†Scent Soft Bio‚Äôs¬†advertisement claimed¬†that¬†‚Äėit¬†is made to eliminate objectionable¬†odour¬†with helpful microbes, which digest bad smell‚Äô.
    • Naaz¬†India Company:¬†Naaz¬†Hair¬†Up¬†Oil‚Äôs¬†advertisement claimed¬†that it ‚Äėstops hair fall‚Äô, ‚Äėprovides successful cure of baldness‚Äô.
    • Kamboj¬†Foods¬†Pvt¬†Ltd:¬†Kamboj¬†Proper Diet‚Äôs¬†print advertisement claimed¬†that¬†‚ÄėBenefits of¬†Kamboj Proper Diet 100% Natural QPM¬†grain are that, it¬†helps you rid of obesity and weakness, increases IQ and immunity power, makes your married life happy, keeps IT professionals away from stress.‚Äô


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:

  • Lakhani¬†Academy¬†advertisement claimed that ‚ÄėLakhani¬†Academy will give 100% fees refund, if students fail in IPCC/CPT.‚Äô
  • Indian Institute of Learning & Advanced Development‚Äôs¬†advertisements claimed¬†‚Äė100% assured placement‚Äô, ‚Äėearn back¬†upto¬†100% of course fee‚Äô.
  • Maharishi¬†Basant¬†Tutorials¬†in its advertisement claimed¬†that¬†‚Äėguaranteed success program for IIT-Jee,¬†else 100% fee¬†refunds‚Äô.
  • Alchemist‚Äôs¬†advertisement¬†claimed¬†that¬†‚Äėit¬†has more than 22 students in 99 percentile and 78 students in 95 percentile‚Äô.
  • Mukils¬†English Academy‚Äôs¬†advertisement claimed¬†that it ‚Äėprovides¬†100% job guarantee on all courses‚Äô.
  • IT‚ÄôS THE Education Group,¬†Sai¬†National¬†Intuition of Technology (SNIT)‚Äô¬†&¬†Tulip India‚Äôs advertisement claimed¬†that they ‚Äėprovide¬†100% placement‚Äô.
  • Fastrack¬†Institute of Technology‚Äôs¬†advertisement¬†claimed, ‚Äė100% Job Guarantee‚Äô¬†&¬†‚Äė100% Course Completion Guarantee‚Äô.
  • Swami¬†Vivekanand¬†Institute of Technology‚Äôs¬†advertisement claimed¬†that¬†it ‚Äėprovides¬†200% placement.‚Äô ¬†
  • Saffron¬†Eduworld¬†Pvt¬†Ltd:¬†Saffron¬†Eduworld¬†Coaching‚Äôs¬†advertisement claimed¬†‚ÄėJEE 100% guaranteed result or money back.‚Äô
  • INPTC¬†advertisements¬†claimed¬†‚Äė100% placement‚Äô &¬†‚ÄėINPTC-
  • Mahatma Tutorials:¬†The advertisement claimed¬†that¬†Mahesh Tutorials¬†‚Äėprovides 100% success guarantee‚Äô.
  • Subhash Bose¬†Institute of Hotel Management:¬†The advertisement¬†claimed¬†that¬†‚Äė273 out of 273 students were placed in 2012‚Äô by the institute.
    • Amity University:¬†In the ‚ÄėMBA 2013 Admission Notice‚Äô print advertisement, the Amity University is showing its rankings given by ‚ÄėBusiness Today‚Äô and ‚ÄėThe Economic Times‚Äô without providing the details of the years of ranking¬†which is misleading.

Other FMCG:

Ganesh Wheat Product¬†Pvt¬†Ltd:¬†Ganesh Atta‚Äôs¬†print advertisement¬†claimed that they are¬†‚Äėprocessed 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‚Äô.¬†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.

Consumer Durables:


Aqua Corporation:¬†Aqua¬†Pure¬†Guard Water Purifier‚Äôs¬†print advertisement claimed¬†that it¬†is ‚ÄėWorld's No.1 water purifier‚Äô. This claim¬†needs to be substantiated.¬†In the absence of comparative data from the Advertiser, the CCC¬†concluded that the claim, ‚ÄėWorld's¬†No.1 water purifier‚Äô,¬†was not substantiated. ¬†The advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code. ¬†The complaint was¬†UPHELD.


Hardcastle¬†Restaurants Pvt.¬†Ltd: -¬†McDonald‚Äôs¬†promotional SMS shows¬†‚ÄėMcVeggie¬†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.‚Äô 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 ‚Äúcall now‚ÄĚ and not that it applies only for ‚ÄúHome Delivery‚ÄĚ.¬†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‚Äôs Health¬†Pvt¬†Ltd.:¬†Dr. Nigam Hair Multiplication‚Äôs¬†‚ÄúDr. Nigam‚ÄĚ has been tarnishing the brand of RichFeel¬†and maligning it in their¬†ads. The brand has also been deliberately using¬†RichFeel‚Äôs¬†brand template colour¬†and a misrepresented brand look alike logo (RichFeel‚Äôs¬†logo has two E‚Äôs, 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‚Äôs¬†advertisement claimed¬†that it‚Äėmakes your face fair and¬†removes wrinkles from your face‚Äô.¬†After reviewing the advertisement and advertiser‚Äôs response, the¬†CCC concluded¬†that the claim, ‚Äúmakes your face fair‚ÄĚ, 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.

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‚Äôs¬†Ayurvedic¬†Solution¬†- Keya Seth‚Äôs 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‚Äď Vespa,¬†Times Business Solutions Ltd¬†- Magicbricks.com,¬†United Spirits Ltd¬†‚Äď Kingfisher. However, as these advertisements did not contravene ASCI‚Äôs codes or guidelines, the complaints were¬†NOT UPHELD.


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