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ASCI upholds complaints against 25 advertisements in July 2012

Among the complaints that the regulatory body received, there was an increase of misleading claims in the education, healthcare, FMCG and food sectors in July.

Since the inception of National Advertising Monitoring Service (NAMS), the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has received 131 complaints in just one quarter, which is about 76 per cent of the total complaints received (177) in the last one year.

ASCI upholds complaints against 25 advertisements in July 2012
During July 2012, the Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against 25 out of 38 advertisements reported, while the CCC did not uphold complaints against 13 advertisements.

The Pepsodent Germicheck Magnet television commercial claims that the toothpaste 'is better than the well-known toothpaste'. The claim has no base and was found to be misleading, not supported by a published peer-reviewed clinical study done on a head to head basis. The CCC concluded that the survey report submitted by the advertiser does not substantiate the claim and it contravened Chapter I.1 of the code and thus the complaint was upheld.

Boost, in its TVC, claims that Boost gives sportsman-level stamina, without emphasizing the need for consuming a balanced and fortified diet or without any additional effort or sports training. These claims are found to be misleading as the TVC seeks to make a disclaimer that 'Based on an independent study conducted on a group of school children who consumed Boost, performed three times better on the endurance test (from baseline) as compared to the control groups'. The CCC concluded that the claim, 'Boost gives three times more stamina', is misleading by reason of ambiguity and the advertisement contravened Chapter I.4 of the code.

The complaint against Maxo Max Power Liquid (Jyothy Laboratories) stated that the claim made by the brand, of getting rid of mosquitoes with just one drop of Maxo, lacks substantiated proof. Due to unavailability of substantiated proof, CCC upheld the complaint.

Ponds Gen White's TVC claims that the product is the first cream which adapts to skin type and gives spotless fairness. The claim was not supported with scientific and comparative data and the complaint was upheld as the advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the code.

As per the complaint against Knorr Soupy Noodles, the TVC claimed that one crore children like Knorr Soupy Noodles. The CCC considered the data submitted by the advertiser, and concluded that the claim was not substantiated adequately while upholding the complaint.

The complaint against the print advertisement of Career Launcher - CSAT classroom program that claims '80+ Selections in CS Prelims'11' was upheld by CCC, as the claim was not backed and substantiated with data or evidence. Also, there is no validation by any independent agency that confirms this claim.

Revital Woman's print advertisement has also upheld by CCC as the claims made in the advertisements (Revital woman is a daily health supplement, it has balanced combination of 12 vitamins, 18 minerals and ginseng which fights weakness, fatigue and tiredness, keeps physically active and mentally alert, maintains healthy hair, skin and nails, strengthens immunity and promotes bone health, take care of general body ache and pains, helps manage daily stress better) has not been substantiated with supporting clinical information and with details of reports of tests or trials conducted by an independent recognised testing institution. The advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the code and the complaint was upheld by CCC.

As per the complaint against Flair Writo Meter Pen in which the promotion message on the pack claims that Flair 'is the longest writing pen in the world', 'World's first pen which writes 10,000 meters non-stop', lacks substantiated comparative data. The CCC considered the reports submitted by the advertiser and concluded that the claim, 'Flair Writo meter writes 10,000 meters non- stop' was substantiated and this complaint was not upheld. However, in the absence of comparative data, the claims, 'World's first pen' and 'longest writing pen in the world', were not substantiated. The promotion messages on the pack contravened Chapter I.1 of the code and this complaint was upheld.

Among other brands for which complaints were upheld by the CCC were Euro Fashion, Kavery Engineering College, Passport Spray, Veg Fru Wash, Dr. K K R Gowtham International School, Oriental Group of Hotel Management, Fair and Kwick Fairness Cream, Shopping India Times, Tara Homeopathy Clinic, Sugar Remedy, Dhathri Hair Care Range, Western Institute of Technology, Cosmetic Surgery Clinic, Yash Ayurvedic and Non Surgical Clinic, Fenfuro, Ayurved Bhavan and Footwear Design and Development Institute.

Complaints were also received against three print advertisements and 10 TVCs that included ads of Smart Prep's Guidance & Expert Training, Nestle Neslac, Brainwork's Learning Systems, Eshwar Trust, UTV Stars, Lovable Lingerie, Fast Track Bags, Vivel Active Fair, Aquaguard, Dettol Liquid Hand Wash, Vera Mustard Oil, Himani Navratna Extra Thanda and AVJ InfoTech. However, as these advertisements did not contravene ASCI's codes or guidelines, the complaints were not upheld.

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