The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), a self-regulatory body that propagates responsible advertising, has released a report of the complaints it received and upheld in the month of March 2016. The ASCI's Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) received complaints against 156 ads; complaints against 90 ads were upheld.
Of these, 32 advertisements belonged to the education category, followed by 30 ads in the health and personal care category, and 10 ads in the food and beverages category. Eighteen ads belonged to other product categories.
Brands that were pulled up for their ads within the education segment for unsubstantiated claims, and hence, violated ASCI's guidelines for advertising of educational institutions include Shri Ram Murti Smarak International Business School, Saveetha School of Management, Jaipuria Institute of Management (Jaipuria MBA), TathaGat (One-Year Classroom Programme), IMS Learning Resources (IMS Clat 16/17, CAT 2016), ICBM-School of Business Excellence, Indus Business Academy, and the Asian School of Business Management.
The health and personal care brands with false and/or misleading claims include Medinn Belle Herbal Care (Endura Mass), Adesh Group of Institutions and Hospitals (Adesh Hospital), Rajsee Ayurvedic Capsules, Patanjali Ayurved (Patanjali Kesh Kanti Natural Hair Cleanser and Oil, Amrutanjan Health Care (Amrutanjan Pain Balm), and Hindustan Unilever (Clinic Plus Shampoo).
The food and beverage brands that have come under the ASCI scanner for violation of advertising guidelines include Somabhai Tea Processors (Special Patti - Premium CTC Leaf Tea and Number 10 - CTC Leaf Tea), Som Fragrances (Dilbagh Pan Masala), Ratnasagar Herbals (Joy Honey and Almonds Nourishing Lotion), ITC (Aashirvaad Multigrain Atta), and Patanjali Ayurved (Patanjali Kachi Ghani Mustard Oil).
Other brands that were pulled up for objectionable ads include Sify TNVAT (Sify Technologies), Ashok Nandavanam Properties (Ashok Nandavanam), Castrol India (Castrol Active Scooter Oil), Amazon.com (Amazon- return policy), Rupa & Company (Euro Fashions Inners Cool Casuals), and Kalyan Jewellers.
The Advertising Standards Council of India, a self-regulatory organisation for the advertising industry, was established in 1985. The ASCI, which is recognised under The Cable Television Network Rules, 1994, states that "No advertisement which violates the code for self-regulation in advertising, as adopted by the Advertising Standard Council of India (ASCI), Mumbai, for public exhibition in India, from time to time, shall be carried in the cable service". The ASCI is the executive arm of the Department of Consumer Affairs that handles all complaints pertaining to misleading advertisements.
The role and function of the ASCI and its Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) is to deal with complaints received from consumers and Industry, against advertisements which are considered as false, misleading, indecent, illegal, leading to unsafe practices, or unfair to competition, and consequently in contravention of the ASCI Code for Self-Regulation in Advertising.