The Advertising Standard Council of India (ASCI) has upheld Dabur India's complaint against the personal and healthcare products brand Emami's recent campaigns for Zandu Pure Honey, which claimed that other honey brands in the market contained sugar.
The Indian consumer goods firm Emami recently entered the packaged honey category under its Zandu brand. The product, priced at a 35 per cent premium, claims to have no added sugar. Going a step further, the ad campaigns for Zandu Pure Honey also claim that other packaged honey brands available in the market have nearly 30 per cent added sugar. Dabur India raised objection to this claim and raised the issue with the Advertising Standards Council of India.
The FTCC observed that the complainant and the advertiser have both organised testing via the same laboratory (Intertek Germany). However, samples were sent by the respective companies. These were not selected randomly/independently from the Indian market by the laboratory or an independent testing organisation. The results submitted by both parties were found to be contradicting each other.
In view of the above, the FTCC was of the view that the claim of "...your honey contains up to 30 per cent added sugar" is not undisputedly substantiated. This contravened Chapter I.1 of the ASCI Code. Complaint against this claim related to "presence of added sugar" in other brands and the corresponding visual was upheld.
The FTCC has further recommended that a new study could be conducted as per mutually agreeable test parameters at an independent laboratory where the study costs can be shared by both companies to avoid bias. The testing should be done on samples meant for the domestic market sourced by the independent lab or an independent testing organisation (and not provided by the interested parties themselves).