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CNBC, India Today, Vodafone, Garnier, Flipkart among ads under ASCI scanner

ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council upheld complaints against 82 out of 148 ads in June 2015, of which seven ads belonged to the media and entertainment category

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Mumbai | October 6, 2015

asci-logoIn June 2015, the Advertising Standards Council of India’s (ASCI) Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against 82 out of 148 advertisements. Out of 148 advertisements against which complaints were upheld, 26 belonged to the Personal and Healthcare category, followed by 22 advertisements in the Education category, nine advertisements in the Food and Beverage category, seven advertisements in the media and entertainment category and 18 advertisements from other categories.

Health and Personal Care:

The CCC found the claims in the ads of 26 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 these 26 ads were those of:

L’Oreal India’s Garnier Pure Active Neem + Tulsi High Foaming Face and New Garnier Action Facewash: The claims were found to be ambiguous and unsubstantiated.

CavinKare’s Chik Egg White Protein Shampoo and Nyle Naturals Hairfall Defence shampoo: The claims were found to be misleading.

Lotus Herbals’ Youth RX: The ad’s claims of “firmer and younger skin in just 7 days” were inadequately substantiated.

Fortis Healthcare: The ad did not refer to the criteria applicable for cosmetic surgeries and presenting this as a “limited period discount” offer could encourage unsafe practices. Also, the ad was found misleading by omission of a disclaimer indicating the risk factors involved.

Vicco Laboratories’ ViccoTurmeric Facewash: The ad’s claim of “No Pimples, No blackheads” was not adequately substantiated with efficacy data for this product.

Media and Entertainment:

TV18 Broadcast (CNBC): The claim in the advertisement by CNBC, “No. 1 TV channel in India” was not substantiated and was found to be misleading.

Living Media (India Today): The advertisement of India Today depicts a graph showing four news channels – India Today, Times Now, CNN-IBN and NDTV 24x7 and in the graph it is displayed that India Today is leading the market by holding 33.1 per cent market share, followed by Times Now channel with 24.8 per cent, CNN-IBN with 10.5 per cent and NDTV 24x7 with 10 per cent. This advertisement does not show the total market share of 100 per cent. The ad also claims India Today to be the ‘No. 1 English News Channel’ without any source data specified in the advertisement. By providing incorrect information for the purposes of substantiating the claim made by India Today, the advertisement is false, misleading, and disparaging to the other news channels.

Odisha Television (Tarang): The advertisement of Tarang TV’s claims of being the No. 1 channel was found to be misleading. The advertisement violated the TAM guidelines and the subject matter of comparison conferred an artificial advantage upon the advertiser so as to suggest that a better bargain was offered than was the case.

Sarthak Entertainment (Sarthak TV): The advertisement of Sarthak TV claims that it is the leading channel in the Odisha market as per weekly GVT data. The super in the advertisement does not indicate that the data is based on at least four weeks of data as per the TAM advertising guidelines.

Sarthak TV: The advertisement of Sarthak TV claims higher viewership than other competitor channels. This claim was found to be misleading as it is not based on at least four weeks of data as per the TAM Guidelines.

Prameya News7: The advertisement of Prameya News7 represents the viewership growth which is based on only one week’s data, which violates the TAM guidelines that advises taking a base of least eight weeks’ data to arrive at a valid conclusion.

Insight Media City (India): The ad’s claims were not substantiated and were found to be misleading.

Education:

The CCC found that claims in the advertisements by 23 advertisers were not substantiated and, thus, violated ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions. The complaints against ads that were upheld included:

Amity University, The Sagar School, BYJU’s Classes, CLAT Possible, Career Launcher, Green Valley High School, Institute of Finance Banking and Insurance, Koneru Lakshmaiah Education, and DPSG Dehradun, among others.

Food & Beverages:

Borges India (Borges Extra Light Olive Oil): The claim of Borges Extra Light Olive Oil is false and misleading by omission.

General Mills India (Pillsbury Rava Idli Mix): The claim in the advertisement of “...Payein bilkul ghar jaisa swaad. Yeh hai desh ki 10 mein se 9 mahilaon ka kehna” was not substantiated.

Modi Natural (Rizolo Rice Bran Oil): The advertisement claims the oil brand to be “Suitable for diabetics” with further claims of “Cholesterol reduction”, “Cancer protection” and “Skin health”. These claims were not substantiated with clinical evidence.

Healthy Heart Foods (Healthy Heart Cooking Oil): The claim in the advertisement, “India’s No.1 Brand”, was not substantiated. Also, the accompanying graphical representation in the advertisement referring to the consumer voice survey findings was found to be misleading.

Saboo Sodium Chloro (Surya Salt): The advertisement claims, “Surya Salt has right amount of sodium that helps to take care of your heart and protects from high blood pressure so that you live healthy and for longer period”, which is misleading as acceptability of sodium level for every person will be variable.  Also, the product being low sodium was not substantiated.

TMA Hospitality Services (Ammi’s Biryani): The website advertisement of Ammi’s Biryani shows leg piece of chicken in their biryanis. According to Ammi’s Biryani, they do not serve chicken leg pieces as a matter of policy. Thus, the advertisement was found to be misleading.

Sri Sri Ayruveda (Yumlakki Instant Poha Mix): The visual in the advertisement of  “noodles being animated as snakes” with the voiceover “leave poisonous Maida noodles” unfairly denigrates entire category of noodles products, distorts facts and is misleading by exaggeration.

Heinz India (Complan): The advertisement claims that Complan has 100 per cent milk protein and comparing it versus other malt based drinks, which is misleading by implication.

Pernod Ricard India (Seagram): The advertisement of Seagram states, “More than a few drinks can change the meaning of U-turn”, read in conjunction with the logo of ‘Seagram’ and statement “Enjoy responsibly”, directly promotes a brand linked to alcohol.

Others:

Flipkart Internet: The website communication claims the MRP of the product as Rs 799, when actual printed MRP on product is Rs 399 which is being offered as the discounted price for Canvera. The website communication claims the MRP of the product as Rs 999, when actual printed MRP on product is Rs 449 which is being offered as the discounted price for OBS. This distorts facts and is, therefore, misleading the consumers as to actual discount being offered.

Flipkart Internet (Xpert Commendo 6 White Black shoe): The website communication claims the MRP of the product as Rs 1,078, when actual printed MRP on product is Rs 469, which is being offered as the discounted price.

BSNL: The advertisement of BSNL’s website’s claim, “...Now BSNL at your doorstep... Our sales team will come to your doorstep to collect documents and provide the connection”, was found to be false.

Uber: The advertisement by Uber states, “You drink, we drive”, when read in conjunction with the depiction of logos of bars such as Zara, etc., as #UberApprovedPartners, was seen to promote alcohol drinking.

Jasper Infotech (Snapdeal.com): The advertisement of Snapdeal.com depicts a visual of “a man riding a bike without a helmet” shows an unsafe practice.

Honda Motorcycle &Scooter India (Honda Activa): The advertisement claims schemes of “lowest down payment of 5555” and the “lowest instalment of 999/month”, which were found to be misleading by ambiguity and by omission of a disclaimer qualifying the criteria of the individual schemes.

JadeBlue: The TVC of JadeBlue shows the visual of “a man riding a bike without a helmet”. Such actions in an advertisement are seen to promote unsafe practices.

Casa Grande: The sign off slogan in the advertisement states, “On time every time”, which was very similar to the sign off slogan of the earlier run advertisement of another competitor advertiser in the same sector of business so as to suggest plagiarism.

Milcent Appliances: The advertisement’s claims of “100% Aluminium (Carcinogenic Cancer Causing Metal) Free” was misleading by exaggeration. The claim was also considered to be disparaging to “Aluminium” based product categories.

Lucknow Gramudyog Sansthan (Ultra Guide Detergent Powder): The advertisement states, “Auro se ek kadam aage” (“We are one step ahead than others”), the basis of which was not provided. Hence, the advertisement was found to be misleading.

Chehra Pahachaano: The advertisement seeks to lure consumers by showing a fraudulent contest. The winner is asked to deposit money so as to register, and they further give false promises of gifting iPads to the winners in return. These advertisements of ‘Chehra Pahachaano’ contest are found to be false, misleading and contravene Chapters I.1, I.4 and I.5 (f) of the ASCI Code.

Vikrant Happy Homes: The claims, “Fully Furnished”, “Ready-to-live Studio Apartments” and “Rs 18.9 lakh onwards”, were found to be false and not proven.

Poonam Developers: The claims, “No Stamp Duty, Registration Fee, Service Tax and VAT”, were found to be false and misleading by omission.

Scoobee Bags: The advertisement visuals depicting children putting their head and hands outside the window while the vehicle is in motion, show a dangerous practice and encourages negligence.

Vodafone Essar (Vodafone): The claim of “uninterrupted voice calls on 3G Network” was not substantiated.

Krishnapatnam Port Company: The advertisement shows a driver racing his sports car on a public road recording lapping times and trying to beat past time records and then shows chasing a helicopter. The depiction of speed manoeuvrability encourages unsafe or reckless driving.

Ruia Agro Farm: The advertisement claims, “Stop Eating Cancer Causing Fruits and Vegetables”, which was found to be misleading by exaggeration as they are only selling land where organic farming may be carried out.

Aakash Institute: The advertisement shows the visual of “a boy pillion riding a bike without a helmet”, which depicts an unsafe practice.

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