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ASCI upheld complaints against 74 out of 110 ads in July 2015

The Personal and Healthcare category topped the list with 28, followed by 25 in the Education category, while the remaining 21 belonged to various other categories

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Mumbai | October 27, 2015

asci-logoIn July 2015, ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against 74 out of 110 ads. Out of these, 28 belonged to the Personal and Healthcare category, 25 in the Education category and the remaining 21 ads were from other categories.

Health and Personal Care

The CCC found the following claims in health and personal care product or service advertisements of 27 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. Complaints against the following advertisements were UPHELD.

 

1. Beiersdorf (India) (Nivea Deodorizer): The advertisement claims “India’s 1st Body Deodorizer”, regardless of the disclaimer “from Nivea”, is misleading by ambiguity as it is not the first deodoriser in India nor the first deodorizer from Nivea in India. Also, the claim, “Day Long Odour Control from Just One Use”, was not substantiated with evidence.

2. L’Oreal India (Garnier Fructis Oil in Cream): The use of the word "nourishment" in the advertisement of Ganier Fructis Oil in Cream is likely to convey to the consumer that their product does something more than just making hair more smooth and manageable. In addition, the claim “2X Nourishment of Hair Oil” was considered misleading by ambiguity and implication.

3.  Shiseido India (Za True White Day Cream): The advertisement claims “SPF 20 PA++”, “94% Improvement in Skin Clarity*”, “More Glowing & Radiant Skin*”, “100% Improvement in Skin Tone*”,” Reduction of Spots & Pigmentation*” and “Now see results in just Seven days!*”, were inadequately substantiated.

4.  Kent RO Systems (Kent Mineral RO Water Purifier): The advertisement claims “sabse surakshit pani”, “100% protection” and “100% Health”. These claims have not been substantiated and are considered to be misleading.

5. Kent RO System (Kent Mineral RO Water Purifier): The advertisement claims “100% or total protection” which was misleading by exaggeration. Also, the claim, “100% protection/Total Protection from waterborne diseases”, is an absolute claim which was not substantiated.

6.  Reckitt Benckiser Healthcare India (Harpic toilet cleaner): The disclaimers in the TVC were not legible, and contravened the ASCI Guidelines on Supers. 

7.  Godrej Consumer Products (Cinthol Original Soap): The TVC of Cinthol Original Soap, showing an actor (non-medical person) as a real skin specialist doctor by name “Dr Subha Iyer” endorsing the product is misleading.

8. Lotus Herbals Limited (Lotus Herbals Phyto RX): The advertisement claims “100% women discovered firmer, younger skin in Four weeks”, “See the difference in Four weeks: - Firmer skin. - Reduction in fine lines, wrinkles & dark spots”, “SPF 25/ PA+++” and “Active Organic Ingredients - Ginseng, Ginger & Whey Protein”. These claims were not adequately substantiated and were found to be misleading.

9. Hindustan Unilever Ltd  (Fair & Lovely Men Charcoal Face Wash): The claim by the brand, “Gives fair look for eight hours” was not substantiated adequately.

10. Emami Limited (Emami7 Oil in One): In the context of statement in the advertisement, “Everyday you lose up to 100 hair strands as regular hair fall but don’t lose heart”, the claim, “With the Magic of Seven Oils Hairfall is reduced from 100 to upto Four”, is misleading by ambiguity as it implies natural hair loss whereas the claim refers to hair fall due to breakage.

11. Netralaya Super Specialty Eye Hospital: The claims “Freedom from Glasses and contact lens”, “First time in Ahmedabad to get all types of eye treatments under one place”, “World's best and fastest Laser”, “Removal of One number in 1.4 seconds”, were not substantiated with supporting technical and factual data. 

12. HB Care 24: The claims in the advertisement, “Gain - reduce weight - No Exercise - No Medicine - No Dieting”,  “Reduce 2 inches in just 1 hour sitting” and “Stop hairfall in 5 days”, were not substantiated.

13. Jivo Wellness Pvt Ltd (Jivo Canola Cooking Oil): The ad claims “Effective for healthy Heart and in reducing bad Cholesterol”, “Effective against diabetes, heart diseases”, “Effective against Cancer”, were not substantiated with clinical evidence specific to the product. The claims indicating efficacy against diabetes, heart disease and cancer were considered to be misleading by exaggeration as no specific credible clinical research was submitted to prove claims of efficacy against serious diseases.

14. Vasan Healthcare Private Limited (Vasan Eye Hospital): The claims in the advertisement “World's largest eye care network”, “Get rid of glasses permanently”, “They give accurate without fail eyesight in just 15 mins”, “One can enjoy vacation without glasses” and “ICL can be implanted in dry eyes and thin cornea”, were not substantiated.

15. Cure Sight Laser Centre: The claims in the advertisement “India's No. 1 LASIK centre”,  “Complete removal of (freedom from) Glasses and contact lens without operation”,  “The Most experienced team of doctors for LASIK in Gujarat and whole India” and  “World’s best technology and fastest Refractive suit by Alcon”,  were not substantiated.

16. Shathayu Ayurveda: The advertisement claims “Redefine your natural curve with detox and fat burning paste massage to enhance metabolism and reduce body fat”, were not substantiated.

17. Mankind Pharma (Heal-O-Kind Nanofine Gel): The advertisement claims “Has strong anti-bacterial action”, “Reduces swelling, doesn’t allow scarring of wound”, “First Aid ka All-Rounder”, “Injury, burns, bruises, cuts and diabetic foot ulcer (these terms shown in the advertisement with a checkmark implying Heal-O-Kind gel is useful for these conditions)” and “The healing power of Nanofine Technology”, were not substantiated with product efficacy data.

18. Keva Ayurveda: The advertisement claims, “Increases Immunity. Improves memory, concentration & learning ability”, “Improves digestion & skin tone”, “Prevents recurrent infections, asthma & other allergic conditions” and “Improves speech, hearing & visual acuity”, were not substantiated.

19.   Torque Pharmaceuticals (No Scars Cream): The TVC of the product claims “Changing dark skin and scars and resulting in facial skin glowing in one week” were not substantiated. The visuals in the TVC showing the transformation depict the protagonist as unhappy in the pre-use state. This also contravened Clause 2 of the ASCI guidelines for Advertisement of Fairness Improvement Products.

20. Clear Vision Eye Hospital: The claims in the advertisement of “quality assurance”, “c-lasik wavefront and topolink treatment available”, were not substantiated with supporting evidence to prove that the hospital possesses equipment for wavefront and topolink treatment. Further the claim of “Extremely safe FDA approved” was considered misleading by exaggeration in view of the procedure not being free from risks or complications.

21. Rich Feel Trichology Centre (Hair and Scalp Clinic- Ana-d-tox treatment): The advertisement claims “Rich Feel Introduces for the 1st time in India, a post hair colour treatment was found factually incorrect and misleading by ambiguity.

22. Stem Cell Society of India: The ad claims "Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision for Stem Cell Therapy". The Advertiser has used the photograph of the Prime Minister (PM) in the advertisement without his permission, which is misleading and confers an unjustified advantage on the product advertised and tends to bring the PM’s name into ridicule/disrepute. This violates Chapter I.3 of the ASCI code.

23. Dr Ghanshyam Patel’s Advanced Homeopathetic Hospital & Clinical Research Centre: The claims in the advertisement, “Sureshot, fast and effective treatment by advanced invention and innovative medicines for all diseases (incurable as well)”, “Piles - Warts/ Asthma - breathing/ Cancer/ Aids/ Arthritis, Acidity gets cured from its roots. Shortly get relieved from cold and asthma without steroid or inhaler and relief only by medicines, in case of piles – warts without operation and get permanent treatment”, were not substantiated. Specific to the claims related to treatment/cure for Piles, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs and Cosmetic Act, 1940 and Rules, 1945. Also, specific to the claims related to treatment/cure for Cancer, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.

24. Alcos International: The advertisement’s claim "PA+++", was not substantiated as the data submitted contained some general information about definitions of SPF and UV radiation, but there is no reference how it relates to the ALCOS/IONA product. Also, the visual shown in the advertisement is misleading as it implies complete protection from sun rays. 

25. DHI Global Medical Group: The claim in the advertisement which said “Results you can see within an Hour!” was not substantiated. The visuals of before and after the treatment were misleading. Specific to the claims implying baldness prevention is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Cosmetics Rule 106.

26. OPTM Health Care Private Limited (Varco Therapeutic Oil): The advertisement’s claim “Varicose Veins heal with Varco”, was not clinically validated. The advertisement further claims “Varco, the revolutionary organic bio-energetic phyto oil, is an effective solution to varicose veins, without surgery” and “Varco Blue vein remover Therapeutic Phyto Oil”  are not adequately substantiated.   Specific to the claims related to treatment of varicose veins is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Cosmetics Rule 106.

27. Matsyafed Chitone (Anti Fat Formula): The advertisement’s claim “Chitosan Is your Safest Bet Against Fat. And It's Proven”, was not substantiated.

28. Shree Renuka Sugars Limited (Madhur Sugar): The claims in the advertisement “Free (Sale) Sugar v/s Madhur sugar”, “Sulphur-free process”, “Best uniform quality, natural sweetness and shinning white crystal”, “Free from hand touch”, were not substantiated and the claims were misleading by implication and exaggeration.

Education

The CCC found that claims in the advertisements by 25 advertisers were not substantiated and, thus, violated ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions. Hence complaints against these advertisements were UPHELD.

1. Southern Academy Maritime Studies: The claim in the TVC, “if anybody who is willing to study in this college, can get a job as a Captain in a Ship and can earn upto 60 Lakhs per Annum”, was not substantiated and is misleading by ambiguity and exaggeration.

2. Aakash Educational Services Pvt Ltd (Aakash Institute): The advertisement claims that Twins Rahul Bansal and Sahil Bansal (AIIMS-2015 ranks 23 and 40) and Yuvraj, (AIIMS-2015 rank 11) are from their coaching institute. This was false and was not substantiated.

3. Hansa Medcell: The claim in the advertisement, “Gain specialist skills without sacrificing daily clinical practice”, is misleading since “Distance Education” cannot allow one to gain specialist skills in gastroenterology, cardiology etc., since all these specialities involve very special procedures like OGD Scopy and Colonoscopy (Crastroenthrology) and Angiography, Angioplasty (Cardiology) etc.  As per clause 7.20 of MCI Act (Amendment 2002) one can’t call oneself a specialist unless one has acquired specialist qualifications. The Medical Council does not offer recognition to distance education programmes.  In addition the claim, “provide One year distance education of post-graduation programs from prestigious American college of gastroenterology John Hopkins University School of medicine”, was false and misleading by ambiguity.

4. Shri Maharana Pratap Private ITI: The advertisement claims, “no university or institutions are valid to provide any certifications in fire and safety except Shri Maharana Pratap ITI” and “only 4 institutions in India are valid to provide fire and safety courses”, were not substantiated and were considered to be misleading by ambiguity.

5. BSE Institute Limited: The claim in the advertisement, “Become a Professional Banker in Just Two Months”, is misleading by ambiguity, as it is offering a “Professional banking program” conducted internally and the jobs being offered were inclusive of basic functions such as Welcome Desk.

6. National Board of Computer Education: The claims in the advertisement, “Affiliation from International Accreditation Organization (IAO), Houston, U.S.A.”, and “Affiliation from Copy Right Division under Ministry of Human Resource Development, Govt. of India”, were not substantiated with supporting proof.

7. AAFT School of Fashion & Design:  The claim in the advertisement, “The only Fashion School associated with Film Industry”, was not substantiated.

8. Padmashri K. K. Shastri Educational Campus:  The use of Padmashree prefix before a name as used in the advertisement confers an unjustified advantage on the advertised product (Educational Campus) as such reference.  This violates Chapter I.3 of the ASCI code.

9. CL Educate Ltd:  The claim in the advertisement, “61/100 toppers in CLAT '15 are LSTians”, was not substantiated.

10. Global Inc Training Centre: The claims in the advertisement, “Assured C.T.C. Rs.14K to Rs.22K per Month” and “100% Guaranteed Placement under Money Bank (OR MONEY BACK) Scheme”, were not substantiated adequately with supporting data.

11. Rabiya Industrial Training Institute: The claims in the advertisement, “100% Job” and “The One and Only One Accredited Learning Center in State of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal & Jharkhand”, were not substantiated.

12. The English Square: The claim in the advertisement, “Learn to speak fluent English in just 100 hours with 100% Guarantee”, was not substantiated.

Complaints against advertisements of all educational institutes listed below mostly are UPHELD because of unsubstantiated claims that they ‘provide 100% placement/AND/OR they claim to be the No.1 in their respective fields’:

Endeavor, Indus Early Learning Centre, Thangavelu College Engineering, Indian Institute of Medical Representative Private Limited, GCS Institute of Computer Technology, Rama Naidu Film School, Patel Computers,  Red & Multimedia Education White, Shree Venkateshwara Hi-Tech Engineering College, Shri Guru Ram Rai Institute of Technology & Science, Career Master, Capital Infosys Institute of Hotel Management & Tourism and Brilliant Tutorial.

Others

1. BMW: The mention of “price” in the advertisement in place of “down payment” was found to be misleading.

2. HDFC Bank Ltd: The advertisement claim “Avail of your preapproved paperless Personal loan of up to Rs 7.50 lac in just 12 hours” was not substantiated and is misleading by ambiguity.

3. Max Bupa Health Insurance Company (Max Bupa Health Insurance): The claim in the advertisement, “Cashless approval in 30 minutes”, was not substantiated.

4. Glaxo Smith Kline Consumer Healthcare (Boost): The TVC is misleading by showing adult players demonstrating an increase in stamina. The visual depicted in the TVC read in conjunction with the disclaimer, is misleading, as the disclaimer in the TVC is about the scientific study published in a peer reviewed scientific journal and are proven for the age group of 7-11 years.

5. Britannia Industries (Nutrichoice Heavens Cookies): The claim in the advertisement which stated“….yet healthy”, was not substantiated, and the claim, “loaded with ripe Bananas and crackling almonds”, is misleading by exaggeration.

6. LG Electronics India (LG Inverter V Air Conditioners): The advertisement’s claim “India's only* AC that keeps mosquitoes away” was not adequately substantiated. Also the claim, “Mosquito protection” was not substantiated with evidence.

7. Bloomberg TV India: The advertisement claims “The market opens with Bloomberg TV India. The No.1 market opening show 9 a.m. – Street Smart Dealing Room. Factual. First. Fastest. Final. Future”, “When it comes to business and markets programming, Bloomberg TV India is the channel of choice” and “The most preferred destination for business and markets content. No. 1. Bloomberg TV India leads with 43% market share in the English Business News genre”. All the three advertisements violate the BARC Principles which state inter alia that "The period of comparison must cover at least four consecutive weeks of data". The audience definition chosen by the advertiser violates the principle that subject matter of comparison is not chosen in such a way as to confer an artificial advantage upon the advertiser or so as to suggest that a better bargain is offered than is truly the case. The baseline claim in the Ad, “First. Fastest”, was also found misleading as the Advertiser has not provided any evidence to substantiate this claim.

8. Ebay Inc (Ebay):  The advertisement claims, “EBay Guarantee - Don’t Worry, Buy Happy”, "EBay guarantee" and "100% Satisfaction or refund/replacement", were false, not substantiated and were misleading.

9. Imperial Vehicles (Ashok Leyland ‘DOST’): The claim offer in the advertisement of “cash discount + free android phone + exchange facility” is false and is misleading.  Also, it is a lapse in the fulfilment of an advertised claim offer.

10. Amazon Inc (Amazon Kindle): The TVC of Amazon Kindle is misleading by omission of a disclaimer qualifying the price of the actual product being promoted.

11. Gujarat Tea Processors & Packers (Wagh Bakri Good Morning Premium Tea): The claim in the advertisement, “The Best Blend of Tea in the world”, was not substantiated.

12. Epson India (Epson): The advertisement’s claims “Maximise your savings with Epson 143 ink cartridges that yield up to 945 black and 755 colour A4 pages. With a very low cost per page of US$0.016# for black and US$0.048# for colour, running costs are reduced by up to 50% compared to laser printers. The WF-7511 utilises only 20W in printing or standalone copying mode, helping to cut energy consumption by up to 70% versus laser printers”, were not substantiated with detailed supporting data. Also, the claim was misleading by omission of applicable specific conditions.

13. CP Plus India Private Limited (CP Plus): The brand’s claim “India’s no.1 CCTV Brand” was not supported with the source and date of research and criteria for assessment for the claim made in the advertisement.

14. Asianet Communications Ltd (Sell me the answer):  The scene in the advertisement showing “the school teacher hitting the student on his palm with a stick”, of Corporal Punishment in Schools and Institutions was considered likely to result in the physical, mental or moral harm  to children.

15. Spencer’s Retail: The offer in the advertisement of “Zyada ka Fayda” claiming additional Rs.100 cash back is misleading by omission of a disclaimer qualifying that the offer is only for credit card holders.

16. Radico Khaitan Limited (Magic Moment):  The advertisement was a surrogate advertisement for a promotion of a liquor product – Magic Moment Vodka which contravenes the ASCI Code and the Guidelines for Brand Extensions.

17. Odisha Television Limited: The TAM data for weeks 11 to 14 shows that OTV stands at #4 by average reach across weeks and at #5 by TVTs. Sarthak, Star Plus and Tarang have been consistently ahead of OTV.  The claim, “OTV repeat history again. Ahead of not only News but also entertainment channel”, was thus found false. The advertisement runs against Rule 5 of TAM guidelines regarding use of averages as only one week’s data has been shown. Any estimate of channel ranking whether based on reach or TV ratings must be based on at least 4-8 weeks to be conclusive. Rule 7 also not observed as the estimate is in fine print at the bottom of the ad and not clearly stated. This confers an artificial advantage upon the advertiser so as to suggest that a better bargain is offered than is truly the case.

18. Jewelsouk Marketplace Limited (Jewelsouk.com): The claim, “The World’s largest Jewellery Marketplace”, was not substantiated.

19. Michael & Michael Pipes Pvt. Ltd. (Michael & Michael): The advertisement misrepresents and attempts to deceive the viewers with reference to IS standards, without BIS certification.  Thus the claim of IS 458/1988 was not substantiated and is misleading by ambiguity.

20. Iota International: The packaging claims, “Iota Power Saver Intelligent Electricity Saver Certified ISO 9001:2000 Company JAS-ANZ’’ and “Tested & approved by Electronic Regional Test Laboratory (Govt. of India)”, were false, misleading and were not substantiated.

21. Panki Detergent Private Limited (Panki Detergent Powder): The claim in the TVC, “No. 1 quality”- Quality ki kausati par aaj bhi bhi No. 1”, was not substantiated.

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