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ASCI scrutinises 171 misleading advertisements

ASCI continues to see advertisements featuring celebrities falling short of adhering to 'Guidelines for Celebrities in advertising'.

During the month of February 2020, ASCI investigated complaints against 279 advertisements, of which 101 advertisements were promptly withdrawn by the advertisers on receipt of communication from ASCI. The independent Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of ASCI evaluated the remaining 178 advertisements, of which complaints against 171 advertisements were upheld.

Of these 171 advertisements, 77 belonged to the education sector, 59 belonged to the healthcare sector, six to real estate, five to visa/immigration services, five to personal care, four to the food & beverages sector, and 15 were from the ‘others’ category. ASCI continues to see advertisements featuring celebrities falling short of adhering to 'Guidelines for Celebrities in advertising'.

Amongst the various advertisements that were scrutinized, CCC pulled up a misleading advertisement of a “gamified school education” app claiming it to be the biggest scholarship exam, and promising prize money worth up to Rs One Crore, featuring one of Bollywood’s legendary actors. An advertisement of herbal drops endorsed by a Bollywood celebrity made a misleading claim that it can save or protect from diseases by immunity enhancement.

A popular auto company, in a TV advertisement, depicted a pillion riding barber shaving the rider on a running motorcycle. It showed a dangerous act with disregard for safety and challenged safe driving requirements. The advertisement contravened ASCI’s Guidelines for Advertisements depicting Automotive Vehicles. ASCI also saw several Real estate companies making superlative/leadership claims. One well-known brand while promoting their township project for seniors, made an unsubstantiated claim of being “India’s Largest Senior-Living Community”.

ASCI also processed complaints against several advertisements which guaranteed “100 per cent Visa”, “100 per cent Visa Success Ratio”, “No.1 Visa Company” either for work or education in countries which had stringent documentation mandates.

The CCC upheld multiple complaints pertaining to advertisements from healthcare as well as the educational sector wherein the advertisers claimed to have leadership positions or boasted about the awards they have won but failed to substantiate it with authentic and credible supporting data.