ASCI's Consumer Complaints Council upholds complaints against nine ads in May

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising
Last updated : July 13, 2012
In May, the council upheld complaints against brands that include Brooke Bond Tea, Tata Sky, Lokmat and Nikon, among others.

In May, the Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) upheld complaints against nine advertisements. The ads belonged to brands across categories such as FMCG, media, education and healthcare. Among the major brands are Brooke Bond Tea, Tata Sky, Lokmat and Nikon cameras.


In the case of Brooke Bond Tea, the advertisement for Brooke Bond Red Label Natural Care Tea claimed that the product has a scientifically proven combination of five ayurvedic ingredients - tulsi, ashwagandha, mulethi, ginger and cardamom -- to strengthen immunity. It also claimed to help protect from cold, cough and flu. The claims were found not to be substantiated adequately and hence, the complaint was upheld. The advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the ASCI Code.

The complaint against DTH player Tata Sky's print ad was upheld on similar grounds. The ad stated 'Cable is just a Dabba' referring to cable set top boxes as sub-standard and of poor quality, which may necessarily not be a fact. The CCC concluded that the advertisement unfairly denigrates other products. The advertisement contravened Chapter IV.1 (e) of the Code.

Lokmat's communication claimed that the newspaper added 65,000 readers in SEC A segment in Pune. While it did not mention the period over which the growth was witnessed, the claim was deemed misleading. Found to be contravening Chapter I.4 of the ASCI Code, the complaint against the ad was upheld.

Nikon camera's television commercial showed cockatiels. According to the complainant, Nikon required permission from the Animal Welfare Board of India for the use of birds in advertisements or films. While Nikon had sought permission for four sparrows to be shown in their natural habitat, the birds used eventually were cockatiels. The CCC concluded that as the requisite permission was not received from the AWBI to shoot cockatiels in the TVC, it was in violation of The Performing Animals Registration Rules 2001. The advertisement contravened Chapter III.4 of the Code.

Among other ads against which complaints were upheld by the CCC in May are the ones of IMS, Glenmorangie, Alchemist, Shree Maruti Herbal's Maruti Stay On Capsules & Oil and Jake's Beauty Spa-Salon and Academy.

The ads of IMS, Alchemist and Shree Maruti Herbal were found to have made unsubstantiated claims. Glenmorangie's ad, on the other hand, was concluded to be a surrogate advertisement for an alcohol brand. Jake's Beauty Spa-Salon and Academy's ad received a complaint related to design and copy that was found to be similar to the contents of the complainant's ad of Schnell Hans Son Spa & Academy. The line 'Your Passport to Success' was similar to the complainant's advertisement and hence, suggested plagiarism.

In May, the CCC also received complaints against five TVCs - of Midas Care's Clean & Dry Cream, Sprite, Emami's Fair & Handsome for Men, Gillette Mach 3 and Axe. According to ASCI, the ads did not contravene ASCI's code of guidelines and hence, the complaints were not upheld.

First Published : July 13, 2012
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