ASCI upholds complaints against 123 ads in May

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | July 23, 2013
Health, personal care and education were the main categories that continued to make misleading and unsubstantiated claims and come under the scanner of the CCC.

The Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has upheld complaints against 123 ads out of 144 ads in May.


Health, personal care and education were the main categories that continued to make misleading and unsubstantiated claims and come under the scanner of the CCC.

According to ASCI, May was the peak season for admissions hence there was a sudden increase in the education sector advertisements. The education sector leads with a whopping 56 per cent of the ads (70 out of 123) against which complaints were upheld in the month of May.

The institutions made claims like: 'Get the appointment letter at the time of admission' (Sumangal College of Business Administration); 'Provide 100% job assurance' (Jharkhand IT School); 'Internationally accepted and recognized degrees', 'Over 10 years legacy in assuring 100% placements' and 'ranked 53rd in the top 100 B-Schools of India' (Eastern Institute of Management).

Thiagarajar School of Management, Features Hair & Beauty Academy, Dashmesh Academy, Navodaya Academy of Higher Hotel Administration, Prakritim School of Business and MIT Group of Institute, Wings Academy of Hotel Management, Annai Theresa College, New Horizons, Sapcloud soft Solutions, Kanara Institute of Hotel Management, Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media claimed that they 'provide 100% placement'.

In the health and personal care category, there were ads released in the press which were either misleading, false or not adequately/scientifically substantiated and hence violated Chapter I of the ASCI code. Some of the health care products or services ads also contravened provisions of the Drug & Magic Remedies Act. Complaints against them were upheld.

The advertisement of Veet Body Moisturiser (Reckitt Benckiser India) claimed that'8 out of 10 women who tried Veet Body Moisturiser agree that only this gives longer lasting smoothness'. The complaint was upheld.

The advertisement of Pond's pure white Face Wash (Hindustan Unilever) claimed that 'Pond's pure white Face Wash contains activated Carbon which goes in the depth of your skin and removes dirt and pollution and saves you from being affected by any skin problems', 'you get instant glow on your skin' and the complaint was upheld. Hindustan Unilever's ad for Dove Split End Rescue System claimed that Dove Split End Rescue System's breakthrough 'split-end technology helps bring your split-ends together to give you up to 4x less split-ends'. The complaint was upheld.

The other complaints that were upheld included ads of Sindhu Homeopathic Centre, Health Sanctuary, Prince Pharma, Deemark Healthcare and Osho Ayurved Dawakhana.

Dabur Lal Tail's ad claimed that 'If babies are massaged by Dabur Lal Tail, then the babies grow twice as fast'. The complaint against it was upheld. Also, L'Oreal White Perfect Laser Cream claimed that it provides 'incredible whitening radiance superior to laser treatment', 'Super reads: laser treatment= 1 IPL session.' It was upheld.

Clear Skin Laser Skin & Hair Clinic's advertisement claimed that 'Dark or tanned skin. Put a full stop to your frustrations'. The visuals were found to be misleading. Also, the product's claim of 'Clear skin laser skin and hair clinic cures and control treatments for the severest and most stubborn cases of dark/ tanned skin' were not substantiated with necessary support data, proof of efficacy, along with details of benefitted customers. The CCC, on examining the scientific data submitted by the advertiser, concluded that claim of 'removal of tanned skin' was not false. This complaint was not upheld. The 'removal of dark skin' was inadequately substantiated. This complaint was upheld.

In the fast moving consumer goods category, Vimal Rice Bran Oil's ad contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code. The complaint was upheld.

In consumer durables, the claims mentioned in ads of Sony India -the TVC of Sony Xperia Z Smart Phone shows that the phone can be washed with water and still work. Kent RO Water Purifier's ad claimed it is the world's most certified and awarded purifier' and 'it is the world's first compact water softener'. These claims were not substantiated and contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code. The complaints were upheld.

In telecom, Vodafone's print advertisement promised 'Unlimited Internet' starting at Rs 199 per month, without fine print or disclaimers. The back page showed 'Pack Allowance' and each pack with data limit, after which it is at reduced speed, implying a limit. By definition, unlimited shouldn't have a limit. Also, 'full speed' and 'reduced speed' were not mentioned in the ad. 3G and 2G specifications have certain data speed standards. If after the allowance speed is throttled, then the connection is not 2G or 3G. The CCC concluded that the claims mentioned in the advertisement were not substantiated. The advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code. The complaint was upheld.

During the month of April, the CCC also received complaints against 11 other advertisements. The complaints were received against the advertisements of Department of Tourism - Government of Kerala, Hindustan Unilever - Fair & Lovely Multi Vitamin fairness cream, Tata Motors- Tata Sumo, ITC - Vivel Fairness cream, Volkswagen Group Sales India - Volkswagen Polo, Perfetti Van Melle India - Mentos Contest, PepsiCo India Holdings- 7 Up, Hardcastle Restaurant - McDonalds, Bajaj Corp - Bajaj Kailash Parbat Thanda Tel, Titan Industries - Fast Track Watches, Fast Track Bags, Fast Track Goggles, Nikon India - Nikon Coolpix S5600, Cheil Worldwide - Samsung Television, Hindustan Unilever - Sunsilk Long & Strong and Axe Deodorant, and Symphony Coolers. However, as these advertisements did not contravene ASCI's codes or guidelines, the complaints were not upheld.

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