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ASCI upholds complaints against 100 misleading advertisements

Forty-three ads out of 152 ads were in the Healthcare category, 17 in the Education category, followed by 11 in Personal Care Category, seven in the Food & Beverages category, six in the E-Commerce Category and 16 ads from other categories

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | February 10, 2017

asci

In November 2016, ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against 100 out of 152 advertisements. Out of 100 advertisements against which complaints were upheld, 43 belonged to the Healthcare category, 17 to the Education category, followed by 11 in Personal Care Category, seven in the Food & Beverages category, six in the E-Commerce Category and 16 advertisements from other categories.

Healthcare:

The CCC found the following claims of 43 advertisements in health care products or services 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. Able Exports (Feel fresh mouth care): The advertisement’s claims (in Gujarati) as translated into English, “an ayurvedic liquid for mouth gargle and mouth and dental problems, is a simple and safe treatment without tablet, powder or paste, the best treatment”, “Feel fresh mouth gargle liquid is the ayurvedic medicine, the only medicine of its kind in the whole world which treats all kinds of problems of mouth, teeth, gums, tonsils, the food pipe, wind pipe, etc. It is a ready-to-use liquid and no water is to be added for dilution. Even if it is used often daily or even taken in through mistake, there is no harm. This medicine can be used even if there are no oral health problems. Even for children and people using dentures can use it without any problem for oral hygiene. Dental bacteria, pests are destroyed and teeth and gums are kept healthy. The slimy feeling in the mouth, cough, food particles in the dental crevices are cleaned and kept fresh. It even removes the bad smell due to onion and garlic or use of alcohol. It makes one free of using the tooth pick to remove obstructing particles”, were not substantiated with evidence of product efficacy, and are misleading by exaggeration.
  1. Shathayu Ayurveda Pvt. Ltd.: The advertisement’s claim, “Push away those painful punches of migraine forever.  Get a long lasting relief from migraine”, were not substantiated with clinical evidence and are misleading by exaggeration.
  1. J & J DeChane Laboratories Pvt. Ltd. (Livactin-G): The advertisement’s claims, “Keep illness at bay with Livactin-G everyday”, “Improves moods, increases cognitive functions, rejuvenates vitality, relives stress, boosts memory, stops symptoms of ageing, treats insomnia” and “Tested & trusted ayurvedic medicines”, were not substantiated with clinical evidence of product efficacy, and are misleading.
  1. Shakshii Wellness: The advertisement’s claims, “It is quick, safe and reliable method, to do away with stubborn pockets of fat that pose as a real struggle for any individual. It helps one get back in shape instantly”, “Treatment is very quick and one walks in for a sitting and walks out lighter” and “How did actress Namita shed almost 30kgs?” were not substantiated with clinical evidence. Also the claim, “we have 100s of clients who have managed the same achievement”, was not substantiated with authentic supporting evidence such as detailed list of customers with contact details who have been benefitted by the treatment.  Also, the claims and efficacy being depicted via images of before and after the treatment are misleading.
  1. Care Institute of Medical Sciences: The advertisement’s claims, “Most experienced and largest cardiology and cardiovascular group practice since 20 years in India”, and “Highest and oldest experienced cardiac ''team'' in western India”, were not substantiated with comparative data versus other similar institutes in the same category or any third party validation or research to prove these claims and are misleading by exaggeration.
  1. Goodlife Wellness: The advertisement’s claims (in Gujarati), as translated into English, “Goodlife, Reduce Weight without medicine & machine with naturopathy Cereals”, “100% Guarantee”, “Goodlife weight loss plan is 100% slim at home programme”, “No need of any medicine, machine, exercise”, “No need of dieting too. You can eat routine supplements”, “Reduce 20 kg weight till 12 November 16”, and  “Reduce 20 kg weight till 13 January 16”,  were not substantiated with supporting clinical evidence, and are misleading by exaggeration.
  1. Sujatha Bio Tech (Memory Vita Focus Factor): The advertisement’s claims, “Memory Vita, reduces stress, improves mental alertness, increase focus, increases memory, increases immunity” were not substantiated with clinical evidence of product efficacy and are misleading by exaggeration. Further the claim, “World's first intelligence beverage drink & breakfast cereals”, pack claims, “World’s 1st memory enhancing drink & beverage”, and “World’s first intelligence drink”, were not substantiated with comparative data versus other similar health drinks worldwide in the same category to prove that the advertiser’s product is the “world’s first”, and are misleading by exaggeration. Also the pack claim, “90 day money back challenge”, was not substantiated with supporting evidence of the customers who were refunded with the money back if not benefitted as claimed, and is misleading.
  1. Amplifon India Pvt. Ltd. (Amplifon): The advertisement’s claim, “People with hearing loss are thrice more prone to fractures due to falling. The loss of hearing can increase the risk of falling up to three times”, was inadequately substantiated and is misleading by exaggeration.
  1. Mankind Limited (Gas-O-Fast) Pharma: It was noted that in the print advertisement, Gas-O-Fast sachet with a bowl overflowing with ajwain and claim of “Asli Ajwain ke saath” is being compared against regular antacid shown as a heap of powder, with an emphasis on “artificial flavour”. It was noted that while the comparison is being made of the “artificial flavour” aspect of regular antacid, ajwain – an ingredient known for its medicinal properties as a carminative – was being shown in exaggerated quantity not commensurate with its percentage in the product.  It was also observed that the TVC, too, strongly emphasises the presence of “active jeera” – presenting it as the main active ingredient – and links it for it being a reason to being recommended by grannies. No data was submitted by the advertiser to substantiate that ajwain / jeera is present at “active level” to provide the benefit as claimed in the TVC – contributing more than other active ingredients. Thus while it was agreed that jeera and ajwain could be natural flavours in the product at the percentages they are used in the product, it was opined that exaggerated depiction of ajwain / jeera in the product communication is likely to mislead consumers into believing that Gas-O-Fast has got only ajwain / jeera as its ingredient / main active ingredient, whereas that is not the case. As conveyed by the complainant and as per pack declarations, the advertised product has only a small quantity of ajwain / jeera compared to other active ingredients. It was concluded that the print/POS and TVC was misleading by exaggeration and implication.
  1. Quantum Naturals (Quanto Diab Forte): The advertisement’s claim, “Helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels”, was not substantiated clinically with product efficacy data, and is misleading.

 

  1. Dr. Batra’s Homeopathy Family Clinic: The advertisement’s claims, “We have provided successful treatments for more than 10 lakh patients in 142 cities for hair fall, skin disorder, allergy, breathlessness, gastric disorder, women’s issues, high sugar levels, joint aches, obesity, sexual problems, thyroid and other health problems for people of all ages”, were not substantiated with supporting evidence, and are misleading by exaggeration.  Also, specific to the claim related to successful treatment of sexual problems, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act. In addition, specific to the claims related to successful treatment for diabetes (high sugar levels) and obesity, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.

 

  1. Deepak Ayurveda: The advertisement’s claims (in Hindi) as translated into English, “Improve your health”, and “See the difference in 15 days”, were not substantiated with supporting data. Further the claim, “Get your money back if there is no benefit”, was not substantiated with supporting evidence of the customers who were refunded with the money back.  Also, the claims are misleading by exaggeration.

 

  1. Sanat Products Ltd. (Uplat): The advertisement’s claim, “Boost platelet count, naturally” was inadequately substantiated with product efficacy data, and is misleading. Also the claim, “most trusted brand”, was not substantiated with comparative data versus other competitive products in the same category, and is misleading by exaggeration.

 

  1. Lifespan Clinic India (Lifespan Diabetes Clinics): The advertisement’s claim, “Zerona, world’s best waist reduction treatment”, was not substantiated with authentic supporting data to prove that it is indeed World’s best treatment for waist reduction. Further the data submitted as evidence for the claim, “Approved by Food and Drug Administration (USA)”, did not correspond to the advertised product “Zerona”. Also, the claims are misleading by exaggeration.

 

  1. Bansal Hospital: The advertisement’s claim, “Bansal hospital's bariatrics unit can give you freedom from obesity”, was not substantiated with clinical evidence and is misleading by implication. Also, specific to the claims implying cure for obesity, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.

 

  1. The Slimming Centre: The advertisement’s claims, offering a specific weight loss in a specific period with assurance of “100% result”, “Reduce weight up to six kg in one month”, “No crash diet”, “No medicine”, “No gym” and “No side effect”, were inadequately substantiated. Also, the claims are misleading by exaggeration.

 

  1. Medipulse Hospital: The advertisement’s claim, “Now you can also get rid of obesity & related problems, high cholesterol, diabetes, and blood pressure”, were not substantiated and are misleading by exaggeration. Also, specific to the claims implying cure for obesity, diabetes, blood pressure, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act. Also, efficacy being depicted via images of before and after the treatment are grossly misleading.

 

  1. Shretej Slimming Centre: The advertisement’s claims, offering a specific weight loss in a specific period with a guarantee, “Lose fat quick & easy”, “Lose four to six kg within 15 days”, “Lose eight to 10 kg within 1 month”, “No gym, no medicine”, “No side effect”, “No crash diet” and “100% result & guarantee”, were not substantiated and are misleading by gross exaggeration.

 

  1. Kolors Health Care India Pvt. Ltd.: The advertisement’s claims, offering a specific inch loss in any specific area of the body or specific weight loss in a specific period as conveyed in the visual, “Lose (tummy, sides, thighs, hips) up to six* inches swiftly from any area of your body at Kolors”, and “Without exercise & gym, No side-effects”, were not substantiated and are misleading by gross exaggeration. Further the claim, “100% money back guarantee”, was not substantiated with supporting evidence of the customers who were refunded with the money back, and is misleading. Also, efficacy being depicted via images of before and after the treatment is misleading by exaggeration.

 

  1. S10 Health Sports Medicine Centre: The advertisement’s claim, “Finally, permanent solution for bone and joint pain, manage without surgery.” was not substantiated with clinical evidence. The claims are also misleading by gross exaggeration.

 

  1. Proyurveda Lifesciences Pvt. Ltd. (Max NRG Range of Products): The advertisement’s claim, “Improving immunity”, was inadequately substantiated and the claim is misleading. Also the claim, “USA patented”, was inadequately substantiated, and is misleading by ambiguity.

 

  1. Jeewan Jyoti Pharmacy Pvt. Ltd. (Healthsun Ayurvedic Capsules): The advertisement’s claims, “If you are thin then don't be sad, Healthsun capsules and powder helps to eliminate your thinness and strengthens the digestion system, it improves blood circulation and helps to make body in shape & beautiful, helps to gain weight by eliminating body and mental disorders and increases your confidence”, were not substantiated with proof of product efficacy data, and are misleading by exaggeration.

 

  1. Nova Pulse IVF Clinic Private Limited (Nova IVI Fertility): The advertisement’s claim, “Over 10,000 IVF pregnancies” was not substantiated with any authentic evidence, independent audit or verification certificate, and is misleading.

 

  1. Richfeel Health & Beauty Pvt. Ltd. (Richfeel Trichology Centre Hair and Scalp Clinic-Hair Thinning Treatment-Anagrow): The advertisement’s claim was prominently displayed in the headline as “Grow your own hair for just Re 1”, with a visual of 1 rupee coin. However, the claim was qualified in the body copy of the advertisement as, “only Rs 60,000.” It was concluded that the claim offering the service at Re 1 is misleading by ambiguity. Further, for the claim, “Fight five signs of hair thinning for just Re 1”, it was reviewed that the five signs referred to by the advertiser and further concluded that it is misleading to say that five signs of hair thinning are scanty hair, decreased volume, lack of hair growth, decreased density and hair loss. The claim, “Worlds first hair thinning treatment with plant stem cells’, was not substantiated with supporting evidence and with comparative data versus other hair thinning treatments available worldwide, and is misleading by exaggeration. Further, it was also concluded that the claim, “Anagrow is a treatment for hair volume and density. It does not grow new hair”, was inadequately substantiated, and is misleading by ambiguity.

 

  1. Velvette International Pharma Products (Memory Plus Tonic): The advertisement’s claims, “children who consume memory plus tonic tend to get more marks/ better grades”, and “clinically proven”, were not substantiated with any study reports or with clinical evidence of product efficacy. Also, the claims are misleading by exaggeration.

 

  1. Lifezen Healthcare Pvt. Ltd. (Tuska Calcium Tablets): The advertisement’s claim, “High absorption calcium with vitamin D3”, appears to indicate that the Calcium present in the product is some unique form with high absorption resulting in higher bioavailability. This claim was not substantiated with any scientific rationale or clinical evidence, and is misleading.

 

 

  1. Lifezen Healthcare Pvt. Ltd. (EyeSpa eyedrops): The advertisement’s claims, “Trusted formula recommended by eye specialists”, and “20 years of medical expertise”, were not substantiated with supporting evidence, and are misleading by exaggeration.

 

  1. Bhavishi Fertility Institute: The advertisement’s headline claim (in Marathi), “Ashwasan Purna Kutumbache. Kontehi Jodte Apatyavina Ka Rahnar?” (“Assurance of complete family, why should any couple remain childless?”) read in conjunction with the visual showing a couple with a child and the descriptor of the name of the institution “Vandhyatwa Nivaran Sansthan”, is misleading as it implies assurance of a child to any couple and guaranteed cure for infertility, which is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.  Further the claim, “Bharat Ani Jagat Sarvottam” (“Best in the world and India”) does not appear to be a descriptor of the treatment modalities. The claim appears in close proximity to the text providing information on the New Mumbai branch. The claim was not substantiated with any supporting details as well and is misleading by ambiguity and exaggeration.
  1. Good Life Wellness Pvt. Ltd. (Good Life Wellness Products): The advertisement’s claim, “For immediate erection and for extra time”, was not substantiated with efficacy data, and is misleading.  Also, specific to the claims, “For immediate erection and for extra time”,  and “Make love beyond their expectations”, read in conjunction with the advertisement visual implies enhancement of sexual pleasure, which is in breach of the law as it violated item 30 of Schedule J Rule 106 of The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.
  1. Raja Baldev Das Birla Hospital: The advertisement’s claims (in Hindi) as translated into English, “Ayurvedic Panchkarma treatment of heart diseases without surgery”, and “Only Ayurveda (Panchkarma) can help you get rid of obesity”, were not substantiated with clinical evidence, and are misleading by exaggeration. Also, specific to the claims related to the treatment of heart diseases, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.  Also, specific to the claims implying cure for obesity, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.
  1. PMC Hospital: The advertisement’s claims (in Hindi) as translated into English, “Successful treatment/ operation for tumour and epilepsy”, and “World class treatment for infertility”, were not substantiated with supporting clinical evidence. Also, specific to the claims related to the treatment for tumour, epilepsy, and infertility, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.
  1. Positive Homeopathy: The advertisement’s claim, “Complete disease cure with nano pills for the first time across the world using advanced nano medicine and genetic method for diabetes, piles, PCOD, rheumatoid arthritis”, were not substantiated with clinical evidence, and are misleading by gross exaggeration. Specific to the claims related to complete cure for diabetes the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act (item 9 under DMR schedule). Also specific to the claims related to complete cure for piles, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated Schedule J (item 42) Rule 106 of The Drugs and Cosmetic Act, 1940 and Rules, 1945.
  1. Akanksha Ayurveda & Panchakarma: The advertisement’s claims (in Hindi) as translated into English, “Reduce up to four to eight kg in just 10 days”, “Reduce 30-60 kg additional weight, without any walking, without any side effect, without any crash dieting” and “permanent freedom from piles, fissure with ointment (aushadi lep)”, were not substantiated with clinical evidence,  and are misleading by exaggeration. Also, specific to the claims implying cure/treatment for piles, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated Schedule J (Item 42) Rule 106 of The Drugs and Cosmetic Act, 1940 and Rules, 1945. Also, reference to obesity (“motapa, ab kaisi samasya”), the advertisement is misleading by implication that the treatment would solve the problem of obesity and therefore is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act. Also, efficacy being depicted via images of before and after the treatment are misleading.
  1. Perfect Point: The advertisement’s claims (in Hindi) as translated into English,  “Freedom from big waist, high blood pressure, high cholesterol etc.,”, and the testimonial claim, “Earlier my weight was 93 kg and even after dieting as well weight has not been reduced. With Cavi Lipo’s treatment at Perfect Point I have lost 54 inches, 23 kilos”, were not substantiated with clinical evidence, and are misleading by exaggeration. Specific to the claims implying cure for high blood pressure, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act. Also, efficacy being depicted via images of before and after the treatment are misleading.
  1. Jaipur Physiotherapy: The advertisement’s claim, “Gave permanent relief to more than 10,000 patients without any medicines successfully”, and for the indications mentioned in the advertisement implying cure, cerebral palsy and paralysis , no supporting evidence was provided. Also specific to the claims related to cure for paralysis, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.

 

  1. Quantum Naturals  (Quanto Max): The advertisement’s claims, “increases vitality, energy and stamina.”, “increases sperm count”,  “effective in erectile disorders”, and “increases stamina and performance”, were not substantiated with product efficacy data, and are misleading. Also, these claims when read in conjunction with advertisement visual implies that the product is meant for enhancement of sexual pleasure which is in Breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.
  1. Aarogyam Ayur Panch Hospital & Research Centre: The advertisement’s claim, “Successful treatment of 25000 patients through ayurvedic chikitsa”, was not proven with supporting evidence, and is misleading. Also the claims, “Now more easy to reduce 5-55 kg weight”, “Reduce 5-10 kg weight in 15 days”, “Freedom from obesity” and “Will not regain the lost weight” were not substantiated with clinical evidence, and are misleading by exaggeration.  Also, specific to the claims implying cure for obesity, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.
  1. Kangra Herb Pvt. Ltd.: The advertisement’s claims, “One can avoid kidney, liver and knee transplant and can get successfully treated with medicines made from organic herbs and has no side effects”, were not substantiated with supporting clinical evidence. Further the claim, “world’s best herbal products manufacturing company”, was not substantiated with comparative data versus other similar manufacturers in the same category or any third party validation or research to prove this claim. The claim, “treatments are more successful than dashkarma”, was not substantiated with supporting data.  Also, the claims are misleading by exaggeration. Also, specific to the claims implying cure of liver disorders, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.

 

  1. Kangra Herb Pvt. Ltd.: The advertisement’s claim, “successful treatment for incurable diseases like skin psoriasis, liver cirrhosis, muscular dystrophy, Parkinson’s”, was not substantiated with any clinical evidence. Further the claim, “has no side effects and uses organic herbs that are more effective than dashkarma”, were not substantiated with supporting data regarding safety of the product. Also the claim, “world’s best herbal product manufacturer”, was not substantiated with comparative data versus other similar manufacturers in the same category or any third party validation or research to prove this claim. The claims are also misleading by gross exaggeration. Specific to the claims implying cure for liver cirrhosis (a liver disorder) and Parkinson’s, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.

 

  1. SDI Herbo-Chem Pvt. Ltd. (Zosh Capsules/Oil): The advertisement’s claim, “Keep your partner happy with Zosh Oil and Capsules”, was not substantiated with product efficacy data, and is misleading.  Also, this claim when read in conjunction with the advertisement visual implies that the product is meant for enhancement of sexual pleasure which is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.

 

  1. American Homeo Lab: The advertisement’s claims, “Doctors give best treatment for diabetes, sex problem, low semen without any side effects”, and “Effect starts from first day and cure in one month”, were not substantiated with clinical evidence, and are misleading. Further the claim, “100% guarantee”, was not proven with supporting evidence of the customers who have been benefitted by the treatment. Also, specific to the claims related to treatment of sexual problems, low semen, read in conjunction with the advertisement visual, imply enhancement of sexual pleasure, which is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act. Even the specific claims related to treatment for Diabetes, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.

 

  1. Sri Ayurveda Ganapati: The advertisement’s claims, “Take medicine for 15 days & see effects”, and “Sexual weakness, lack of excitement, low sperm, Get full pleasure in old age”, were not substantiated with clinical evidence, and are misleading. Also, specific to the claims implying treatment for sexual problems (men and horse never grow old, lack of excitement, low sperm, get full pleasure in old age) read in conjunction with the advertisement visual implies enhancement of sexual pleasure, which is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Cosmetics Act.

 

  1. Dassan’s Ayurvedic Herbal (Re Renal): The advertisement’s claims, “Avoid kidney disease and dialysis”, “Patients ko dilaya No.1 kidney care product ka ehsaas” and “For the first time, data and video of the patients being treated with best results”, were inadequately substantiated, and are misleading by exaggeration. It was also observed that the testimonials are based on a very small number of unrepresentative population, without any actual clinical evaluation reports and for an unproven product treatment. Further specific to the claims implying cure for kidney diseases, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.

Education:

The CCC found following claims in the advertisements by 17 different advertisers were not substantiated and, thus, violated ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions. Hence complaints against these advertisements were upheld.

  1. Swadesh Classes: The advertisement’s claim, “Get Government job in three months” was not substantiated with authentic supporting data such as detailed list of students who have been placed through their Institute in Government firms, contact details of students for verification, enrolment forms and appointment letters received by the students.  Also, the claim is misleading by exaggeration.

 

  1. Orane Institute of Beauty & Wellness: The advertisement’s claim, “Largest network of beauty and wellness Institutes in Delhi-Punjab-Chandigarh-Gujarat-Rajasthan Haryana-Himachal Pradesh”, was not substantiated with comparative data to prove that they have the largest network than others in beauty education industry and is misleading by exaggeration. For the claim, “100% job assistance”, the CCC noted that the use of “100%” numerical is not relevant for “job assistance” claim, and is misleading by implication. The claim, "Beauty professionals earning equivalent to doctors", was not substantiated with supporting evidence to prove that by and large whether beauty professionals are drawing salary equal to that of doctors.  The claim is misleading by ambiguity and exaggeration.

 

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’.

Army Institute of Management, Institute of professional education and research, Buddha Institute of Technology (BIT), Panipat Institute of Engineering and Technology, Dexter Academy, Xavier University Bhubaneswar, Sarthik Industrial Training Institute, Banaras Institute of Engineering & Technology, Indian fire and Nursing School, Northern Group of Institute (Northern Institute of Engineering Technical Campus), Arcot Sri Mahalakshmi Women’s College, RICS School of Built Environment Amity University, Koustuv Technical Campus Koustuv Institute of Self Domain & College of Engg, DRIEMS Group Of Institutions, DRIEMS School of Hotel Management and Pathfinder Institute of Agriculture.

Personal care:

 

  1. Anchor Health & Beauty Care Pvt. Ltd. (New Anchor health plus): The advertisement’s claim (in Gujarati) as translated into English, “India’s first soap with power of sanitizer”, was not substantiated with technical tests/trials report, and with comparative data versus other similar soaps in the same category. Also, the claim is misleading by ambiguity and exaggeration.
  1. Emami Limited (Keshking): The advertisement depicts a photo of a girl with shoulder length short hair as before & with waist-length long hair as after as a result of using oil & shampoo for two years. It was noted that apart from the single consumer testimonial, the advertiser did not provide any technical rationale for the product benefit of stopping hair loss and enhance significant hair growth as claimed in the testimonial / depicted in the advertisement nor any other clinical evidence for the product efficacy as implied. The testimonial provided of one individual as supporting proof was not considered to be adequate and authenticity of the consumer’s claim was not verifiable by any other evidence – photographic or otherwise. It was concluded that the claim is not adequately substantiated with authentic evidence and the efficacy being depicted via images of before and after the usage of the product is misleading by exaggeration.

 

  1. Greek Retail P. Limited Inocos Herbal Industries (Radyance Skin Brightening Complex): The advertisement’s claim, “Visakapatnam guys are using this method to get five shades fairer in 14 days”, is false, misleading by gross exaggeration and exploits consumers’ lack of experience and knowledge. The product efficacy claim of “getting five shades fairer in 14 days”, was not substantiated and the efficacy being depicted via images of before and after the usage of the product are grossly misleading.
  1. Greek Retail P. Limited Inocos Herbal Industries (Raydance Skin Brightening Serum): The advertisement’s claim, “Look five shades fairer in just 90 seconds”, is false, not substantiated with product efficacy data, is misleading by gross exaggeration and exploits consumers’ lack of experience and knowledge.
  1. Torque Pharmaceuticals (U B Fair): It was observed that the advertisement shows protagonist with a dark complexion and concerned look pre-use. The advertisement emphasizes the improvement skin tone and the voice over states “… banja star…”, “U B Fair, ab ladkon ki nikal padi”. This when seen in conjunction with the visuals of the protagonist with fairer skin tone, happy, smiling and surrounded by women was considered to be in contravention of Clause 1 and 2 of the ASCI Guidelines of Advertising for Skin Lightening or Fairness Improvement Products.
  1. Hindustan Unilever Ltd. (Lakme Youth Infinity Range of Products): The advertisement’s claims, “The new Lakme Youth Infinity range keeps the contoured look of youth”, and “Percentages of women who have experienced the sculpting power of Lakme Youth Infinity Day Crème*” were not substantiated and are misleading.
  1. Advanced Beauty & Cosmetic Clinic (Minus Cosmetic): The advertisement’s claim, “Get rid of double-chin, love-handles, belly Fat, back fat, inner and cuter thigh fat”, was not substantiated and is misleading by exaggeration. Also, efficacy being depicted via images of before and after the treatment are misleading by exaggeration.

 

  1. Marico Ltd. (Parachute Advanced Coconut Hair Oil): The advertisement’s voice over claim, “Parachute Advanced apnaiye aur paiye world’s best hair”, is an absolute claim which is not substantiated. Also, the claim is misleading by gross exaggeration and a misrepresentation regarding the product benefit.

 

  1. Ruturaj Ayurvedic Gruh Udyog (Ruturaj Herbal Shampoo): The advertisement’s claim, “Ruturaj Herbal Shampoo, completely free from chemicals”, is a tall claim which was not substantiated. Also the claim, “Hair fall will reduce in three days”, was not substantiated with evidence for the efficacy of the advertised product. Also, the claims are misleading by exaggeration.

 

  1. Aswini Homeo & Ayurvedic Products Pvt. Ltd. (Aswini Hair Oil): The advertisement’s claims, “Mukti from hair fall”, and “the only product that works on hair fall”, were not substantiated with evidence of product efficacy. Also, the claims are misleading by exaggeration and implication that other products do not work or provide similar benefits.

 

  1. Emami Limited (Keshking Ayurvedic Oil and Shampoo): The advertisement’s claim, ‘Ultimate solution for hair fall’ was not substantiated and is misleading by exaggeration. Further the claim, “Recommended by world’s best hair experts” for the part “World’s best hair experts”, was not substantiated adequately and is misleading by ambiguity as the advertiser has cited names of some individuals. However, the basis on which the advertiser is claiming them to be the world’s best was not established. For the testimonial claim, ‘“my hair fall problem is now solved. I win against hair fall every time”, the disclaimer says * hair fall due to hair breakage”.  It was noted that while the main headline and body copy refer to hair fall, it is hiding material information such as this hair fall is due to only hair breakage (and not due to hair loss from the roots). It was opined that for a product being positioned as a scalp and hair medicine, calling hair breakage as hair fall is misleading by ambiguity.

Food & Beverages:

  1. GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Ltd. (Horlicks Oats): The advertisement’s claim, “Helps manage healthy blood pressure”, by the advertiser is quite different from the International approach by the USFDA or EFSA wherein the claim itself refers to the “low sodium” feature and presents the benefit more as a “possibility” than an “assurance”. It was concluded that the claim was misleading by ambiguity and implication. Also, the claim exploits consumers’ lack of experience and knowledge.
  1. The Nilgiri Dairy Farm Pvt. Ltd. (Nilgiris Golden Bakes Cookies – Almond & Choco- chip: The visual representation of choco chip quantity on the product packaging is misleading by implication. The disclaimer "Only a pictorial depiction, actual cookie inside may differ", is attempting to correct a misleading claim presented by way of a visual as the packaging visual differs from the actual product being sold.

 

  1. Mystic Aromatics (Areca Tea): The advertisement’s claims (in Malayalam) as translated into English, “Anti-diabetic, anti-oxidant, anti-ulcer”, and “anti-Ageing”, were not substantiated and are misleading by exaggeration.

 

  1. Vimal Oil & Foods Ltd. (Vimal Refined Sunflower Oil): The advertisement’s claims, “Presence of Omega 6 and Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant which in turn, helps the body cells in retaining water” and “NRT – Nutrition Retention Technology”, were not substantiated with supporting data or clinical evidence, and are misleading by exaggeration.
  1. Pankaj Industries (Gulab Sungold Refined Sunflower Oil):  The advertisement’s claims, “100% Pure gulab oils”,  “The less absorption oil”,  “Gulab Sungold Refined Sunflower Oil is healthy due to its light flavour and does not overpower the taste of other ingredients”,   “Being a less absorption oil, it creates more room for more taste, more health and more joy of eating”, “The presence of Omega 6 and Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant which helps the body cells in retaining water”, “Gulab Sungold Sunflower Oil is rich in natural vitamins”, and “It reduces the level of bad cholesterol”,  were not substantiated with technical data or product test reports, and are misleading by exaggeration.
  1. Kanodia Oil Mills Pvt. Ltd. (Kanodia Rice Bran Oil): The advertisement’s claims, “Improving skin tone and delays wrinkles”, “Cleaner blood vessels”, and “Anti-cancer properties”, were not substantiated with evidence of product efficacy and are misleading by exaggeration.
  1. Zero Enthalpy Labs Pvt. Ltd. (Zevia Sweetener): For the advertisement’s claim, “Prevents gingivitis”, it was noted that gingivitis is due to the deposition of sugar and starchy foods in the mouth creating acidic environment. Zevia being a natural sweetener may help to lessen this effect to a larger extent. However this alone cannot justify the claim since Zevia alone would not promote gingivitis by itself, however, it cannot prevent gingivitis caused by other food. Hence the claim was not substantiated and is misleading by ambiguity. Further the claim, “Can help regulate hypertension”, was inadequately substantiated and is misleading by ambiguity as the study results are not relevant for the use of stevia as a natural sweetener in food and hence the results of the study are not relevant and cannot be extrapolated. Also the claim, “anti-bacterial and anti-fungal”, is misleading by implication.

E-Commerce:

  1. Amazon India (HTC Desire 620G Dual Sim): For the product, HTC Desire 620G Dual Sim being sold on Amazon India, the website communication claiming the MRP of the product as Rs 14,900 is false. The advertisement offering at the discounted price of Rs 7375, when the actual MRP of the product is Rs.9990, distorts facts and is therefore misleading the consumers as to actual discount being offered.
  1. Trendsutra Platform Services Pvt. Ltd. (Pepperfry.com): The advertisement shows the product (sofa) being returned as it did not fit in the space available and gives an impression that it was the customer’s mistake. The advertisement does not clearly say that it is the mistake of the vendor. Further, the advertisement does not clarify that the product can be returned only if it is damaged or defective or not as per specification as advertised.  The claim in the TVC “Easy returns”, read in conjunction with the voiceover “if there is a problem, we will take it back”, is therefore misleading by ambiguity.
  1. Cleartrip Pvt. Ltd. (Cleartrip): It was noted that the claim offer (voice over in the advertisement), “Lock a flight for today and pay only if your plan is confirmed. Even if the fare increases you still pay only the locked fare”, does not state that the user has to pay an additional non-refundable price lock fee to lock the flight fare. It was concluded that the advertisement is misleading by omission of information that lock in feature is subject to several terms and conditions.

 

  1. Accelyst Solutions Pvt. Ltd. (Freecharge): The advertisement’s claim of, “100% cash back on recharges/bill payments. Just pay with free charge for minimum Rs100 at any of our partners”, is misleading as the cash back being offered is limited to Rs 50.
  1. One 97 Communications Limited (PayTM): It was noted that while the advertisement states, “Flat” 50% regardless of the total purchase amount, the cash back being offered is limited to Rs 150”, but the claim offer, “Flat 50% cash back” is misleading by ambiguity as the cash back of flat 50% is applicable on booking of minimum two tickets and the maximum cash back amount would be restricted to Rs 150 only, which was not clearly specified in the advertisement.

 

  1. com (Magic Bricks): The advertisement’s claim, “Your trust has made us India's No. 1 property site”, is misleading by ambiguity and implication. It was noted that as per ComScore data presented by the advertiser, Magicbricks.com has been the leading property site in the category in terms of total unique visitors from January 2015 to January 2016. However, it was observed that the wording of the leadership claim in the advertisement is ambiguous. Also, as the unique visits to the portal in themselves do not substantiate the leadership claim as it does not quantify the total number of properties displayed or sold via this platform and the productivity score in comparison to other property portals and hence the leadership claim is subject to interpretation. It was also noted that the disclaimer in the advertisement is not in compliance with the ASCI guidelines on disclaimer as it is not legible and is misleading by ambiguity as it uses the term “As per Comscore total UV January 2015 to January 2016” as stated by the advertiser. The disclaimer should not attempt to hide material information with respect to the claim, the omission/absence of which is likely to make the advertisement deceptive or conceal its commercial intent.

Others:

  1. Safechem Industries (Sparkle Dishwash Tub): The advertisement’s claims (in Hindi) in the TVC, “Ek Sparkle, 9000 bartan”, and the claim (in Hindi) in the print advertisement, “Chamke 9000 bartan sirf ek tub sparkle se”, were not substantiated adequately and are misleading by ambiguity and implication.

 

  1. Bombay Barbeque: The advertisement’s showcases the cartoon image of “a delivery boy riding a scooter without helmet” which depicts an unsafe practice and contravenes the ASCI Codes.

 

  1. Greendust (Mee Audio Sport-F1 M3P In-ear Headphones): For the product being sold, it was noted that the invoice shows the product as “seconds sale” whereas the advertisement is silent on this aspect of the product being a seconds sale item. The advertisement is misleading the consumers to believe that they are being offered a high quality product at a huge discount on its MRP. It was concluded that the website communication claiming the MRP of the product as Rs 1999 and offering a seconds sale at a discounted price of Rs 350, distorts facts and is misleading by omission to mention that it is a seconds sale product.

 

  1. Blizz Biosculpting: The advertisement’s claim, “No Belly Before Diwali” and “XXX to M” were not substantiated with supporting evidence, and claims as well as efficacy being depicted via images of before and after the treatment are misleading.

 

  1. Bridgestone India Private Limited (Ecopia Tyres): The advertisement’s claim, "I emit lesser CO2 so you breathe easy”, was not substantiated. There was no reference to what the comparison is being made versus and whether the contribution of lesser emission of the advertised tyres is statistically significant or valid over the life period of the tyre in use to make such a claim or call the product as “eco-friendly”. Also the claim is misleading by exaggeration.

 

  1. Bajaj Auto Ltd. (Bajaj Pulsar): In the advertisement, the rider is shown performing stunts in normal streets, market, traffic conditions – wheelie being shown in multiple places, including right amongst a group of people dancing. This is noted to be in contradictory to the disclaimer made in the advertisement – “These stunts have been performed under controlled environment at an isolated location”.  It was concluded that regardless of the disclaimer, the specific visuals showing the stunts performed by the rider in normal traffic and/or in presence of bystanders and public encourages dangerous practices, manifests a disregard for safety and encourages negligence and contravenes the ASCI Codes.

 

  1. Aditya Birla Management Corporation P. Ltd. (Idea Cellular): The advertisement’s claim, "ek jaroori suchna! abhi call karen 53111 aur payen 50 Rs ka free recharge”, is false and misleading by omission as the free recharge was not being offered to every caller but subject to certain terms and conditions.

 

  1. Lico Group (Licostyle Shoes): The advertisement’s visual showing “a woman sitting on the floor and the man putting his shoe clad foot on her lap”, is demeaning and derogatory to women, and is likely to cause grave and widespread offence.

 

  1. Philips Electronics India Ltd. (Philips Appliances): The advertisement of Philips Appliances stated life-long free service, with terms and conditions which were incomprehensible and in an illegible font size. It was concluded that the disclaimers in the advertisement were not legible.

 

  1. InterGlobe Aviation Limited (Indigo Airlines): The advertisement’s claim, “With fares starting at just Rs 858, book till November 8, 2016 for travel between January 11, 2017 and April 11, 2017”, is false as no such flight fare exists, and is misleading by ambiguity as there is no specific information about which route or for which flight this offer is available.

 

  1. Swajal Water Pvt. Ltd. (Swajal): The advertisement’s claim, “India’s most awarded brand”, was not substantiated and is misleading by exaggeration.

 

  1. SeaGreen Distributions LLP (Nano Fixit): The advertisement’s claim, “92.7% radiation reduction” was not adequately substantiated. Further the claims, “Stronger than any other tempered glass”, “The world’s No.1 and only liquid screen protector”, “3D touch experience” and “lasts up to one year” were inadequately substantiated and are misleading by exaggeration.

 

  1. Bajaj Auto Ltd. (Bajaj Pulsar): It was concluded that the stunts depicted in the advertisement, in the absence of any disclaimer, show/encourage a dangerous practice, manifest a disregard for safety and encourages negligence and contravene the ASCI Codes and Guidelines on Advertisements for Automotive Vehicles.

 

  1. G. Hosiery P. Ltd. (Amul Macho): The advertisement showcases the rider performing stunts in normal streets, market and traffic conditions. This was found in contradictory to the disclaimer made in the advertisement – “These acts/stunts have been performed under a controlled environment at a preselected location, by trained professional under expert supervision….”. It was concluded that regardless of the disclaimer, the specific visuals showing the stunts performed by the rider in normal traffic and/or in presence of bystanders and public encourages dangerous practices, manifests a disregard for safety and encourages negligence.  Also, the disclaimers in the advertisement are not legible.

 

  1. Emerald Jewel Industry India Limited: The advertisement’s claim, “Asia’s largest jewellery manufacturer”, was not substantiated with comparative data versus other similar jewellery manufacturers in the same category or any third party validation or research and is misleading by exaggeration.

 

  1. Global Consumer Products Private Limited (DND Aeromax Coil Diffuser): The advertisement’s claim, “98 per cent natural”, is misleading by ambiguity, implication and omission of mention that active ingredient is a chemical ingredient and the advertisement exploits the lack of consumers’ knowledge.

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