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ASCI investigates complaints against 279 ads in Feb 2020, 101 withdrawn by advertisers

The independent Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of ASCI evaluated remaining 178 advertisements, of which complaints against 171 advertisements were upheld

During the month of February 2020, ASCI investigated complaints against 279 advertisements, of which 101 advertisements were promptly withdrawn by the advertisers on receipt of communication from ASCI. The independent Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of ASCI evaluated remaining 178 advertisements, of which complaints against 171 advertisements were upheld. Of these 171 advertisements, 77 belonged to the education sector, 59 belonged to the healthcare sector, six to real estate, five to visa/immigration services, five to personal care, four to the food & beverages sector, and 15 were from the ‘others’ category.

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ASCI continues to see advertisements featuring celebrities falling short of adhering to “Guidelines for Celebrities in advertising”. Amongst the various advertisements that were scrutinized, CCC pulled up a misleading advertisement of a “gamified school education” app claiming it to be the biggest scholarship exam, and promising prize money worth up to Rs One Crore, featuring one of Bollywood’s legendary actor. An advertisement of herbal drops endorsed by a Bollywood celebrity made a misleading claim that it can save or protect from diseases by immunity enhancement. A fertility clinic was found to mislead their patients claiming it to be “India's Largest and Most Successful IVF and Fertility Chain” while co-promoting a movie with “IVF procedure mix up” theme, featuring four top Bollywood celebrities. Advertisement of a honey brand endorsed by an Olympic Badminton player made unsubstantiated claims like “Strengthen bones” and “Muscle redevelopment”.

A popular auto company, in a TV advertisement, depicted a pillion riding barber shaving the rider on a running motorcycle.  It showed a dangerous act with disregard for safety and challenged safe driving requirements. The advertisement contravened ASCI’s Guidelines for Advertisements depicting Automotive Vehicles.

ASCI also saw several Real estate companies making superlative / leadership claims. A few of them were specially focused providing senior living communities and townships. One well-known brand while promoting their township project for seniors, made unsubstantiated claim of being “India’s Largest Senior-Living Community”.

ASCI also processed complaints against several advertisements which guaranteed “100% Visa”, “100% Visa Success Ratio”, “No.1 Visa Company” either for work or education in countries which had stringent documentation mandates. Such misleading claims were likely to lead to widespread disappointment in the minds of students and job seekers.

The CCC upheld multiple complaints pertaining to advertisements from healthcare as well as educational sector wherein the advertisers claimed to have leadership positions or boasted about the awards they have won but failed to substantiate it with authentic and credible supporting ranking data or awards data. Shweta Purandare, ASCI Secretary General said “Our guidelines for Usage of Awards/ Rankings in Advertisements that were introduced in January 2020, are proving to be a timely step in the right direction. We are educating the advertisers that self-sponsored awards and ranking are on thin ice and will not hold any more. They need to know the rigor expected in claim substantiation when referring to awards and rankings in their advertisements”.

Education: - 77 advertisements complained against

 

Healthcare: - 59 advertisements complained against

 

Real Estate: - six advertisements complained against

 

Visa/Immigration Services: - five advertisements complained against

 

Personal Care: - five advertisements complained against

 

Food and Beverages: - four advertisements complained against

 

Others: - 15 advertisements complained against

Direct Complaints

The advertisements given below were complained against by the general public or by industry members. Of the 25 advertisements complained against, 12 advertisements were promptly withdrawn by the advertiser on receiving communication from ASCI. For the remaining 13 advertisements, complaints against six advertisements were upheld by the CCC. All the six advertisement belonged to the others category. Seven advertisements were not considered to be objectionable or in contravention of the ASCI code.

Others

  1. Times Network Ltd (ET Now): The television and social media advertisements claiming "ET Now 75% CNBC TV18 25%”, were misleading as well as it was in contravention of the BARC Guidelines. As per BARC Guidelines, viewership may only be shown in impressions ‘000s or viewing minutes. Use of rating percentage is not permitted.  The advertiser did not include the budget day in making claims regarding budget week as they submitted only Monday to Friday data whereas the Budget was presented on the following Saturday. Furthermore, the complainant presented BARC reporting weeks 4 and 5 data for the same target audience to disprove the leadership claim. The other claims "ET Now #1 in Budget Week" and “ET Now# 1 During Year's Most Important Week" were also considered to misleading. The disclaimers in the TV promo were in contravention of the ASCI Guidelines on Disclaimers for their placement not being in sync with the claims and their hold duration was inadequate. The TV promos as well as Social Media promotions were in contravention of BARC advisory as well as ASCI Guidelines on Disclaimers.

 

  1. Malayala Manorama Company Ltd (Manoramaonline): The Ad-Emailer’s claim, “The No. 1 Malayalam News site”, was not substantiated. The CCC observed that the advertiser conveys in the advertisement that they have about 164 million total views in Malayalam alone as compared to their closest competition who has about 131 million total views in Malayalam and other languages. The advertisement indicates the source of the claim – Comscore MMX Multi-Platform Key Measures, Total Views, October 2019, India. The CCC noted that the advertiser has used an arithmetic manipulation to come up with a superiority figure which is a false representation. Further, there is no evidence provided by the advertiser to substantiate ComScore as the source of support.

 

  1. Malayala Manorama Company Ltd (Manoramaonline): The Ad-Emailer’s leadership claim of being “The No. 1 Malayalam News site”, was misleading. The CCC observed that the advertiser positions itself as the “No. 1 Malayalam News site” and qualifies this with a disclaimer – “Comscore MMX Multi-Platform Key Measures, Total Views, October 2019”. The CCC noted that the advertisement claims, in the headline, that “164 is greater than 131”. While the response to the complaint explains that the 131 million views number has been arrived at by “filtering out non-Malayalam sites” from the Total Views received by the top level domains, viz. Manoramaonline.com and Asianetnews.com, the actual text in the emailer claims that 131 million is the count of views for “Malayalam and other languages”. This is a false statement, even by the table provided by the advertiser. The advertisement unfairly denigrated competition. 

 

  1. Bajaj Auto Ltd (Bajaj Platina 110 H Gear): The television and YouTube advertisement’s visual of the pillion rider shaving beard of the bike rider using a shaving blade while the bike is in motion, shows a dangerous act and manifests a disregard for safety. The advertisement carries a disclaimer to mention “Actions shown are a creative expression to relate with features of Bajaj Platina and are performed under supervision.  Please do not imitate”. The CCC did not agree with the advertiser’s contention that the act/stunt shown in the advertisement is a hyperbole, as any person could try doing the act as shown nor did they consider this to be a professional stunt. If replicated in real life would be very unsafe. The advertisement also challenges safe driving requirements. In the advertisement, the direction of left view mirror is placed in dangerous manner as the rider can see only his reflection and not condition of traffic behind him that he is supposed to be observant about.

 

  1. Ultratech Cement Ltd. (Ultra Tech Cement): The website advertisement’s claim, “Desh ka No.1 Cement”, was inadequately substantiated. In the advertisement there were no disclaimers to indicate the source and date of the claim. The CCC did not agree with the advertiser’s contention that their claim is “widely known to public as various news article and publications in the last two years have been quoting them to be the ‘Largest Cement Player in India’/Largest/Biggest Cement Manufacturer in India’ and which is therefore a known fact to the consumer. As per CCC, a lay consumer is not expected to understand the entire market situation nor is expected to source the data of various players for claim validation. For the data submitted by the advertiser, instead of a self-certificate, the advertiser should ideally submit an independent third-party verification report or a CA certificate and provide the exact basis for making a leadership claim (Sales volume or manufacturing capacity / output or market share by value, etc.). Media coverage based on press releases issued by the company was not considered as primary claim support data. The CCC concluded that superlative claim is misleading by omission of the mention of the basis for arriving the leadership claim. The source for the claim, especially for comparison versus competition, was not indicated in the advertisement. The advertisement also contravened ASCI Guidelines for Disclaimers in Advertising.

 

  1. Lakshmi Ganapathi Group: The website advertisement claims premium residential plotted land for contemporary living. It also indicates that the area has a list of several ready amenities like 5Ft foot path with tiles, Landscape Park with jogging park, 24*7 sophisticated security, children’s play area and compounds surrounding the whole township for the residents. However, the photographic and video evidence submitted by the complainant indicated that the claimed amenities advertised by the advertiser were not yet available. Hence, it was concluded that claims made in the advertisement in conjunction with available amenities were false and misleading.

Suo Motu Surveillance by ASCI for misleading advertisements

The advertisements listed below were picked up through ASCI’s Suo Motu surveillance of Print and TV media through the National Advertisement Monitoring Services (NAMS) project. Out of 254 advertisements that were picked, in 89 cases the advertisers promptly confirmed that the advertisements were being withdrawn post receiving the ASCI communication. All other 165 advertisements examined by the CCC were found to be misleading. Of these 165 advertisements, 77 belonged to the Education sector, 59 advertisements belonged to the Healthcare sector, six belonged to Real Estate, five to Visa/Immigration Services, five belonged to the Personal Care category, four belonged to the F&B category, and nine fell in the “Others” category.

Education

Complaints against advertisements of 73 educational institutes listed below are UPHELD mainly because of unsubstantiated claims AND/OR misleading claims that they provide 100% placement/100% placement assistance AND/OR they claim to be the No.1 in their respective fields/ best in their respective fields. The advertisements also violated ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions and Programs. Many advertisements also contravened ASCI Guidelines for Usage of Awards/Rankings in Advertisements and Guidelines for Disclaimers.

Institute of Rural Management

Spoorthi Coaching Center

Pragna Coaching Centre

Mark1 Institute of Entertainment and Event Management

Hindustan Soft Education Ltd  (Oxford Software Institute)

Scholarship Facilitation Services (SFS)

M K Defence Academy

Yashashree Competiton Zone

Jai Hind Academy

Koshi Paramedical Institute

Dewan Global School

GMR Career Point

First Choice Institute- First Choice Fashion Institute

Institute of Entrance Examinations

The Best I.A.S Academy for Civils & Group I Jayanikethan

Kaleshwari Institute

Mind Coaching Classes

Naincy College of Nursing

Neerja Modi School

Pragyna Coaching Centre

R.P. Study Centre

Vijetha Study Circle

Highway Institute

Shriram Coaching Classes (P) Ltd

Shaurya Classes

Radiance Institute

APG Learning

Dalimss Sunbeam School & Hostel (Dr. Amnit Lal Ishrat Memorial Sunbeam Schools & Hostel)

Brahmarshri Gyan Savrdhak Trust  (Sri Brahmarshi Police & Army Coaching Centre)

Prestige Education Society (Prestige Institute of Engineering, Management & Research)

Vertis Overseas

Shine Junior College

Learn With Faith

ALLEN Career Institute

Telangana Agriculture Institute

SBSS Skill Training Institute

Zion Education Private Limited

Aspire IAS

Bhagat Singh Coaching Sansthan

All in One Kids Play School

Ananya Arya Academy

New King’s Academy

COL Chamola's Doon Academy

Dhakad Concept

Fast-Tech Computer Education

Glorious Classes

Jodhpur Coaching Center

Krishnam Classes

Lakshaya Institute

Parigyaan Classes

Prolance Academy

Rainbow Project & Training Centre

Saraswati Coaching Classes

Satyam Classes

Satyam Classes

Skyway Career Hub

Sri Sri University

BSL - British School of Languages – MBD

Arcot Sri Mahalakshmi Women’s College

Deeksha Educational Trust- Deeksha Institute of Paramedical

Jai Narain College of Technology (JNCT)

LNCT Group of Colleges (LNCT University)

AhaGuru Education Technology Private Ltd – AhaGuru

Aishwarya Creations and Training

Alpha Entrance Academy

Ritu Raj Industrial Training Institute

iEducation and Charitable Trust – Gujarat Paramedical Science Institute)

Amaze Institute Of Animation & Technology

APTI Plus Academy for Civil Services Pvt Ltd.

Candid Academy

A.K. Vidyamandir

 

Sai Gurukul Institute of Hotel Management

State Institute of Hotel Management

 

The following advertisements violated ASCI’s Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions and Programs

  1. Eduisfun Technologies Pvt. Ltd (Step App): The print advertisement’s claim, “India's biggest scholarship exam with a scholarship pool of Rs.50 crore”, featuring Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan, was inadequately substantiated. It was observed by the CCC that the advertiser was promoting a “gamified school education” by promising them a prize money worth Rs 5000 to Rs 1 Crore subject to them playing STEPapp. It was not clear how this was being projected as “scholarship” and the advertisement did not disclose the number of such “scholarship” available and more importantly the eligibility criteria for any student to qualify for the scholarship. The CCC further observed that the table in their response shows that the one scholarship was of Rs.1 crore, 50 scholarships were of Rs.1 lakh scholarship amount and 500 scholarships were offered for Rs.10,000/- as scholarship amount.  Advertiser did not show the calculations done by them to arrive at the figures quoted in the table nor did the advertiser show a corpus of 50 crores which would be provided for, before disbursing the scholarship. The CCC was of the opinion that the advertiser needed to show these calculations in their books of accounts and through audited reports.  Additionally, the advertiser also did not provide any market survey data or any verifiable comparative data of their institute versus other organizations in India, to prove that the scholarship exam with the number and scholarship amount offered by them, is bigger than the scholarship exams offered by any other organization.  The claim was also not backed by an independent third party validation. Advertiser’s reference to NTSE alone was not considered relevant nor adequate enough to conclusively prove their claim of being the biggest scholarship exam. The advertisement did not provide all material conditions so as to enable consumers to obtain a true and fair view of their prospects in participating in this activity. There were no details of the detailed terms and conditions nor any time frame provided for the activities. Additionally, the advertiser did not provide any evidence to show that the celebrity had done due diligence prior to endorsement, to ensure that all description, claims and comparisons made in the advertisement are capable of substantiation. The advertisement also contravened ASCI’s Guidelines for Celebrities in Advertising.

 

  1. Samarpan Career Institute: The print advertisement’s claim, “Biggest Pool of Most Experienced and Result Producing Capacity Together at Samarpan Career Institute”, was not substantiated with market survey data, or with verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s institute and other similar coaching institutes, to prove that their teaching team is the biggest and the most experienced, or through an independent third party validation. The second claim “Most Experienced Veteran from Kota”, was not substantiated with market survey data, or with verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s institute and other similar coaching institutes in Kota, to prove that their faculty person is the most experienced in Kota. The CCC observed that it is not possible for any institute to conduct such comparative study of faculty given the unorganized nature of the educational sector and number of educational institutes. Moreover, the faculty details for each institute are not in the public domain for such comparison. Hence it was unlikely for the advertiser to have such support data.

 

  1. JK Lakshmipat University (Pinnacle MBA): The print advertisement’s claim, “India's first multidisciplinary and experiential MBA programme”, was not substantiated with any verifiable comparative data of the MBA program offered by advertiser’s university and those offered by other universities in India, or through an audited report or third party validation.

 

  1. Pranati IAS: The print advertisement’s claim “Learn from Limca World Record Holder and World Famous Author of 30 Books – Kumar Utpal”, was misleading. The claim, was not substantiated with copy of the award certificate, details, and references of the awards received such as the year, source and category, the basis of the award or the survey methodology followed to obtain this information for the award claimed. Furthermore, there was no supporting evidence of Kumar Utpal being world famous author of 30 books.

 

Healthcare

IVF Hospitals / Fertility clinics

  1. Indira IVF Hospital Pvt Ltd - Indira Infertility & Test Tube Baby Centre: The television advertisement’s claim “India's Largest and Most Successful IVF and Fertility Chain”, featuring celebrities Akshay Kumar, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Diljit Dosanjh and Kiara Advani, as a movie co-promotion was not substantiated. The CCC did not agree with the advertiser’s contention that the “video” is not a TVC but is an informational / educational video. The advertiser is positioning themselves as the largest and most successful IVF and fertility chain in India. However, the advertiser did not provide any market survey data, or verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s centre and other IVF centres in India, to prove that their chain of centres is larger and more successful than others in IVF and fertility treatment. Additionally, the advertiser did not provide any evidence to show that the celebrities had done due diligence prior to endorsement, to ensure that all description, claims and comparisons made in the promo video / TV advertisement are capable of substantiation. The television advertisement contravened ASCI’s Guidelines for Celebrities in Advertising.

 

  1. Milann: The print advertisement’s claim “Fulfil the Dream of Having Child” was misleading by implication of sure success. The claim was not supported with any verifiable evidence that every patient treated at their centre was able to conceive. The second claim “Country's No.1 Fertility Centre” was not substantiated with any verifiable comparative data of advertiser’s centre versus other similar Fertility centres in India, to prove that they are in leadership position (No.1) for providing treatment for infertility problems, nor the claim was backed by an independent third party validation.

 

  1. Bavishi Fertility Institute: The print advertisement’s claim, “On First Position from four Years Continuously” was not substantiated with verifiable comparative data on year on year basis since the last 4 years as claimed, of the advertiser’s institute and other similar institutes, to prove that they are in leadership position, or through an independent third-party validation.

 

  1. Bavishi Fertility Institute: The print advertisement’s claim “No.1 in India for Childbirth” and “India’s No. 1 Fertility Institute”, were not substantiated with any verifiable comparative data of advertiser’s centre versus other similar fertility institutes in India, to prove that they are in leadership position (No.1) for providing treatment for infertility problems as well as number of successful childbirths post treatment, or an independent third party validation.

 

  1. Medicover Fertility: The print advertisement’s claim, “Awarded the Best IVF Clinic by ABP News”, was not substantiated. The CCC noted that the award mentioned was two years old and the advertiser did not provide the basis of the award or the survey methodology followed, such as the details of the process as to how the selection for the award was done, details of survey data. The advertisement also contravened ASCI Guidelines for Usage of Awards/Rankings in Advertisements and ASCI Guidelines for Disclaimers in Advertising.

 

Healthcare - Others

  1. Jolly Health Care (Jolly Tulsi 51 Drops): The television advertisement featuring Bollywood icon Hrithik Roshan claimed to “Increase immunity and saves/protects from diseases”. It was noted that the advertiser is promoting an ayurvedic liquid extracts of five types of tulsi. As claim support, the advertiser referred to published papers to support the benefits of “Tulsi’’ as an “immunomodulator” ingredient. The CCC noted that the reports submitted by the advertiser fail to substantiate the claim of ‘prevention of disease’ as an outcome. Based on this assessment, the CCC concluded that the claim of “saves/protects from diseases” was not substantiated with robust clinical evidence of product efficacy in saving/protecting consumers from diseases. Additionally, the advertiser did not provide any evidence to show that celebrity Hrithik Roshan had done due diligence prior to endorsement, to ensure that all description, claims and comparisons made in the television advertisement are capable of substantiation. The advertisement contravened the ASCI Guidelines for Celebrities in Advertising.

 

  1. Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Limited (Apollo BGS Hospitals): The print advertisement’s claim “Mysore's Most Experienced Doctors”, was not substantiated with any details regarding the team of doctors at Apollo hospital, their experience in terms of medical practice, market survey data or with any verifiable comparative data of advertiser’s hospital versus other similar hospitals in Mysore, to prove that their doctors are more experienced than all the rest. The claim was also not supported through an independent third party validation.

 

  1. Sarvoday Imaging Centre: The print advertisement’s claim as translated from Gujarati “Country's Biggest Chain Providing Services in Radiology Field”, was not substantiated with market survey data, or with verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s center and other similar centers/clinical labs in the country, to prove that their chain is bigger than all the rest in providing services in the radiology field. The claim was also not supported through an independent third-party validation.

 

  1. Thapovanam: The print advertisement’s claim “Migraine Can be Cured within Three Days of Herbal Medicine Treatment”, was not substantiated with robust clinical evidence of product efficacy to prove cure of migraine in three days as claimed. The advertiser did not provide any details of the treatment procedure, nor any details regarding the medicines and their approval status by the regulatory authorities as well as relevant extracts of ayurvedic references in support of the claims. The three patient feedback forms which appeared to be a survey by postal cards was not considered as an acceptable clinical evidence.

 

  1. East African (India) Overseas & Pharmacity (Volpo Don Tanaav Shant Tablets & Oil): The print advertisement’s claim “Approved by Doctors”, was not substantiated and was considered to be misleading. The CCC observed that the advertiser indicates that the subject combination is being recommended by Ayurvedic practitioners throughout India since years. However, the advertiser did not submit any verifiable evidence to support the claim.

 

  1. Gayatri Health Clinic: The print advertisement’s claim “Cure Diseases within 36 hours”, was not substantiated. The advertiser is promoting the cure of various diseases like spondylitis, paralysis, back pain, migraine, varicose veins, vertigo, frozen shoulder, menopause, etc., within 36 hours through acupuncture treatment. Further, the advertisement shows visuals of government officials. The CCC noted that the use of these visuals in the print advertisement poses a potential risk of leading consumers into believing that the treatment and claims in the advertisement are approved by the Government officials. The advertiser did not provide any details of the acupuncture treatment for treating the diseases as claimed, nor any authentic, published scientific references to support the claim. The print advertisement was also in violation of the AYUSH advisory which refrains advertisers / advertising agencies from using the name of Government department and institutions in the advertisements of AYUSH Drugs.

 

  1. Kamdhenu Kudrati Upchar Kendra: The print advertisement’s claim “Extraordinary success to quit 25 year old addiction without operation”, was not substantiated with any robust clinical evidence. It was observed that the advertiser is promoting natural treatment for addiction, particularly alcohol addiction. However, the advertiser did not provide any details of the treatment procedure, nor any details regarding the medicines used for treating addiction, and their approval status by the regulatory authorities.

 

  1. Geetanjali Hospital: The television advertisement’s claim, “World's most advanced technology” and “The Best team of Doctors”, were inadequately substantiated. For the claim “World’s most advanced technology” , the CCC referred to the various links cited in the advertiser’s response and observed that the link provided by the advertiser does not conclusively prove that 3T MRI as the most advanced technology in the world. Moreover, as per information available in the public domain there is also a 7T MRI available in the industry.  For the second claim, “Best team of Doctors”,  the advertiser did not provide details of their team of doctors nor any market survey data or verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s hospital and other similar hospitals to prove that their team of doctors treating various ailments and performing surgeries, are better than others. The claim was also not backed by any third-party validation.

 

  1. Aarthi Scans and Labs: The print advertisement’s claim, “India's Most Affordable Chain of Diagnostic Centres”, was not substantiated with market survey data, or with verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s chain of diagnostic centres and other similar diagnostic centres in India, to prove that they are more affordable than other diagnostic centres for their services, nor the claim was backed by an independent third party validation.

 

  1. Mission Health: The print advertisement’s claim, “Reduce 18 to 27 Kg in Just 3 Months”, was not substantiated with supporting clinical evidence and with treatment efficacy data. Furthermore, efficacy being depicted via images of before and after the treatment by showing weight reduction of their customers are misleading by exaggeration and implication that such degree of weight loss is feasible for every customer regardless of their health condition. The Second claim “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 to prove that the advertiser’s chain is the largest and the most advanced.

 

  1. Careus Pharmaceutical Private Limited (Otena Ear Drop): The print advertisement’s claim, “No.1 Ear Drop as per Operaion Crime, 2019”, was not substantiated with supporting ranking data. The advertiser did not provide any the copy of the award certificates, reference of the award received such as the category, the basis of the awards or the survey methodology followed to obtain this information for the awards claimed, such as the details of the process as to how the selection for the awards was done, details of survey data, and the details about the awarding bodies. The print advertisement contravened ASCI Guidelines for Usage of Awards/Rankings in Advertisements.

 

  1. Nidsun Weight Loss: The print advertisement’s claim, “Pioneers of Fat Freezing in India” was considered to be false and misleading. The CCC observed that while the advertiser was claiming to be the pioneers of this technique in India, they referred to a year 2013 media report to support this claim. The CCC did not consider this news article acceptable as claim substantiation and moreover, it referred to the technique as “first of its kind”. The advertiser’s argument that their claim has not been contested by anyone, was also rejected by the CCC. As per information in the public domain, the cryolypolysis technique has been available in India prior to 2013 as coolsculpting or Zeltic etc.

 

  1. Guleria ENT Hospital: The print advertisement’s claim, “World's Most Advanced and Smallest Hearing Aid”, was not substantiated with any evidence to indicate that the hearing aid by the advertiser is the most advanced and the smallest in the world, or via any independent third-party certification.

 

  1. Calcutta Piles Clinic: The print advertisement’s claim, “Successful Treatment of Piles, Fistula, Fissure and Hydrocele for a Lifetime without Operation”, was not substantiated with any robust clinical evidence. The advertiser did not provide any details of the treatment procedure, nor any details regarding the medicines used for treatment of the claimed diseases, and their approval status by the regulatory authorities. The claim guaranteeing lifetime cure is grossly misleading by exaggeration and exploits consumers’ lack of knowledge.

 

  1. Hitech Diagnostic Centre: The print advertisement’s claim, “The Most Trusted Name in South India for Diagnostics”, was not substantiated with any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s centre versus other similar diagnostic centres in India, to prove that they are the more trusted than all the rest, or through a third party validation. The advertisement contravened ASCI Guidelines for Disclaimers in Advertising.

 

  1. Lokpriya Hospital: The print advertisement’s claim, “Biggest Heart Centre of Western Uttar Pradesh”, was not substantiated with any market survey data or any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s hospital and other similar hospitals in Western Uttar Pradesh or through a third-party validation. The print advertisement also contravened ASCI Guidelines for Disclaimers in Advertising.

 

  1. Godavari Foundation's Dr.Ulhas Patil Medical College & Hospital: The print advertisement’s claim, “Treatment for Prevention of Sterility”, was not substantiated with any robust clinical evidence. The advertiser did not provide any details of the treatment procedure, nor any details regarding the medicines used for treatment of the claimed diseases, and their approval status by the regulatory authorities.

 

  1. Asian City Hospital: The print advertisement’s claim, “Most Trusted Healthcare Network”, was not substantiated with any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s hospital versus other similar hospitals to prove that their healthcare network is more trusted than all the rest, or through a third-party validation. The advertisement contravened ASCI Guidelines for Disclaimers in Advertising.

 

  1. DHI Medical Group (Aegean Healthcare Pvt. Ltd): The print advertisement’s claim, “Selected as Rank 1 by IMRB” was not adequately substantiated.  It was observed that the advertiser refers to the 2015 IMRB survey and indicated that no other survey was conducted after the 2015 survey. The CCC did not agree with this contention as the survey was more than five years old and hence, not only it is time-barred but market situation has changed significantly as well. There are many other organizations or clinics offering similar services in India. Furthermore, while the advertiser provided links to new report / their own blog, they did not provide details such as the survey methodology followed such as the details of the process as to how the ranking was done, details of survey data, criteria used for evaluation, questionnaires used, the outcome of the survey, etc. The links provided by the advertiser referred to their organization scoring more on “customer satisfaction”, whereas such mention was missing in the advertisement. The advertisement contravened ASCI Guidelines for Usage of Awards/Rankings in Advertisements and ASCI Guidelines for Disclaimers in Advertising.

 

  1. Global Health Aesthetics Laser Hospital: The print advertisement claims, “Remove Fat Forever” and “Reduce 2” to 6” without Surgery”, were not substantiated with treatment efficacy data. Treatment efficacy depicted via before and after visual is misleading by implication. The advertiser is promoting non-surgical lipolysis for fat loss without providing any details of their treatment procedure and did not provide evidence of their customers who achieved the claimed results of permanently losing fat and reducing two to six inches, regardless of their physiological status and lifestyle.

 

  1. Dhanvantri Super Specialty Hospital: The print advertisement’s claim, “The Best Hospital Honoured by Dainik Jagran” and “The Best Cancer Surgeon Honoured by Dainik Jagran”, were not substantiated and are misleading by exaggeration. The advertiser did not provide copies of the award certificates, reference of the awards received such as the year, source, category, the basis of the awards or the survey methodology followed to obtain this information for the awards claimed, such as the details of the process as to how the selection for the awards was done, details of survey data, and the details about the awarding bodies. The CCC did not agree with the advertiser’s contention that the advertisement was made by Dainik Jagran therefore the onus lies with Dainik Jagran. The CCC opined that the advertiser cannot shift the blame of their advertisement on the publication. The advertisement contravened ASCI Guidelines for Usage of Awards/Rankings in Advertisements and ASCI Guidelines for Disclaimers in Advertising.

 

  1. Dhanvantri Super Specialty Hospital: The print advertisement’s claim, “Win Over Cancer, Now”, was not substantiated with any robust clinical data and considered misleading by gross exaggeration.

 

  1. City Hospital: The print advertisement’s claim, “Painless Vaginal Delivery”, was not substantiated with any scientific or technical rationale. The advertiser did not provide any scientific basis of how this was feasible without any other medical intervention such as pain killers/ local anaesthesia or epidural injections.

 

  1. Beta Medikit Pvt Ltd (Beboy Periods Pain Out Spray): The television advertisement’s claim, “1st Time Spray In The World”, was not substantiated with supporting evidence such as market survey details to conclusively prove that the advertiser’s product is a first in the world / pioneer in the launch of pain relief spray product. The CCC observed that as per information available in the public domain, there are many other spray format products world-wide for pain relief measures.

 

  1. Dollar Company Private Ltd (Lichensa): The television advertisement’s claim, “Give right solution for skin issues due to inner wear, infection in nails and fingers in just 2 days”, was not substantiated. However, the advertiser did not provide any technical data, scientific rationale or clinical evidence of product efficacy, to prove the claim. The CCC noted that the conditions stated in the advertisement were linked to fungal infections and requires prolonged treatment; whereas the advertisement gives an impression that these conditions get cured in two days.

 

The following advertisements were considered to be, prima facie, in violation of The Drugs & Magic Remedies (DMR) Act when the advertisement was viewed in totality with the texts and visuals: 

 

SR No

Brand/Product

Claim/s

1.

Ayurveda Yogashram                      

  • Successful treatment to lakhs of patients from India and abroad for Kidney Diseases

2.

Arul Siddha Clinic

  • Assured blessing of child, if conception does not occur, the money paid will be refunded.

3.

Ayurveda Yogashram (Dr. Naveen Arya)          

  • Solution from roots for heart disease 

4.

Jiva Ayurveda (Dr. Partap Chauhan)

  • Cure Disease from Roots-Arthritis, Diabetes and Asthma

5.

Kerala Ayurveda Wellness Centre

  • Get Rid of all Diseases - Rheumatoid Arthritis, Paralysis, Diabetes and Neurological Diseases

6.

Pro Life Multi Specialty Clinic - Pro Life Clinic (Homeopathy Clinic) (Dr. Vikas Karale)

  • Win over sterility 

7.

Dr Prafulla Raut Shri Vishwarpan Ayurved Rugnalay and Panchakarma Centre 

  • Increase in Height

8.

Sai Parmarth Chikitsa Kendra (Vaid P G Tayal)

  • Permanent natural ayurvedic treatment on Diabetes, obesity,  sterility, Arthritis, sex weakness etc 

9.

Saraswat Ayush Hospital (Dr. O P Saraswat)

  • Increase Height
  • Permanent solution on white spot, impotence, sexual weakness due to childhood mistakes through pulse diagnosis.

10.

Aastha Homoeopathic Clinic (Dr. Mahavir Vyas)

  • Asthma, arthritis, all type of mental diseases and white spots are removed from roots through homeopathic treatment procedures without side effects.

11.

Dr Jonwal’s Nap Ayurveda

  • Cure disease without operation – Brain Neurological hormones diseases, Diabetes – High BP – Reversal, Hear attack blockage reversal, infertility. 

12.

DVH Clinic (Dr. Ranjit Yadav)

  • Permanent results in Asthma.

13.

Ojas Aryuved Panchkarma Hospital (Dr. Mahendra H Rupapara)

  • Disappointed childless couples can get childbirth naturally through ayurvedic treatment.

14.

Sanyasi Ayurveda

  • Permanent treatment of all the sexual problems due to childhood mistakes then consume medicine with our consultation and see difference in just 15 days.

15.

Shree Siyaram Ayurved Mandir         

  • Successful treatment of weakness, lack of hold back power, azoospermia by approved doctors as per the provision of Central Council Act 1970.

16.

Swaroop Ayurvedic Clinic and Panchkarm a Centre (Dr. Neetu/ Dr. Lakshman Swaroop)

  • Successful treatment on Paralysis.
  • Successful stone related diseases.

17.

Yadav Clinic (Dr. Naresh Yadav) 

  • Cure all diseases from roots without medicine through acupuncture and karnabindu – White Spot & Sugar.

18.

Mapple Overseas/ 8 Range Of Products

  • 8 inch Capsules, Lotion & Gel” .The product is meant for the enhancement of sexual pleasure.

19.

Baljiwan Medicines Pvt Ltd/ Baljiwan Shakti Taranga

  • Power booster for men.
  • Beneficial in impotency, premature ejaculation and increases time

20.

Taj Herbal Pharmacy Pvt Ltd/ No Fall Powder

  • Benefit in 7 days from nightfall and discharge.

21.

Surgichem Herbs (India)/ Bust-36 Range of Products

  • Enhancement of breast.

22.

Surgichem Herbs (India)/ Height Plus

  • Beneficial Ayurvedic Medicine for Physical Development.

23.

Vardhan Ayurvedic and Herbal Medicine Pvt Ltd/ Kamri Plus Oil

  • It helps in breast enhancement and to tighten loose breast.

24.

Anand Ayurveda (Dr. Javed Akhtar)

  • Successful treatment of sexual problems.

25.

Ashtang Ayurved (Dr. Pravin Kenge)

  • Guaranteed treatment and eliminates diseases like diabetes, kidney stone, skin diseases, heart diseases, blood pressure, rheumatism and asthma.

26.

Ayushman Hospital & Research

Centre Pvt Ltd/ Dr. Chetan Daswani

  • Cure diabetes without giving any medicine, injection or insulin.

27.

Dr. Samrat Clinic Pvt Ltd 

  • Cure impotency, premature ejaculation, viryadosh, azoospermia, undeveloped breast, mental disease, prostate and uterus tumour without operation.

28.

Dr. Sharma Ayurveda (Dr. SK  Sharma)

  • Get full vigour with complete ayurvedic treatment.

29.

DVH Clinic (Dr Ranjit Yadav)

  • Permanent results in Prostrate Cancer and kidney stone since past many years.
 

 

 

Real Estate

  1. Paranjape Schemes (Construction) Ltd (Forest Trails Township): The print advertisement’s claim, “India's Largest Senior-Living Community”, was not substantiated with market survey data, or with verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s township project for seniors and other similar township projects of other Builders in India, to prove that their senior-living community project is larger than other township projects. The claim was also not supported through an independent third-party validation.

 

  1. AMR Infrastructures (AMR Future City): The print advertisement’s claim, “Hyderabad's Most Trusted Real Estate Company”, was not substantiated with any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser versus other similar real estate companies in Hyderabad to prove that they are more trusted than all the rest, or through a third-party validation.

 

  1. Homeland Group (Vatika Infotech City Suraksha Enclave): The print advertisement’s claim, “North India's No.1 Location”, was not substantiated with verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s project and other similar projects in North India, to prove that the location of the project is better than all other projects, or through an independent third-party validation. The second claim “Rajasthan's Largest and Developed Township”, was not substantiated with any market survey data, or with verifiable comparative data of advertiser’s company versus other similar companies in Rajasthan to prove that advertiser’s township project is larger than all the rest, or through an independent third party validation.

 

  1. Bahri Estates Pvt Ltd (Anandam Retirement Community): The print advertisement’s superlative claim, “Named the World's Best Retirement Community”, was not substantiated with market survey data, or with verifiable comparative data worldwide, of the advertiser versus other real estate companies in the world to prove that their retirement community project is better than all the rest. The claim was also not supported through an independent third-party validation. The second claim “India’s Most Awarded Developer in Senior Living”, was not substantiated with verifiable comparative data of the advertiser versus other real estate companies in India to prove that their senior living projects have received more awards than all others. The claim was also not supported through an independent third-party validation.

 

  1. Kolte-Patil Developers Ltd (Life Republic): The print advertisement’s claim, “The Most Trusted Brand in Pune” and “The Best Township in Pune,” were not substantiated and are misleading by exaggeration.  The CCC noted that the claims made in the advertisement were based on the awards received by the advertiser and some of the awards were more than three years old. The advertiser did not provide the basis of the awards or the survey methodologies followed such as the details of the process as to how the selection for the awards were done, details of the survey data, criteria used for evaluation, questionnaires used, names of other brands and townships that were part of the surveys, the outcome of the surveys, and the details about the awarding bodies. The advertisement contravened ASCI Guidelines for Usage of Awards/Rankings in Advertisements and Guidelines for Disclaimers in Advertising.

 

  1. M3M India Pvt. Ltd (M3M): The print advertisement’s claim, “100+ Awards in Luxury Residential Project Segment”, was not substantiated with supporting data as the advertiser did not provide copy of the award certificates as claimed reference of the awards received such as the year, source, category, the basis of the awards or the survey methodology followed to obtain this information for the awards claimed, such as the details of the process as to how the selection for the awards was done, details of survey data, and the details about the awarding bodies. The advertisement contravened ASCI Guidelines for Usage of Awards/Rankings in Advertisements.

 

 

Visa/Immigration Services

 

  1. Aces Immigration: The print advertisement’s claim, “Sweden's Study Visa No.1 Company in North India”, was not substantiated with verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s consultancy and other similar consultants in North India, to prove that their institute is in leadership position (No.1) than all the rest, in providing study visas to Sweden, or through an independent third party validation. The CCC was of the opinion that it is not possible for any visa processing organization to conduct such comparative study given the unorganized nature of the sector and number of such organizations. Moreover, the output for each organization is not in the public domain for such comparison. Hence it was unlikely for the advertiser to have such support data.

 

  1. Amigos Overseas: The print and magazine advertisement’s claim, “100% Visa Success Ratio”, was not substantiated. It was observed that the advertiser is an immigration consultant company providing people with student and work visas for UK, New Zealand, Canada, Europe and Australia. However, the advertiser did not provide a detailed verifiable list of candidates who received visas for study and work for UK, New Zealand, Canada, Europe and Australia as claimed, verifiable evidence to support their enrolment including contact details for independent verification, copies of their appointment letters, a CA certification or an independent third-party claim validation.

 

  1. T.K. Immigration Services Pvt. Ltd: The print advertisement’s claim, “100% Visa Success (Oct. Intake -2019) in Australia”, was misleading by gross exaggeration. The CCC observed that the advertisement shows photographs of 12 students whereas the CA certificate indicates that nine students have achieved their visa for the October 2019 intake for Australia. Furthermore, the CCC was of the opinion that nobody can guarantee 100% visa success as there could be several factors which would disqualify an application. The second claim “Study in Australia, Canada & UK-With/Without IELTS” was misleading by ambiguity and implication. The advertiser indicated that the reference to “with IELTS” is for Australia and Canada and “without IELTS” is for UK. The CCC observed that the advertiser is guaranteeing visa and the claim “Study in Australia, Canada & UK” read in conjunction with the sub-claim “With/Without IELTS” indicates that the students can study in all three countries with/without IELTS. The third claim “Refusal Cases Accepted” was misleading by exaggeration and implication. The CCC observed that the advertiser may be accepting and processing refusal cases. However, when the claim is read in conjunction with other claims, it creates an impression that for all such cases, they would be able to get visa approval; whereas they only had one example to present. Reference to this example was not considered correct as the category for processing the application in 2016 and 2019 was different as well.

 

  1. Destination the Ultimate Beginning: The print advertisement’s claim, “100% Sure Shot Visa”, was not substantiated. It was observed that the advertiser is a visa consultant providing visitor visas for USA, Australia, UK and Canada. The CCC noted that the advertiser had acknowledged their lapse while making this claim and that they did not have any claim support.

 

  1. Samir Patel’s Mascot Groups Education & Migration: The print advertisement’s claim, “100% Visa Guarantee”, was not substantiated with any verifiable data such as list of students who received visas for the countries as claimed, evidence to support their enrolment including contact details for independent verification, copies of their university enrolment letters, a CA certification or an independent third-party claim validation.

 

 

 

 

 

Personal Care

  1. WAFF Industries LLP & Exotica Refresh (WAFF Deodorants): The television advertisement’s claim “World’s 1st Nature’s Extract Deodorant”, was not substantiated with any supporting evidence such as market survey details to conclusively prove that the advertiser’s product is a first in the world / pioneer in the launch of deodorant products with natural extract. It was observed that as per information available in the public domain, there are many other deodorant products world-wide that contain natural extracts.

 

  1. Aswini Homeo & Ayurvedic Products Pvt. Ltd (Aswin Subhra Bath Powder): The television advertisement’s claim, “Completely herbal and natural”, was not substantiated with evidence of ingredients present in the product to prove that the product is completely herbal and natural.

 

  1. Nisargalaya Herbal Private Limited (Nisargalaya Roop Nisarg Range of Products): The print advertisement’s claim “Get rid from dark circles and black complexion”, was not substantiated with evidence of product efficacy data.

 

  1. Raniga (Raniga Unisex Perfumes): The print advertisement’s claim, “World's Most Favourite Deodorant” was not substantiated with any verifiable comparative data or any market survey data of the advertiser’s deodorant and other similar deodorants in the world, or through a third-party validation. The print advertisement contravened ASCI Guidelines for Disclaimers in Advertising.

 

  1. Sunny Industries Private Limited – Sunny’s AD Vitamin Baby Oil: The print advertisement’s claim, “The Best”, was not substantiated with any verifiable comparative data of advertiser’s product versus other baby oil products to prove that their product is the best, or through an independent third-party validation. The second claim, “No Harmful Mineral Oil”, was not substantiated with evidence of ingredients present in the product to prove that the product does not contain any mineral oil. Furthermore, the CCC noted that mineral oil is an ingredient permitted to be used in baby oil formulation. Presenting this as “harmful” disparages the entire category of products based on / containing “mineral oil”.  The third claim, “Doctors First Choice”, was not substantiated with any market survey data or with any verifiable comparative data of any survey conducted among doctors, to prove that their product is more preferred or was the first choice as compared to all baby oil products, or substantiated through a third party validation.

 

Food and Beverages

  1. Rasna Private Limited (Rasna Native Haat Honey Vita): The print advertisement’s claim “Makes mentally and physically active”, “Strengthen bones” and “Muscle redevelopment”, endorsed by sportswoman, Saina Nehwal, were not substantiated. The advertiser did not submit any product specific details such as composition / license / pack artwork or samples and FSSAI approval, nor evidence of product efficacy by way of any technical data, scientific rationale or clinical evidence of product efficacy. The advertiser did not provide any evidence to show that the celebrity had done due diligence prior to endorsement, to ensure that all description, claims and comparisons made in the advertisement are capable of substantiation. The advertisement contravened ASCI’s Guidelines for Celebrities in Advertising.

 

  1. Vay India & 7 Hills Manikchand (7 Hills Manikchand Pan Masala): The CCC viewed the print advertisement and noted that the advertisement is in violation of FSSAI guidelines for mandatory declarations, as it did not contain the mandatory statutory warning indicating that – “CHEWING OF PAN MASALA IS INJURIOUS TO HEALTH”. The print advertisement shows disregard for safety by omission of such declaration and is misleading by implication.

 

  1. Surat District CoOperative Milk Producers' Union Ltd (Sumul Ghari): The print advertisement’s claim, “Highest Selling in World”, was not substantiated. The advertiser did not provide any verifiable comparative data or market research data to prove that their sweet brand is the highest selling brand in the world, in terms of value or volume share, or through an independent third-party validation.

 

  1. Jivo Wellness Pvt. Ltd (Jivo Canola): The television advertisement’s claim, “Control sugar and protects/stops from going fat, and diseases away”, was not substantiated. For the advertisement promoting Canola Oil, it was observed that the advertiser did not submit any product specific details such as composition / license / pack artwork or samples and FSSAI approval for the claims being made in the TVC. Further, the advertiser did not provide any technical data, scientific rationale or clinical evidence of product efficacy, to prove that their product has the claimed benefits.

 

Others

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

 

  1. Ixigo.com (LE Travenues Technology Private Limited): The television advertisement’s claim, “Only Ixigo money lets you use 100 percent cashback”, was not substantiated as the advertiser did not provide verifiable comparative evidence to establish that they are the only ones to provide 100% cashback.

 

  1. JMD Water Heater Pvt Ltd (iLiv Water Purifier): The print advertisement’s claim, “Helps Boost Your Immunity”, was not substantiated. The advertiser is promoting their brand of water purifier – `iLiv’ claiming that the water released from their water purifier helps in boosting the immunity of the person. The headline of the advertisement also stated “Don’t drink water” implying that the benefits associated with the output of their product is significantly better. The CCC observed that the advertiser’s response has only assertions regarding the claim and it which was not backed by any supporting data. While the advertiser relied on online articles regarding alkaline water, the advertiser did not provide any scientific rationale or any technical test reports / third party reports on the test results to indicate the ability of the product’s output water in boosting immunity.  

 

  1. Feastoo Online Services Pvt Ltd (fooddoo.com): The print advertisement’s claim “World's No.1 Homemade Food Delivery Company”, was not substantiated with verifiable comparative worldwide of the advertiser and other similar online food delivery companies, to prove that they are in leadership position for homemade food delivery, nor the claim was backed through an independent third party validation.
     
  2. Sirmaur Soaps & Allied Products Pvt. Ltd (Rajhans Detergent Powder & Rajhans Gold Soap): The print advertisement’s claim as translated from Hindi “The Best in Washing”, was not substantiated with any verifiable comparative data of advertiser’s product versus other detergents and soap products/brands to prove that their products provide a better wash compared to others. The claim was also not supported by an independent third-party validation. 

 

  1. Leap Industries - Leap Range of Products (Lithium Battery Packs): The print advertisement’s claim, “No.1 Quality”, was not substantiated. The advertiser did not provide any verifiable comparative data or market research data, to prove that their product is of superior quality, or through an independent third-party validation.

 

  1. Best Money Gold Jewellery Limited: The print advertisement’s claim, “India's No.1 Used Gold Buying Company”, was not substantiated with verifiable comparative of the advertiser and other similar used gold buying companies in India, to prove that they are in leadership position (No.1), or through an independent third-party validation. The print advertisement contravened ASCI Guidelines for Disclaimers in Advertising.

 

  1. NRJ Electric Motor Vehicle Pvt. Ltd (NRJ E-Rikckshaw): The print advertisement’s claim, “Highest Selling Modern-Powerful Motor and Body in UP”, was not substantiated. The advertiser did not provide any verifiable comparative data or market research data to prove that their product is the highest selling product than all other similar e-rickshaw products in UP in terms of value or volume share, or through an independent third-party validation. The print advertisement contravened ASCI Guidelines for Disclaimers in Advertising.

 

  1. Car Exchange: The print advertisement’s claim, “Gujarat's Largest No.1 Used Car Store Since 10 Years”, was not substantiated with any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s store and any other similar car stores in Gujarat, on year on year basis for the last 10 years as claimed, to prove that it is in the leadership position (No.1) and is larger than all the rest in terms of value or volume share, or through an audited report or third-party validation. The advertisement contravened ASCI Guidelines for Disclaimers in Advertising.

 

  1. Mission Health: The print advertisement’s claim, “World's Best Group Fitness Workouts & Functional Training”, was not substantiated with market survey data or with verifiable comparative worldwide data to prove that their group fitness workouts and functional training provided at their centre is better than all the rest. The claim was also not supported through an independent third party validation.

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