Healthcare, education and personal care were the main categories that continued to make misleading claims.
The Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has upheld complaints against 52 of 84 ads in March, 2013. Healthcare, education and personal care were the main categories that continued to make misleading claims and come under the scanner of the CCC.
The brands that have come under ASCI's scanner include Dabur India, Procter & Gamble, Hindustan Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, Monga Clinic, Zydus Wellness, Economic Times, Honda, Eureka Forbes and Panasonic, to name a few.
In case of Dabur, Fem Anti Darkening Hair Removal Cream in its TVC claimed that it was the first ever hair removal cream that doesn't cause skin darkening, which was found to be baseless. Procter & Gamble was questioned for Pantene Pro-V Hair Fall Control, which claimed that it makes hair damage-free in just 14 days. Hindustan Unilever claimed that Pond's white beauty cream makes spots disappear, and they won't come back even if they want to, which was questionable.
In the education sector, the CCC found print ads by 14 different advertisers were not substantiated, thus violating the ASCI guidelines. In media, ET Now in its print ad claimed that ''ET Now is the undisputed leader on the budget date, only our competitor will say it was a bad budget." The ad quoted ET Now has 64 per cent of the market share and CNBC TV18 has 36 per cent of the market share. The CCC noted the contents of the ad and concluded that the market share claimed by the advertiser was not adequately substantiated. The advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code; therefore, the complaint was upheld.
In automobile, the Honda Brio TVC did not mention anywhere that the features showed in the vehicles on the TVC are not the part of the standard package. The CCC viewed the film and concluded that the features of the car portrayed in the ad were of the top variant and were likely to mislead consumers into believing it was the standard package.
In FMCG, Hindustan Unilever showed Brooke Bond tea as a replacement of exercise, which was not acceptable. In the consumer durables category, Eureka Forbes, in its print advertisement, claimed "Every morning, over 10 million mothers trust only Aquaguard - Paani Ka Doctor." The complaint against "Aquaguard Enhance-Green RO that saves up to 30 per cent water" was not upheld as the advertisers were able to substantiate it with necessary scientific data.
However, the complaint against "Every morning, over 10 million mothers trust only Aquaguard - Paani Ka Doctor" was upheld.
During the month of March, the CCC also received complaints against 32 other advertisements. ASCI's National Advertising Monitoring Service 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.