Zee Business, Sony Six pulled up by ASCI for misleading ads
In April 2015, ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council upheld complaints against 114 out of 144 ads, out of which 60 belonged to the Personal and Healthcare category
BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | July 22, 2015
In April 2015, the Advertising Standards Council of India’s (ASCI) Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against 114 out of 144 advertisements. Out of 114 advertisements against which complaints were upheld, 60 belonged to the Personal and Healthcare category, followed by 30 advertisements in the Education category, eight advertisements in Food and Beverage category and 16 advertisements from other categories.
Health and Personal Care
The CCC found claims in health and personal care product or service advertisements of 60 advertisers to be either misleading or false or not adequately/ scientifically substantiated and hence violating ASCI’s Code. Some of the health care products or services advertisements also contravened provisions of the Drug & Magic Remedies Act and Chapter 1.1 and III.4 of the ASCI Code. Among the brand ads against which complaints were upheld included:
- Colgate-Palmolive (India) – Colgate Sensitive Pro Relief Enamel Repair: The advertisement claims, ‘Rebuilding of Enamel’ and ‘Rebuilds Enamel for lasting sensitivity relief’. These claims were not substantiated.
- Dr Batra’s Positive Health Clinic – Dr Batra’s Hair Vitalizing Serum: The advertisement claims Dr Batra’s Hair Vitalizing Serum helps reduce hair fall and stimulates hair growth. The advertisement further claims, ‘Dr Batra is Asia’s Most Promising Brand (2013)’. These claims were not substantiated.
- VLCC Health Care – VLCC Skin care and shape up kit: The VLCC advertisement claims, “This party looks up to two kilograms and two inch. Manchaha kit aur manchahi fit body VLCC Shape Up se, Ghar baithe baithe massage karke fit body paa sakte hai”, which were not substantiated.
- Lotus Herbals – Lotus White Glow Serum + Moisturiser: The advertisement claims the product to be “India's 1st 2-in-1 Serum that gives 2X more Glow & Nourishment”. Further the product packaging claims, “Upto 2X Skin Whitening & Brightening Power”. These claims were not substantiated.
The CCC found claims in the advertisements by 30 advertisers were not substantiated and, thus, violated ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions. Hence, complaints against these advertisements were upheld. Some the ads were from institutions such as Liberty Career Academy, Rachna Academy of Career Education, Pearson India Education Services, EduNova Educational Research and Training, and Minerva Educational & Charitable Trust, among others.
Food & Beverages
Following are some of the brand ads that ASCI’s CCC found unsubstantiated or violating the advertising code and hence the complaints were upheld:
- Ruchi Soya Industries – Mahakosh Refined Soyabean Oil: The advertisement claims that New Mahakosh Refined Soyabean Oil contains Omega 3 and 6 that fight cholesterol and Vitamin A, D, E that strengthen the bones, keep the eyes healthy and increase immunity.
- Kellogg India – Kellogg’s Chocos: The advertisement of Kellogg’s Chocos claims to have “Roti jaise kai gunn”.
- Pernod Ricard India – Seagram: The advertisement is for a direct promotion of an alcohol brand – Seagram. The advertisement contravened Chapter III.6 (b) of the Code (“Makes direct or indirect reference to the prohibited or restricted products.”).
- Coca-Cola India – Coca Cola Zero: The supers in the advertisement were not clearly legible and did not meet the Super Guidelines criteria of pixel size. The TVC contravened the ASCI Guidelines on Supers.
Among the other ads that were pulled up by ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council were:
- Vodafone Essar – Vodafone: The TVC of Vodafone claims, “Share photos 43% faster” and “The fastest 3G network”. In addition the website claims, “Experience internet like never before with the fastest 3G network”,“That’s why we offer you the fastest 3G network, which lets you surf, share photos and download videos quicker than ever before.”,“Upload and Share photos 43% faster.”, “Download videos 22% faster” and “Load web pages 23% faster”. These claims were not adequately substantiated.
- Idea Cellular – Idea Internet Network: It was found that the advertisement is misleading by implication that Idea Internet Network (IIN) is an institution which conducts educational courses. The claim of ‘Admission’ being provided to law course via INN was not substantiated. Another ad for IIN claims, “Idea Internet Network (IIN) – the greatest place to learn” were found misleading by implication that IIN is some kind of an institution which offers educational courses that are comparable to school/ college/ university education, whereas it is only an Internet service provider like any other service provider. In this context the claim of “the greatest place to learn” was not substantiated.
- Zee Media Corporation – Zee Business: The advertisement claims that Zee Business is “India's No. 1 Business News Channel”, which is misleading. This claim quoting TAM source violated the TAM Guidelines. The period of comparison is too short and thereby confers an artificial advantage upon the advertiser.
- Multi-Screen Media – Sony Six: The advertisement claims, “Sony Network is the second biggest contributor to the sports genre with 33.6% share”, which is misleading by ambiguity. The advertisement has quoted the TAM figures without following TAM rules. Also, the graphical representation is misleading.
- Times Internet – Magicbricks.com: The advertisement claims Magicbricks.com to be India’s No.1 Property Site, providing maximum options and best advice and information. These claims were not substantiated.
- Bharti Airtel: The advertisement claims, “Stream videos 26% faster” and “Battery lasts 8% longer on Airtel”, were misleading by omission.