The Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has upheld complaints against 16 out of 23 advertisements for sending across misleading information in October.
The spike in complaints is the result of National Advertising Monitoring Service (NAMS), which aims to monitor misleading advertisements in different industries.
Ads of GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, Cadila Healthcare, Hindustan Unilever, VLCC, Ivy-GMAT, Sky Academy, VPM Classes, Dainik Bhaskar Group and Max Life Insurance were upheld for misleading communication.
In the education sector, complaints were registered against Sky Academy, Institute of Finance and Accounts, VPM Classes, Ivy-GMAT and NIBM PO Maker Institute as they claimed to be the leaders in their respective training programmes and promised cent per cent job guarantee, but fell short of any statistical records to prove these claims. Finding the claims inadequately supported with data, CCC upheld the complaint.
Sahara India TV Network got into trouble for the Sahara Q Shops TVCs that suggest purchasing grocery and other products from other retailers can cause medical problems. After looking through the data provided by the advertiser, CCC felt that the ad was false and misleading, and upheld the complaint.
Max Life Insurance got into hot water for its claims for the Shiksha Plus II child plans, which claims to offer the lowest child insurance plan rates in insurance history. The CCC found these claims misleading.
Healthcare brand VLCC had a problem because of VLCC Health Care Shape Up and VLCC Shape Up Waist and Tummy Trim Gel that claims to tone down waist size. The advertiser failed to substantiate the claim with scientific proof.
In personal care, Cadila Healthcare and Hindustan Unilever for the issue related to EverYuth Natural Fairness Face Wash and Pepsodent Expert Protection Toothpaste, respectively, as their ads did not provide enough data to support their claims scientifically.
Media group Dainik Bhaskar got into trouble for claiming Dainik Divya Marathi as the No. 1 in terms of circulation without substantiating the claims with details from Audit Bureau of Circulation or the Indian Readership Survey.
Food and beverage company GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Products had an issue with its Horlicks print ad, where it claims that one drink provides five proven benefits. The advertiser failed to disclose the source of any well researched literature to prove its claims and hence CCC upheld the complaint against it.
Other companies that got into trouble were Alda Chimney and Electronic Technology and Telecommunication.
During the month of October, the CCC received complaints against seven other ads from Preethi Kitchen Appliances, Modi Naturals Oleev Active Oil, Okaya Powder's Nasaka Xtra Pure Water Purifier, Nails Arina, Om Sai Ayurved India, Cadbury India's Cadbury Dairy Milk and Johnson & Johnson's Listerine Mouthwash, but the complaints against them were not upheld as they did not violate ASCI's guidelines.
The number of ads against which the complaints have been upheld has jumped significantly from 177 over last year to 205 for a span of six months between the period May, 2012 to October, 2012.
NAMS has been instrumental in rigorously tracking most of the advertisements being released across print and television.
The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) was established in 1985 and works to ensure the protection of the interests of consumers. Its main objective is to promote responsible advertising, thus enhancing the public's confidence in advertising.