ASCI upholds complaints against 190 advertisements

Of these 190 advertisements, 112 belong to the education sector, 40 to healthcare sector, 10 to the personal care, 7 to food and beverages sector, 5 to media sector, 5 to consumer durables and 11 to the ‘others’ category

During the month of June 2019, ASCI investigated complaints against 334 advertisements, of which 106 advertisements were promptly withdrawn by the advertisers as soon as they received communication from ASCI. 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, 7 to the food & beverages sector, 5 to the media / broadcasting sector, 5 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 brand 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 on 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).

Complaints against advertisements

TV Today Network Ltd (India Today Television) : Impermissible use of BARC data.

ARG Outlier Media (R Bharat) : Misleading by

exaggeration and implication

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Ltd (Horlicks) : Submitted clinical trial does not unambiguously and fully support the claims

Amway India Enterprises Pvt. Ltd. (Nutrilite Traditional Herbs Range): Misleading by ambiguity and omission of the reference to the product containing extracts

NIIT LTD : False claim of "5000 Assured jobs"

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Limited (Revital H Woman) : Distorting data to mislead the consumer

Bajaj Consumer Care Ltd. (Bajaj Almond Drops Hair Oil) : Claim, "300% Vitamin – E" found misleading by ambiguity and implication

Mankind Pharma Limited (Manforce Cocktail Condom) : Violating Ministry's guidelines of airing

Condom ads during family viewing hours

Asian Paints Ltd : Violates ASCI's Guidelines for celebrities in advertising and the ASCI guidelines on Disclaimers

EUREKA FORBES LTD (Dr. Aquaguard NRICH ROs) : Claim about Aquaguard's new Active Copper Technology found to be misleading

Fena (P) Limited (Fena Superwash Powder) : Not substantiated with verifiable market survey data of the advertiser's product and other competitor products

Times Internet Limited (CricPlay): Inadequately substantiated

My Mission : Not substantiated with verifiable supporting data

Reckitt Benckiser Healthcare India P. Ltd (Ring Guard) : Misleading by gross exaggeration and implication

Medlife International Private Limited (Medlife): Claim of 'India's No.1 E-Pharmacy' not conclusively proven with any verifiable comparative data

1MG Technologies Private Limited ( : Misleading by exaggeration and implication

Hindustan Unilever Ltd (Men's Fair & Lovely) : Misleading by ambiguity and implication, wrong choice of terminology

Lotus Herbals Ltd (Lotus Sports Sunscreen): Inadequately substantiated

Bajaj Electricals Ltd (Bajaj Ceiling Fans) : Misleading by exaggeration

Rasna Private Limited (Rasna Insta Energy) : Not substantiated with verifiable comparative data of the advertiser's product as compared to all other energy

Sumix Baby Wear & Care : Claim 'Made from 100% comp cotton gives relief from allergy' found misleading

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