afaqs! news bureau

ASCI upholds 177 of 201 complaints in July

A quarter of the complaints were received through ASCI's recently launched Online Complaint and Monitoring Service (OCMS).

The Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of ASCI, the voluntary self-regulating industry body, announced upholding complaints against 177 advertisements in July, 2013. CCC received a total of 201 complaints, a quarter of which were received through ASCI's newly launched website. A majority of the upheld complaints were for ads from the education sector, followed by the health and personal care category, for misleading claims.

ASCI upholds 177 of 201 complaints in July
The council received complaints against 52 ads falling under health and personal care category. It upheld complaints against two - Shakti Bhog Foods's Brown Marie and Tara Health Foods Zaitoon Tara edible oil.

In the education category, the council upheld all 94 complaints received against print ads by various education institutions. The council noted that the ads violated the ASCI guidelines and claimed to 'provide 100 per cent placement' and/or made unsubstantiated claims. Some of these brands were IMS Learning Resources, Indian Institute of Hardware Technology, Bright Academy, Chate Group, Asian Institute of Film & Media Studies and NIIT.

In the telecom sector, the ad by Tata Teleservices mentioned 'Unlimited 3G data for Rs 250', which was misleading and, therefore, the complaint was upheld. In the FMCG sector, CCC found Hindustan Unilever and ITC guilty of violating the ASCI code. Hindustan Unilever's ad showed a child having stained teeth and mouth, encouraging children viewing it to do the same, which may be harmful to them. As for ITC, the ad showed a dark skinned girl suffering from inferiority complex because men were attracted to fair skinned girls. The commercial was colour-biased, said the complaint, which was upheld.

CCC found Bennett, Coleman and Co.'s E-Samay stating unsubstantiated and misleading claims regarding its circulation, retaining readership and its readership position in Kolkata. Audi India's Audi Q3 and Maruti Suzuki India's Swift were found to have violated ASCI guidelines in the auto category.

Under the food and beverages category, CCC found the television commercials launched by Sai Food Products' Bisk Farm Top Biscuit and Euro India Fresh Foods' Namkeen as indecent, distasteful and causing widespread offence. Complaints against Finlandia Vodka and Rasna Nimbu Pani were also upheld.

Meanwhile, the council upheld complaints against Apple iPhone and Quit Smoking International's ads for being misleading and not substantiated with clinical study/data, respectively.

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