A massive 99% of the ads from the Education category looked into by the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) in 2021-22 needed modification, as per ASCI’s Sector Wise Report. Education also remained the largest category monitored by ASCI in the recently concluded year with 1,728 ads being monitored against 1,406 in the previous year.
As per ASCI, while 9 ads featuring celebrities were found to be misleading from the education sector, 12 ads were also found influencer disclosure violations.
“Most of the violative claims under the Education sector were pertaining to Leadership, Awards & Rankings and Job Guarantee claims. Comparative superlative claims like highest success, lowest fees etc. and performance outcome claims like best results, success assured were also common. In addition to these there were a significant number of Money Back Guarantee claims usually clubbed with result oriented/outcome related claims,” the report said.
Second in line was the Healthcare sector in which 98% of the ads, of the total 775, ASCI looked into required modification. Five ads featuring Celebrities were found to be misleading, while 15 ads with influencer disclosure violations were witnessed in the category.
“Most violative claims in the Healthcare category revolved around leadership, awards & rankings and comparative claims specifically under Clinics & Hospitals. Treatment assurance claims were also fairly common. For Drugs and Medicinal products claims of cure - prevention - protection were the most common. Health condition reversal and product performance claims were among the other violative claims noted. There has been a rise in the occurrence of natural ingredient/procedure led treatment/cure claims,” ASCI noted.
Further, 95% of the ads from the Virtual Digital Assets (VDA) category looked into by ASCI in 2021-22 were found to be in need of modification. As per ASCI, 385 ads with Influencer Disclosure violations were found.
“Most advertisements looked into under this sector were influencer disclosure cases where influencers were talking about how to navigate the VDA platforms, or sharing information about the category and how the platform is easy to operate. From some of the ads that made misleading claims, leadership & consumer trust claims were most common. Guaranteed earnings, performance comparisons with other mode of investments like Gold and stock investment followed. The other commonly found claims revolved around promoting the category through referral program claims like refer a friend and win,” the report said.
Next in line is the Gaming category, where 94% of the ads required modification. ASCI looked at 383 ads from the category in 2021-22 as against just 67 in the preceding year. From the category, 8 ads featuring celebrities were found to be misleading, while 22 ads were found with influencer disclosure violations.
“Most violative claims in the Gaming sector were pertaining to leadership, guaranteed winnings, prize money assurance and safety, security & privacy claims. Other claims like consumer trust - trusted by 3 billion users etc., and comparative claims like win better, Xtimes more winnings were also seen,” the report stated.
In the Personal Care category, 91% of the 531 ads looked into were found to be in need of modification. While just four ads featuring celebrities were found to be misleading, 371 ads with influencer disclosure violations were found.
“There were various claims made in the advertisements looked into under this category. Most of the violative claims were pertaining to product performance. Owing to the ongoing pandemic we saw a number of protection and prevention claims, particularly claiming protection from germs like viruses and bacteria. Besides these there were comparative claims,” ASCI noted.
Meanwhile, in the Food and Beverage category 84% of the 373 ads looked into by ASCI needed modification. As per it, while 10 ads featuring celebrities were found to be misleading, 131 ads with influencer disclosure violations were also found.
“Almost every product sub-category under F&B had immunity boosting claims along with ingredient benefit and product performance claims. Comparative claims, leadership claims, health & disease risk reduction claims were also common,” the regulatory body noted.