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ASCI upholds 68 out of 108 complaints in March

44 out of 68 violations were in the health and personal care category.

Advertising Standard Council of India's Consumer Complaints Council (CCC), a self regulatory industry body, announced the number of complaints it upheld in March, 2014. Of the 108 advertising complaints received, CCC found 68 ads guilty of violating ASCI-prescribed codes. Along with the advertisements, product packaging was also found to be misleading in many of the products in the month of February.

ASCI upholds 68 out of 108 complaints in March
Advertisements in personal and healthcare sector category again emerged as the one which accounted for a majority of advertisements (44 out of 68) against which complaints were upheld.

This was followed by education, food and beverages and others for showing misleading, false, inadequate or insufficient data substantiating the claim.

In the health and personal care category, CCC found 44 advertisements violating ASCI's code. These ads were found to be either misleading or false or not adequately/scientifically substantiated and hence violating ASCI's code. Some of the health care products or services ads also contravened provisions of the Drug & Magic Remedies Act. Some brands that found themselves in this list include Hindustan Unilever's Vaseline Healthy White Lotion, Wipro's Glucovita Bolts, Zydus Wellness, Hamdard's Hamdogen Herbal Revitaliser for Men, O.P. Jindal Institute of Cancer and Research, Dr. Grover Eye Hospital, Pravaas Foundation: Nasha Mukti Kendra, Shathayu Ayurved and Safe Height Capsule, among others.

Under the education category, 14 advertisers were found to have unsubstantiated claims. The companies include Infinity Educare, Institute of Fire Engineering & Safety, Sri Sri Institute, Steadfast Services, Chanakya IAS Academy, Triumphant Institute Management Education, Institute of Management Studies, DAV Institute of Engineering & Technology, IT Point, Institute for Government Service Aspirants, and SMEC Automation, among others.

The food and beverage category had three advertisements which contravened ASCI's code. The companies include Cadbury India's 5 star advertisement which shows 'a lady giving birth to a baby who is laughing. The voiceover says that the babies used to be laughing while being born in earlier days and later they started crying at childbirth due to a disease called seriousness. So eat 5 star to become jovial again.' The CCC concluded that the frames in the TVC showing the process of childbirth are gross and offensive. The advertisement contravened Chapter II of the Code. This advertisement received 21 such complaints against it. The other two companies are Heinz and Diageo.

The other advertisers who were found to have objectionable claims included Clues Network, PVR Cinemas, Aditya Birla Management Corporation's Birla White Putty, JCL Teleshopping, Arise India Inverters, Hiox Softwares and CNBC TV18 advertisement that claims that, 'CNBC-TV18 was the only channel India watched, during FM's speech' by relying on TAM rating of the day part 11:10 am until 12:06 pm. This claim of Network18 for its channel is completely misleading, factually incorrect, unsubstantiated and even disparaging to the other news and non-news channels including Network18's competitor channels and ET Now.

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