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ASCI upheld complaints against 190 ads in June, 2019

112 belonged to the education sector, 40 belonged to the healthcare sector, 10 to personal care, seven to the food & beverages, five to the media / broadcasting, five from consumer durables and 11 from ‘others’ category

During the month of June 2019, the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) investigated complaints against 334 advertisements, of which 106 were promptly withdrawn by advertisers as soon as they received a communication from the council.

The independent Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of ASCI upheld complaints against 190 advertisements, out of 228 advertisements evaluated by them. Of these 190 advertisements, 112 belonged to the education sector, 40 belonged to the healthcare sector, 10 to personal care,  seven to the food & beverages sector, five to the media / broadcasting sector, five from consumer durables and 11 were from the ‘others’ category.

The trend of advertisements featuring celebrities without observing Guidelines for celebrities in Advertising continued.  The CCC pulled up a renowned celebrity couple that endorsed an “antibacterial” paint brand claiming it to be endorsed by the Indian Medical Association (IMA).  One of the bestseller water purifier brands featuring a Bollywood superstar claimed to instantly incorporate the benefits of copper in the purified water, equating it with water stored overnight in copper vessels. A well-known celebrity associated with cricket as well as a few cricket players endorsed a detergent product, which had a misleading claim of it being consumers’ choice for its product quality.  A claim endorsed by a famous cricketer for a gaming app being “India's Favourite Fantasy Cricket Game” was also not substantiated.

Consumers were quite unhappy about condom advertisements being aired during family viewing hours, violating the advisory by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting that requires such advertisements, not suitable for viewing by children, to adhere to watershed hours.

ASCI via its Suo Motu monitoring pulled up over 100 misleading advertisements from the educational sector.

In a recent development, the Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA) renewed their MOU with ASCI, for the fifth consecutive year. Reacting to this update, Shweta Purandare, Secretary General, ASCI, said “We are extremely happy with this development as this reiterates the government’s faith in the work done by ASCI over the years. What ASCI brings to the table is not just the unique expertise in dealing with complaints pertaining to misleading advertisements but also its suo motu capabilities to monitor a huge number of misleading advertisements in television and print media. ASCI provides a very efficient mechanism for consumers as well as ensures prompt compliance from advertisers, thus reducing the burden on regulators to focus only on persistent violators.”

In another significant development, a recent Delhi court judgement too has re-affirmed the remit of ASCI over non-members. All these developments, including renewal of ASCI’s MoU with DoCA, bode well to ensure “More governance” and for building a strong and cohesive ecosystem in the interest of consumers. ASCI is working closely with DoCA to ensure that this collaboration continues with the formation of the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA).

Education: - 112 advertisements complained against

 

 

Healthcare: - 40 advertisements complained against

 

 

Personal care: - 10 advertisement complained against

 

 

Food and beverages: - Seven advertisements complained against

 

 

Media / Broadcasting: - Five advertisements complained against

 

Consumer durables: - Five advertisements complained against

  • Suo Motu (Five advertisements)

 

Others: - 11 advertisements complained against

 

Direct complaints

The advertisements given below were complained against by the general public or by industry members. Of the 79 advertisements complained against, for 21 cases the advertisements were promptly withdrawn by the advertiser on receiving communication from ASCI. For the remaining 58 advertisements, complaints against 21 advertisements were upheld by the CCC, five from Media / Broadcasting sector, three each of the Food & Beverages sector, the Education sector, the Healthcare sector, Personal Care sector and four from the ‘Others’ category. 37 advertisements were not considered to be objectionable or in contravention of the ASCI code.

Media / Broadcasting

  1. TV Today Network Ltd (India Today Television): The ad-mailer’s claim that “India Today Television No. 1 this Election” made a leadership claim under Single Event Reporting. However, the advertiser had chosen the audience segment as M22+A for this event, which as per BARC Guidelines cannot be a single NCCS segment with an age cut. This was viewed as impermissible use of BARC data. The CCC concluded that the headline claim is misleading by implication as the General Elections ran to several phases. 

 

  1. ARG Outlier Media (R Bharat): The advertisement’s claims, as translated from Hindi “Real No. 1 Channel” and “India’s No.1 Reporter” were not substantiated. The claim is misleading by exaggeration and implication. The sources for the leadership claims were not indicated in the Ad-mailer.

 

  1. ARG Outlier Media (R Bharat): The advertisement’s claim, as translated from Hindi “Number One Channel in Election R.Bharat” was not substantiated. The claim is misleading by exaggeration and implication. The source for the leadership claim was not indicated in the AD – TV Promo.

 

  1. ARG Outlier Media (R Bharat): The advertisement’s claim, as translated from Hindi “India’s No.1 Election coverage” was not substantiated with verifiable supporting data. The claim is misleading by exaggeration and implication. The source for the leadership claim was not indicated in the advertisement.

 

  1. ARG Outlier Media (Republic TV): The advertisement’s claim, as translated from Hindi “India’s biggest media network” was not substantiated with verifiable supporting data. The source for the leadership claim was not indicated in the advertisement. 

Food and Beverage

  1. GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Ltd (Horlicks): The CCC observed that in the website advertisement, the advertiser’s slogan “What you eat is not what you get” is juxtaposed with the text – “Horlicks has bioavailable nutrients which get absorbed in the blood and are carried to all parts of the body”. The CCC observed that this statement by the advertiser creates an impression in the consumer’s mind that the advertiser’s product is superior to food because it is bio available. The CCC also noted that juxtaposing "clinically proven" and "bio available nutrients" with other claims made, appears to be misleading because the submitted clinical trial does not unambiguously and fully support these claims. Hence the CCC concluded that advertisers claim of Horlicks having "bioavailable" nutrients” only exaggerates the concept of bioavailability as a gimmick by juxtaposing it with the tagline of “clinically proven” without providing any adequate supporting evidence of the trial of the actual product with reference to the “bioavailability” attribute claimed by the advertiser. The claim contravened ASCI Guidelines on Advertising of Food & Beverages.
  2. Good Brands For A Healthy Life Pvt. Ltd. (Sugar Watchers Low GI Rice): The advertiser’s claims on their product packaging “Helps Sugar level and Weight Management” and “This keeps the entire family healthier and is suitable for diabetics”, were misleading by omission. The CCC observed that the advertised rice (BPT 5204) has a low Glycemic Index (GI). However, the CCC also noted that if this low GI rice is consumed in more than adequate quantities then the overall glycaemic load may still be high and such rice cannot be eaten by diabetics in excess. The CCC noted that this rice would be suitable for diabetics only if portion sizes are controlled as well as all other lifestyle changes and pharmacotherapy are adhered to and this rice is part of an “overall low GI diet”. Another claim “Diabetologist recommended” was not adequately substantiated. Even though the advertiser submitted few testimonials from diabetologists the CCC did not consider the sample size to be large enough to make a generic claim that the product is “Diabetologist recommended”.

 

  1. Amway India Enterprises Pvt. Ltd. (Nutrilite Traditional Herbs Range): The print advertisement’s claim “Certified Organic and DNA Fingerprinted herbs with the promise of Purity, Safety and Potency” was considered to be misleading by ambiguity and omission of the reference to the product containing extracts (and not whole herbs). The advertiser is not using the herbs as such in the product but is using their extracts whereas the advertisement headline presents the product range as “Nutrilite Traditional Herbs Range”. The second claim “1 Tulsi Tablet = over 100 dried organic leaves of Tulsi herb” was also not substantiated. The CCC was of the opinion that the word “herb” cannot be used synonymously with the word “extract”.

Education

The CCC found that the claims made in following three advertisements were misleading by exaggeration and could lead to widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers. The advertisements also violated ASCI’s Guidelines for Advertising for Educational Institutions and Programs.

 

  1. NIIT LTD: The advertiser’s claim of “5000 Assured jobs”, is false and misleading by exaggeration, ambiguity and implication. The second claim, “50,000 Students Placed” was not also substantiated with authentic supporting data such as detailed list of students who have been placed through their Institute in the banking sector contact details of students for verification, enrolment forms and appointment letters received by the students, nor any independent audit or verification certificate. The advertisement violated the ASCI Guidelines on Disclaimers.

 

  1. Roorkee College of Pharmacy: The website advertisement’s claim “An ISO 9001 2000 Certified for Quality Education” was not substantiated with copies of the ISO certifications.

 

  1. Tagore Coaching Centre: The print advertisement’s claim as translated from Hindi “Job Guarantee batch for Government jobs – Air Force and Navy” was not substantiated with verifiable supporting data of the students who were provided with government jobs in air force and navy after completion of their defence course training. Another claim as translated from Hindi “Institute having and unbroken mega record of providing highest selection in the country” was not substantiated as the advertiser did not provide any support data or evidence of comparison with other similar institutes to prove that they have provided highest selection of students in the country.

Healthcare 

Following advertisements in the healthcare sector were found to be misleading that exploit consumers’ lack of knowledge and could lead to widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers.

 

  1. Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Limited (Revital H Woman): The advertiser’s claim “9/10 women felt energetic after using Revital H Woman” was misleading and inadequately substantiated. The CCC observed that this claim is based on a study done by an independent body, the Home Tester Club. It was noted that while the samples of the test product were couriered to 1000 sample respondents that met the eligibility criteria, there were only 604 members who completed the post-trial survey. The CCC noted that only those with a favourable disposition were allowed to complete the survey. The CCC did not consider the design of the questionnaire to be acceptable or reliable to generate claim support data as only one product was used for the purpose of survey, thus most likely creating bias in favour of the Product in the minds of participants / respondents of the survey. A comparative claim could have been a better approach. Most of the questions were “leading” which would elicit favourable answers for the Product. The advertiser picked only one answer instead of drawing over all conclusion from the data for the claim. This was considered to be distorting the data in order to mislead the consumer by omitting the overall conclusion of the survey.

 

  1. L V Prasad Eye Institute: The YouTube advertisement shows a surgical procedure being performed by implanting stem cells, along with Dr Sayan Basu’s testimonial, “… what we did for him was a combination of stem cell therapy …”. As per the CCC, stem cell therapy is not yet classified as an approved therapy in India for the indication mentioned in the YouTube promo and till date there is no systematic study to substantiate the claim. In the context of the current NAC SCRT guidelines, the advertisement referred to stem cell therapy for unapproved indications and violated The National Guidelines for Stem Cell Research 2013. The YouTube advertisement was misleading by ambiguity as well as in breach of the law. 

 

  1. Neeraj Epilepsy Clinic: The testimonial claims in the print advertisement (in Hindi) as translated in English, “After taking her to Neeraj Clinic, we took medicines from there. After that she never faced Epilepsy. For the last 15 years she hasn’t taken medicines & her Epilepsy got cured”, “Doctor gave 1st dosage with his hand. From that day itself my Epilepsy stopped. I took dosage for 1 year, after that I didn’t even take medicines. Now my epilepsy has stopped since 18 years”, and “Medicines in Neeraj Clinic are made from 'Ganga Jaal' because of which diseases are cured from their root”, were not substantiated with supporting clinical evidence in statistically significant number of patients treated at their clinic. The testimonial claims are grossly misleading and are likely to lead to grave and widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers particularly patients suffering from Epilepsy. Specific to the claims implying cure from Epilepsy by use of the ayurvedic medicines, the advertisement was in breach of the Drugs and Magic Remedies Regulation (item 17 under the schedule). 

Personal Care

  1. Bajaj Consumer Care Ltd. (Bajaj Almond Drops Hair Oil): The product claims to have “300% Vitamin E” as compared to unbranded sweet almond oil, based on independent lab test results. The CCC noted that the test report does not provide any details of the unbranded sweet almond oil. According to the CCC, the comparison should have been a like to like comparison i.e. ideally comparison with another branded almond hair oil which would also provide lesser variability in results and more specifically with other light hair oils. The subject matter of comparison was chosen in such a way so as to confer an artificial advantage upon the advertiser or as to suggest that a better bargain is offered than is truly the case.  The CCC concluded that the claim, “300% Vitamin – E” is misleading by ambiguity and implication that the said light hair oil is better than almond oil.

 

  1. Mankind Pharma Limited (Manforce Cocktail Condom): The television advertisements aired on multiple channels by the advertiser contravened the the advisory of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting dated December 11, 2017 that such advertisements can only be aired during the watershed hours i.e. post 10:00 p.m. till 6:00 a.m. The CCC observed that the advertisement ought to have been aired during the watershed hours as several intimate scenes between the male and female protagonists were inappropriate for family viewing, especially by children.

 

  1. Reckitt Benckiser (India) Pvt. Ltd. (Durex Mutual Climax): In the context of a condom product, the CCC did not consider the advertisements to be objectionable when viewed by adults. The advertisement that appeared in Hotstar and YouTube was found to depict certain visuals that were not suitable to watch during family viewing time but appropriate only for watershed hours. The visuals when viewed during live streaming of programs or on YouTube were inappropriate for viewing by minors.      

The CCC found that the claims made in the following nine advertisements were misleading that exploit consumers’ lack of knowledge and lead to widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers.
 

  1. Asian Paints Ltd: The advertiser’s claims “Its anti-bacterial technology kills bacteria that enter the house”, “Kills all bacteria” “Asian Paints – The Anti-Bacterial Paint. Recommended by the Indian Medical Association” featuring celebrities Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone were not adequately substantiated.  The source and date of the studies used as the basis of the claims were not included in the disclaimer. The advertisement was misleading by ambiguity regarding the nature of germ kill and omission with respect to the required contact time. The TVC was misleading by implication that The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has endorsed the product, whereas, IMA had permitted the use of their logo for the “Asian Paints Silver Ion Technology” and not for the product as a whole. The advertiser did not provide any evidence showing that the celebrities had done due diligence prior to the endorsement. The advertisement violates ASCI’s Guidelines for Celebrities in Advertising and the ASCI Guidelines on Disclaimers.

 

  1. Eureka Forbes Ltd (Dr. Aquaguard NRICH ROs): The advertiser’s claim as translated from Hindi “Aquaguard ki nayi Active Copper technology de paani ko tambe ki shakti, instantly” (Aquaguard’s new Active Copper Technology instantly gives the power of Copper to water) “Tambe ki Shakti, Instantly” (“Power of Copper, Instantly”) featuring celebrity Madhuri Dixit Nene suggests that the product delivers benefits associated with the overnight storage of water in copper vessels, that too instantly. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of Copper for adult men and women is 900 μg/day thus for any potential benefit from the presence of Copper, the total daily water intake should correspond to 15% of the RDA level.  However, the advertiser did not intend to associate the claims with any health benefits. Hence it was concluded that the use of the claim “Tambe ki Shakti, Instantly” is misleading by ambiguity and implication that the output water has benefits associated with Copper, since this was not conclusively established by the advertiser. Additionally, there was no evidence showing that the celebrity had done due diligence prior to the endorsement and was found to violate ASCI’s Guidelines for Celebrities in Advertising.

 

  1. Grofers India Private Limited: The website advertisement’s claim “Up to 100% off” advertised products was misleading by omission of a qualifier that the offer is subject to terms and conditions, and did not provide any details where the said conditions are available. The offer was only applicable for purchases made through coins in the Grofers wallet. While the website advertisement and the advertiser’s application contained the discounted offer item, the advertiser did not provide any references to terms and conditions that consumers might peruse before availing the said offer.

 

  1. Simply Grow Technologies Pvt Ltd (Jama): The social media and website advertisement’s claims “Losing 40% in MF Commissions?”, “Get up to 40% more”, “Invest in best direct mutual funds and earn up to 40% higher returns compared to regular plans” were not substantiated. The advertiser did not provide the methodology of calculation of returns and the difference in direct and regular plans, explanation of how mutual funds distributors can get 40% commission from doing mutual fund investment as claimed in the advertisements, and how would an investor lose 40% commission. The YouTube video claiming the scheme as `Direct Plan’ was also considered to be misleading. It was also observed that the advertisements did not have mandatory / statutory disclaimer such as “Mutual Fund investments are subject to market risks, read all scheme related documents carefully.” And “Past performance doesn't guarantee future return” etc.                                                                                               

Suo Motu Surveillance by ASCI for misleading advertisements

The advertisements given below were picked up through ASCI’s Suo Motu surveillance of Print and TV media via the National Advertisement Monitoring Services (NAMS) project. Out of 255 advertisements that were picked, 85 cases were resolved immediately wherein the advertisers confirmed that the advertisements were being withdrawn post receiving the complaints. Of the 170 advertisements examined by the CCC, complaints against 169 advertisements were upheld. Of these 169 advertisements, 109 belonged to the Education sector, 37 advertisements belonged to the Healthcare sector, seven belonged to the Personal Care category, five belonged to Consumer Durables, four belonged to Food & Beverage and seven fell in the “Others” category.

The following advertisements were in violation of ASCI’s Guidelines for Celebrities in Advertising. The advertisers did not provide any evidence to show that the celebrities did due diligence prior to lending their name to the endorsements, to ensure that all description, claims and comparisons made in the advertisement are capable of substantiation:

  1. Fena (P) Limited (Fena Superwash Powder): The television advertisement’s claim “No.1 choice of millions of consumers” featuring celebrities Preity Zinta, K L Rahul, and Ravichandran Ashwin was not substantiated with verifiable market survey data of the advertiser’s product and other competitor products among representative country wide population, or through a third party validation, to prove that they preferred Fena over other brands in the detergent / bar category.  Hence, the voice over claim having reference to the consumers’ choice for the product quality, is misleading.

Times Internet Limited (CricPlay): The print advertisement’s claim “India's Favourite Fantasy Cricket Game” featuring sportsman Gautam Gambhir was not adequately substantiated as there was no audited report or third-party validation for the claim. The CCC was of the opinion that star ratings alone are not necessarily a true reflection of a particular app being consumers’ “favourite” or it being preferred over others. Other important parameters such as inclusion of all leading apps across platforms and the actual downloads for each app per platform and whether the apps are paid or free were not provide by the advertiser.

 

  1. Ratnasagar Herbals Pvt. Ltd - Joy Hello Sun Sunblock & AntiTan Lotion: The television advertisement’s claim “SPF 30” featuring celebrity Mouni Roy was inadequately substantiated and is misleading by ambiguity. The CCC observed that the advertiser produced an in vitro test report from an independent agency. The CCC considered the claim support data to be inadequate. The Sun Protection Factor (SPF) determined in vivo is a universal indicator of the efficacy of sunscreen products against sunburn and this benefit was not conclusively proven for in-vivo use situation for the advertised product.

 

  1. Ratnasagar Herbals Pvt. Ltd - Joy Hello Sun Sunblock & AntiTan Lotion: The television advertisement’s claim “SPF 40” featuring celebrity Mouni Roy was inadequately substantiated and is misleading by ambiguity. The CCC observed that the advertiser produced an in vitro test report from an independent agency. The CCC considered this claim support data to be inadequate. The Sun Protection Factor (SPF) determined in vivo is a universal indicator of the efficacy of sunscreen products against sunburn and this benefit was not conclusively proven for in-vivo use situation for the advertised product.

 

  1. Signature Global Group: The television advertisement’s claim, “India’s No 1 Affordable Housing Company” featuring celebrity Vidya Balan was not substantiated with verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s housing company and other housing companies in India, to prove that it is in leadership position (No.1) for providing the most affordable housing or through an independent third party validation. The source for the claim was not mentioned in the TVC.

Education

The CCC found that the claims made in following eight advertisements were misleading by exaggeration, exploited consumers’ lack of knowledge and could lead to widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers. The advertisements also violated ASCI’s Guidelines for Advertising for Educational Institutions and Programs.

 

  1. My Mission: The print advertisement’s claim “Assured success in constable exams” with respect to the courses mentioned, was not substantiated with verifiable supporting data of their students who achieved success in the constable exams. The claim assuring success is misleading.

 

  1. Galaxy Defence Academy: The print advertisement’s claim, “School providing highest merit in Haryana”, was not substantiated and is misleading. The advertiser did not provide any support data or evidence of comparison with other similar defence academies, to prove that they have given the highest merit in Haryana as compared to others, by providing training for competitive exams in the defence sector. 

 

  1. Diksha International School: The print advertisement’s claim, “First choice of students”, was not substantiated with any survey data done amongst students, of the advertiser’s school and other similar schools, to prove that the advertiser’s school was chosen as the first amongst other schools, or through an independent third-party validation. The second claim, “Provide 100% success or else double fees will be refunded”, was not substantiated with supporting evidence of students who have achieved success on completion of the claimed courses, and with supporting evidence of students who have not succeeded were refunded with double fees. 

 

  1. Rajvedi’s IAS : The print advertisement claim, “Most successful institute for civil services” was not substantiated with any market survey data or with any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s institute and other similar institutes, to prove that they are more successful than all the rest in providing coaching to their students for Civil Services, or through a third party validation. The claim is misleading by exaggeration and implication.
  2. KP Campus: The print advertisement’s claim, “Highest selection in SSC and Railway” was not substantiated and is misleading. The advertiser did not provide any supporting data or evidence of comparison with all other similar coaching institutes to prove that they have given the highest selection of students in SSC and Railways related jobs, or any validation through a third party.

 

  1. Law Prep Tutorial: The print advertisement claim, “Highest Selection Ratio” was not substantiated with any verifiable support data or evidence of comparison with other coaching institutes, to prove that the advertiser’s institute has higher selection ratio than all other similar institutes for law courses, or through third party validation.

 

  1. M-13 Classes: The print advertisement claim, “Most trusted name in Mathematics” was not substantiated with any market survey data or with any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s institution and other similar institutions, to prove that their coaching institute is the most trusted compared to all others in providing mathematics coaching to their students, or through a third party validation. The source of the claims was not indicated in the advertisement.

 

  1. Mahaveer International School: The advertisement claim, “Meerut's most favourite school” claim was not substantiated with any verifiable comparative data or any market survey data of the advertiser’s school and other schools in Meerut, to prove that they the most favoured in teaching children, or through a third-party validation. The source of the claims was not indicated in the advertisement.

 

Complaints against advertisements of 101 educational institutes listed below are upheld mainly because of unsubstantiated and misleading claims that they provide 100% placement/100% placement assistance or they claim to be the No.1 in their respective fields.

A B Jichkar’s - Ideal Academy of Science

Edwin Kidzee School

Prabhat Career Maker

Aaghaaz Classes

Essar Maritime Academy

Premwati College of Nursing & Paramedical Science

Aaryans World School- Aaryans Commando Kids Training Camp

Graphics Academy

Prof. Raj Awate’s Inspire Academy

Abdul Kalam Institute of Technological Sciences

Gurukul Classes

Radhekrishna College of Pharmacy

Academy of Future Teachers & Education Pvt Ltd (AFTE)

IIT Point

RS Global Immigration

Academy of Maritime Education and Training (AMET)

Indira  Gandhi National Tribal University

S Tutorials

Achievers Academy

Inker Robotics Solutions Pvt Ltd- Inker Robotics Academy & Research Centre

S.R.K.R. Engineering College

ADCC Academy Pvt. Ltd

Inspector’s Academy

Sachdeva Group of Institutions (Sachdeva New P.T. College)

Agri Success Point

Institute of Systematic Studies

Sainath Commerce Classes

Ahlcon Heights International School

Institute of Systematic Studies

Sainik Institute of Education- Sainik Academy

Allen Career Institute

iSYSWAY Technologies

Sanjay Chauhan Chemistry Classes

Allen Career Institute

J.K.N Pvt ITI

Satyam Coaching Center

American Institute of English Language Pvt. Ltd.

J.K.Shah Classes

Satyam International Institute of Technology

Antriksh College of Tourism & Management

Jaipur Children’s Academy

Shanti Educational Initiatives Ltd (Shanti Juniors)

Avis Computers

Jaya High School

Shekhawati Public School

Axis Academy Senior Secondary School

Jayam Matriculation Higher Secondary School & Academy

Shree  K. G. Dholakiya School 

Beyond12 Academy

Kerala Neet Academy

Siksha O Anusandhan University

BGS Apollo Nursing College Mysore

Live Institute of Technology & Management Studies (LITMS)

Sinhal Classes

Bhavisha The Commerce & Law Institute

Manthan Career Institute

Sinhal Classes

Blue Bells Sr. Sec. School

Mars Academy

Software Solution Information Technologies (SSIT)

BNM Academy

Maruthi College of Education

Spiro Academy

Brain Child Institute

MassCoMedia

Sri Maniya International Institute of Hotel Management

Bright Minds Education Private Limited (Brightminds Pre-School)

Maxim Academy

Sri Netaji (MSR) Pilot High school & Residential School

Brilliance Academy

Maxim Academy

Sri Ramanujar Engineering College

British Fort C.B.S.E School

Mere Nanhe Kadam (A Play School)

Tagore Foundation Classes

BSD Academy

MIT World Peace University-MIT School of Government

Tagore Jet Classes

Central Footwear Training Institute

Mody University

Talla Padmavathi College of Engineering

Civil India Services

Mother’s Pride

Turning Point Institute

Connix Institute

National Medical College Naturopathy Centre

V2 Classes

CrackIAS.com

Netaji Subhas University

Vellore Institute of Technology

DET Coaching Centre

New Science Degree & PG College

Vidyarthi Academy Pvt Ltd

Dhaanish Ahmed Institute of Technology

One Step Edutech Pvt Ltd

Vikas Degree College

Digital Academy 360

Pathfinder

Vision Infinity Ltd- Vision Infinity

E School Ludhiana

PFC Education

 

The CCC found that the claims made in the following 25 advertisements were misleading that exploit consumers’ lack of knowledge and could lead to widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers. Several claims were misleading by exaggeration.

  1. Reckitt Benckiser Healthcare India P. Ltd (Ring Guard): The television advertisement’s claim as translated from Tamil “Gives relief from fungus in 7 days” was inadequately substantiated. The said claim when seen in conjunction with the visual of a “ring worm on the hand disappearing completely in 7 days”, implying cure, is misleading by gross exaggeration and implication. The advertiser acknowledges that the product only provides a symptomatic relief from “symptoms” of fungal infection. The CCC observed that as per visual presentation of the advertisement, a consumer is likely to interpret the claim that the product cures fungal infection. The TVC further shows the father, who is afflicted by fungal infection carrying the baby while the corresponding super refers to relief in seven days. Fungal clearance requires much longer treatment and portraying that the product cures fungal infection in seven days is encouraging an unsafe practice especially for a contagious condition. 

 

  1. Medlife International Private Limited – Medlife: The print advertisement’s claim, “India's No.1 E-Pharmacy” was not conclusively proven with any verifiable comparative data. It was observed that the advertiser relies on the report by Frost & Sullivan on E-Pharmacy in India - An Exponential, to substantiate its claims. However the source of information in this report is the advertiser’s own blog, hence the report cannot reasonably be accepted as sufficient substantiation. The advertiser market share needed to be independently verified and other players shares like Netmeds, 1MG, Pharmeasy, Myra, CareOnGo and Pharmasafe have to be similarly assessed to ensure that no player has a larger share than the advertiser.

 

  1. 1MG Technologies Private Limited (1mg.com): The print advertisement’s claim “India's Largest Healthcare platform” was not conclusively proven and is misleading by exaggeration and implication. The source for the claim was not indicated in the advertisement.

 

  1. Bindal Eye Hospital: The print advertisement’s claim “Best Eye Hospital in Shekhawati” was not substantiated with any market survey data, or with any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s hospital and all other similar eye hospitals in Shekhawati, to prove that they are better than the rest in providing eye treatment or eye related services or through an independent third party validation. The source for the claim was not indicated in the advertisement.

 

  1. Vision Next Foundation’s Dattatray Walse Patil Eye Care Hospital: The print advertisement’s claim “Get rid of eye glasses permanently of both eyes of any number at any age with Lasik surgery” was misleading by omission and exaggeration. The advertisement states that this surgery is made available to people of all ages. However, the surgery is only made available to patients over 18 years of age. Reading eye numbers do come in all patients after 45 years of their age. Patients do get eye numbers when they have nuclear cataracts in future, till the cataract is extracted. Such information is required to be included in the communication. Therefore, claiming permanent riddance from eye number is misleading.

 

  1. FSIVF and Research Centre: For the print advertisement’s claim “The only centre with high success rate”, the advertiser did not provide any support data or evidence of comparison with other similar IVF centres, to prove that their centre is the only one to have achieved high success rate for fertility treatments than all the others.

 

  1. Skin City Super Specialty Skin Clinic: The print advertisement’s claim as translated from Marathi “Leucoderma can be cured / cleared” was not substantiated with supporting clinical evidence in statistically significant number of patients treated at their clinic. While the clinic appeared to provide laser treatment, the advertiser did not provide any details of their treatment procedure, nor any details regarding the medicines used for the claimed disease and their approval status by the regulatory authorities.   

 

  1. Foot Treat Reflexology Centre: The advertisement’s claims in Tamil as translated in English, “Cured Through Foot Reflexology- Blood pressure, Thyroid, Cholesterol, Memory loss, Insomnia/ Sleeplessness, Heart Palpitation, Stools problems, Urine not filtering, Excess urination, more anger, Heart burn, stammering in speech, feeling of something blocking in the throat, Inflammation in legs”, were not substantiated with supporting clinical evidence in statistically significant number of patients treated at their clinic for the diseases claimed.

 

  1. Dr. Ambalkar’s Ayurvedic Research Centre: The advertisement’s claim, “Successful treatment of Psoriasis to thousands of patients”, was not substantiated with supporting clinical evidence in statistically significant number of patients treated at their hospital, and is misleading by gross exaggeration. Another claim, “Registered in Limca Book of Records consistently for last three years”, was not substantiated with copy of the awards certificates on year on year basis for the last three years, details of the criteria for granting the awards, references of the awards received such as the year, source and category and is misleading by omission of disclaimer to qualify the same. It was observed that the efficacy being depicted via images of before and after the treatment are also misleading.

 

  1. Dr. Verma Multispecialty Homeopathy Clinic: The advertisement’s claim as translated from Hindi “World record of removing 50 mm stone without operation in three days” was inadequately substantiated.  The advertiser did not provide the details of the process as to how the awarding body (Golden Book of World Records) arrived at this conclusion of this being a “worldwide” record since the selection methodology, criteria used for evaluation, details of other similar records in India and worldwide that were part of the assessment, and the outcome was not explained.

 

  1. Riddhi Siddhi Eye Care Hospital: The print advertisement’s claim “The best hospital for all eye related diseases” was not substantiated with any market survey data or verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s hospital and all other similar eye hospitals, to prove that they are better than all the rest in providing treatment for all eye related diseases, or through an independent third party validation. The source of the claim was not indicated in the advertisement.

 

  1. Shraddha Speech & Hearing Clinics: The print advertisement’s claim “World Best Hearing Aid” was not substantiated with any verifiable comparative data worldwide of the advertiser’s product and all other hearing aid products, to prove that their product is better than all the rest or through a third-party validation. The source of the claim was not indicated in the advertisement.

 

  1. SIMS Hospital SRM Institute for Medical Science: The print advertisement’s claim “No.1 hospital for orthopaedic & Trauma care in Tamil Nadu” was not adequately substantiated and was misleading. The CCC observed that apart from the advertiser’s hospital, two other hospitals Sankara Nethralaya and L&T Healthcare Centre, Coimbatore were awarded in the Hospital Category. The web-site under nomination procedure stated that “Mayan Awards is an honorary award awarded to deserving candidates who have made a difference in their respective industry through their perseverance and dedication. This is not a competition and every nominee is a winner in their own right…”. The CCC observed that the advertiser did not provide the details of the authenticity and credibility of the awarding body which claimed that they were granting “International Prestigious awards”. The selection methodology, criteria used for evaluation, names of other similar hospitals that were part of the assessment and the outcome was not explained. There was no specific reference of the advertiser’s hospital being No.1 for orthopaedic and trauma care. It was not clear as to how the awarding body arrived at the conclusion of the advertiser’s hospital being ranked No.1 hospital for orthopaedic & Trauma care in Tamil Nadu, 2018.
  2. Manav Clinic: The print advertisement’s claims as translated from Gujarati “Psoriasis can be cured” and “An effective ayurvedic medicine which shows effect on patients in one to two months after starting the treatment. Patients are freed from disease through Panchkarma, Swedan, Vaman, Virechan or Raktmokshan” were not substantiated with robust clinical evidence in statistically significant number of patients treated and cured at the advertiser’s centre. The claims are misleading by gross exaggeration. Visuals showing efficacy via images of before and after the treatment in the advertisement were misleading. The CCC observed that the advertiser did not provide details of the ayurvedic treatment for curing psoriasis, details regarding the medicines being used and their approval status by the regulatory authorities, and relevant extracts of ayurvedic references from classical books, in support of the claims.

 

  1. Osho Medicare: The print advertisement’s claims as translated from Gujarati “Reduce weight without making any changes in diet, without changing the habit of eating fast food”, “Shortcut to dissolve fat, effect starts in two days for avoidance of obesity surgery”, “Digestion is well ordered so that fat does not reoccur again” and “Dissolve present fat in your body is our job, and we are expert for that” were not substantiated with robust supporting clinical evidence of statistically significant number of patients treated and cured at the advertiser’s centre through the ayurvedic medicine. The claims are misleading by gross exaggeration. It was observed that the efficacy being depicted via images of before and after the treatment in the advertisement were also misleading.

 

  1. SPD Fitness & Healthcare: The print advertisement’s claim, “Reduce excess fat instantly to get freedom from dangerous diseases like diabetes, blood pressure, heart problems” was not substantiated with any supporting clinical evidence in statistically significant number of patients treated at the centre to prove that the advertiser was providing instant fat loss and freedom from dangerous diseases. Claim “World's most easiest fat loss program” was not substantiated with any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s fat loss program and all other similar fat loss programs worldwide, to prove that it is the easiest fat loss program, or through a third-party validation. These claims are misleading by gross exaggeration.

 

  1. Kiran Hospital Multi Super Speciality Hospital & Research Center: The print advertisement’s claim, “Get permanent riddance from eye number by Lasik surgery” was not adequately substantiated and misleading by omission. Reading eye numbers do come in all patients after 45 years of their age. Patients do get eye numbers when they have nuclear cataracts in future, till the cataract is extracted. Such information is required to be included in the communication. The CCC also observed that the 2009 reference article referred to by the advertiser merely compares the PRK vs. LASIK method for myopia. The report also indicates that these procedures are merely attempts to permanently correct myopia but do not assure permanent results. Therefore, claiming permanent riddance from eye number is misleading.

 

  1. Manoshanti Hospital: The print advertisement’s claim, “Result in only 10 days by injection therapy” was not substantiated with robust supporting clinical evidence of statistically significant number of patients treated at their hospital and is misleading. It was observed that the advertiser did not provide any details of the injection therapy procedure for the treatment of mental instability, de-addiction and other mental and brain diseases as claimed, nor any details regarding the medicines, and their approval status by the regulatory authorities. The advertisement also states that “take our advice once to stop medicines permanently even though, patients are taking medicines of mental illness for years” implying that their advertised treatment offers a cure. 

 

  1. Max Healthcare Institute Limited- Max Lab: The print advertisement’s claim “North India's largest hospital network” was not substantiated. It was observed that the advertisement indicates that the advertiser is “largest hospital network” in North India whereas, the advertiser in their response refers to other facilities such as medcentres etc. The CCC did not agree with the rationale used for claim support as the inclusion of medcenters is incorrect to qualify as “hospital network” as it is not a “like to like” comparison. As per the web-site link provided by the advertiser, the number of hospitals in their network were 10, whereas the number of hospitals by Fortis is 11 in North India.

 

  1. Mission Health: The print advertisement’s claim “World's finest, Asia's Largest & Most Advanced Chain of Physiotherapy, Fitness & Rehabilitation Centres” was not substantiated with any verifiable comparative worldwide data of the advertiser’s chain of Physiotherapy, Fitness and Rehabilitation Centres and all other similar centres, or through a third-party validation. The source of the claims was not indicated in the advertisement.

 

  1. Spaceage Multiproducts Private Limited Morning Walker: The print advertisement’s multiple claims stating “It strengthens heart with aerobic exercise and helps removing cardiac issues”, “Improves insulin level and controls diabetes”, “It removes joint pains”, “It removes the chances of spondylitis, helps in maintaining blood pressure level keeping blood circulation normal”, “It removes obesity by reducing calorie and fatty acid”, and “Medically approved” were not substantiated and are misleading by gross exaggeration.  

 

  1. Abhijay Hospital Private Limited – ARC International Fertility & Research Centre: The print advertisement’s claim, “Dr. Saravanan and Dr. Mahalakshmi Saravanan have received award for making Guinness world record in best pregnancy treatment” was not substantiated. The advertiser failed to provide any evidence of having received such an award. Logistics details, process as to how the awarding body (Guinness) arrived at the conclusion or assessed the medical treatment to be considered acceptable for Guinness World Record qualification, were also not provided.  The selection methodology, criteria used for evaluation, and the outcome was not explained.  

 

  1. Baba Nutrition Centre: The advertisement’s claim, “More than 15 crore satisfied customers worldwide” was not substantiated. The advertiser did not provide details of their treatment procedure for weight reduction nor any basis for claiming that they have 15 crore customers worldwide and that they are satisfied. Efficacy being depicted via images of before and after the treatment in the advertisement were misleading

 

  1. Mothers Lap IVF Centre: The print advertisement’s claim, “India's No.1 IVF Centre” was not substantiated with any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s centre and all other similar centres in India, to prove that it is in the leadership position (No.1) in providing IVF treatment to couples or through a third-party validation. The source for the claim was not indicated in the advertisement.

 

  1. Allens India Limited - Arnica Range of Products: The television advertisement’s claim, “3 times effective”, was not substantiated with product efficacy data. It was noted that the advertisement presented a three in one combo of product (for hair problems) with three benefits. Presenting this as “three times effective” (as degree of efficacy) is misleading.

 

  1. Relief Herbal Bio-Tech (Relief Herbal Powder): The television advertisement’s absolute claim, “Permanent solution when consumed three times”, was not substantiated with product efficacy data. The advertiser did not submit any product specific details such as composition / licence / pack artwork or samples, nor any evidence of product efficacy data.

The following 11 advertisements were considered to be, prima facie, in violation of The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act/ The Drugs & Cosmetics Rules, and are being referred to the Ministry of AYUSH:

 

Sr No

Brand/Product

Claim/s

1

Param Hospital

  • The disease (Cancer) is being rapidly cured with the free hospital treatment of 15 days

2

Param Hospital

  • Mouth cancer is being cured through free medicine

3

ALM AYUSH Centres

  • In ALM AYUSH subfertility/diabetes/Stress/obesity is maximally cured

4

Diawin Siddha Hospital

  • Best treatment to heal soon from deafness, asthma

5

Shankar Pharmacy/ Madhumeha Nivarin

Name of the product on pack (Madhumeha Nivarin) implies that the product is meant to cure diabetes

6

Ayurved Vatika

  • Lack of desire to have sexual relations, venereal diseases, impotence, premature ejaculation, night fall, lack of excitement due to weakness of nerves etc.
  • Get Uttejana Oil & male sex organ developing product free with 30 days of medicines

7

Rahat Ayurvedic/Ra hat Ayurvedic

Range of Products

  • Remove deafness with guarantee through hearing aid and medicine

8

Rathira  Ayurveda Private Limited

(100 Days Diabetes Healer)

https://www.100daysdi

abeteshealer.com/product/

  • The product name - 100 Days Diabetes Healer, the headline- Dear customer, we request you not to buy the product if you do not trust Ayurveda as well as the AYUSH mark being used on the being used on the website

9

Sudha Hospital & Medical Research Centre

  • Provided successful treatment to more than 350 cancer patients till now

10

Niramay Ayurvedic Hospital

  • Cancer is not incurable…can be cured

11

Sarb Herb Health Care Pvt Ltd/ N-Shakti Capsules

  • Increases energy and sexual desire so that you enjoy sex to the fullest
 

Personal Care

  1. Hindustan Unilever Ltd (Men’s Fair & Lovely): The television advertisement’s voice over claim as translated from Hindi, “Real instant fairness in just ten seconds after applying” was misleading by ambiguity and implication. The CCC observed that the “Instant fairness” benefit being referred to by the advertiser pertained to only a “fairer look” due to “coverage” properties of the product ingredient. The product is not capable of changing the skin’s inherent complexion instantly and hence use of the “instant fairness” terminology itself is ambiguous and misleading. The CCC was of the view that the word “asli” (real) means actual complexion.  Choice of such terminology to show a cosmetic effect was incorrect.

 

  1. Lotus Herbals Ltd (Lotus Sports Sunscreen): The television advertisement’s claim “SPF 100”, was inadequately substantiated. The advertiser did not provide any product specific information such as copy of Product approval license, product label, and Product composition details nor any scientific or technical rationale for the product claim. As per excerpt of the test report, the product was tested for in-vitro sun protection factor analysis and determination of PA rating as per COLIPA 2011 method. The CCC considered this claim support data to be inadequate and was of the opinion that the SPF values were based on in vitro test and the same benefit was not conclusively proven for in-vivo situation.

 

  1. Lotus Herbals Ltd (Lotus Sports Sunscreen): The television advertisement’s claim “SPF 70”, was not substantiated with any scientific rationale, technical test reports / third party reports on the test results for the SPF factor.
  2. Lotus Herbals Ltd (Lotus UV Shield Whitening Gel Cream): The television advertisement’s claim “SPF 50 PA+++”, was not substantiated with any evidence of presence of ingredients responsible for the claimed SPF value nor did they provide any technical test reports / third party reports on the test results for the SPF factor. The advertisement is misleading by exaggeration. 

 

  1. Lora Soaps: The television advertisement’s claim as translated from Malayalam “Give freshness entire day” was misleading. It was observed that while a soap can provide freshness by virtue of cleansing effect, the claim quantifying this benefit for the entire day was not substantiated.

Consumer Durables

  1. Bajaj Electricals Ltd (Bajaj Ceiling Fans): The television advertisement’s claim as translated from Marathi “India’s first anti germ fan that gives protection against 99.2 percent germs and dust” was inadequately substantiated. The CCC noted that the advertiser’s response and the test report was not exhaustive enough to explain the anti-germ substance used on fan, its concentration, for how many days/months/years this activity is maintained by the fan, contact time required for efficacy and impact of in-room variables on germ kill effect. The claim and the voice over, “India’s first fan with anti-germ technology which gets rid of germs and dust”, implies complete removal of dust and all type of germs, which are misleading by exaggeration.

 

  1. OVOT Private Ltd (Amstrad AC): The print advertisement’s claim “India's First Smart heavy duty cooling at 60 degree temperature”, was inadequately substantiated as the advertiser did not provide comparative data of their products and other marketed inverter ACs comparing their features and to prove that other ACs cannot perform at 60 degrees temperature and do not have smart features.

 

  1. Anandi Atta Chakki Pvt Ltd: The television advertisement’s claim (in Gujarati), “India's No.1”, was not substantiated with verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s product and other atta chakki products in India, to prove that it is in leadership position (No.1), or through a third-party validation. The source for the claim was not indicated in the TVC.  The claim is misleading by exaggeration and implication.

 

  1. Symphony Limited (Symphony Cloud Air Cooler): The television advertisement’s claims as translated from Hindi “World’s first wall mounted cooler”, “Use as much electricity as fans” were inadequately substantiated, and are misleading by exaggeration and implication.  The CCC observed that the Patent submitted was a regular patent, which was not considered as an authentic claim support data to conclusively prove that that the advertised product is unique in the world for its “wall mount” feature.  There was no comparative research data worldwide  with other air cooler brands to show that Symphony air coolers was the world’s first wall mounted cooler.  For the claim comparing electricity consumption between cooler and fan, the CCC noted that the advertiser had chosen one particular brand. As per the CCC, the watt consumption for ceiling fan brands is typically below 100 watts whereas the brand tested by the advertiser was said to consume 235-725 watts. Rationale for choosing this brand was not provided by the advertiser.

 

  1. Okaya Power Ltd - Nasaka Water Purifier: The print advertisement’s claim, “Immunity boosting water with OrpH+” was not substantiated and is misleading by exaggeration. The CCC observed that the advertiser had only reproduced a narrative of their thought process, their efforts in research and development of their product and how they have improved on the quality of their product in comparison to the other existing similar products in market. However, the advertiser failed to provide a detailed comparative intervention trial conducted observing all scientific protocols, including statistical significance tests against output of other RO purifier products with indicators of immunity as outcomes.

Food and Beverage:

  1. Rasna Private Limited (Rasna Insta Energy): The television advertisement’s claim “Compared to other energy drink Rasna Insta has real fruit powder”, was not substantiated with verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s product as compared to all other energy drinks on the real fruit powder content and is misleading. In the advertisement the ASCI Guidelines on Disclaimers were also violated as the disclaimer was not in the same language as the voice over.

 

  1. Rasna Private Limited (Rasna Native Haat Honey Vita): The television advertisement’s claim “Increases energy naturally” was not substantiated with technical details, composition of the product and evidence of product efficacy. The advertiser did not submit any product specific details such as composition / licence / pack artwork or samples, nor evidence of the ingredients present in the product. No scientific rationale was presented to explain how the product provides energy naturally.

 

  1. Scott Lumin Pvt Ltd (KYK Hydrogen Water): The advertisement’s claim, “Anti-oxidant water, hydrogen water” when seen in conjunction with the  visuals showing fruits (banana and apple), and vegetables (carrot, spinach and pumpkin), equating the benefits of KYK Hydrogen water to these fruits and vegetables, was inadequately substantiated and is misleading by gross exaggeration.

 

  1. Garima Healthcare Pvt. Ltd  (Super Cool Garima Glucose D): The advertisement’s claim, “No. 1” was not substantiated with comparative data of the advertiser’s product and other Glucose-D energy drink brands, such as market research survey or third-party validation to prove that it is in leadership position (No.1) than the rest in terms of value or volume share. The claim is misleading by exaggeration and is likely to lead to grave and widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers.

Others

The CCC found that the claims in the following 4 advertisements were misleading and exploited consumers’ lack of knowledge which could lead to widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers

 

  1. Sumix Baby Wear & Care: The television advertisement’s claim as translated from Malayalam “Made from 100% comp cotton gives relief from allergy” was misleading as the advertiser did not provide any substantiation for their product providing relief from allergy. It was observed that that while cotton clothing helps the skin breathe easily and is comfortable for a person suffering from allergy, it does not provide freedom from / cure to the allergy.

 

  1. Dolly Water Park: The print advertisement’s claim “Gujarat's best Water Park” was not substantiated with any market survey data, or any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s water park and other water parks in Gujarat, to prove that they are better than the rest, or through a third-party validation.  The claim is misleading by exaggeration.

 

  1. S Mobile Devices Ltd (Itel Smart Phone): The television advertisement’s claim as translated from Hindi “The battery that goes on for up to three days”) was inadequately substantiated and is misleading by exaggeration. It was observed that the battery was tested for one day but the data was extrapolated to three days. Such linear extrapolation was not considered to be valid.  

 

  1. Mannarkkad Rural Service Cooperative Bank Ltd: The print advertisement’s claims were “No.1” and “First position in performance efficiency amongst the state's primary co-operative banks”. The advertiser did not provide any evidence of their superlative claim of being in the first position nor any evidence of their performance efficiency. They also did not submit any verifiable comparative data such as market research survey of the performance efficiency of the advertiser versus other similar banks in Kerala to prove that it is in the leadership position (No.1) or through third-party validation.

 

Info@BestMediaInfo.com

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