In the month of February, 2019, ASCI investigated complaints against 243 advertisements, of which the advertisers ensured corrective action for 63 advertisements once they received the complaints from ASCI. The Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of ASCI upheld complaints against 145 advertisements out of 180 advertisements evaluated by them. Of these 145 advertisements, 83 belonged to the healthcare sector, 33 to the education sector, ten to the food & beverages sector, one to personal care, and 18 were from the 'others' category.
Majority of the flagged ads were upheld for 'exaggeration of product efficacy and exploiting consumers' lack of knowledge'. This was followed by violations of the Drugs and Magic Remedies Act (DMR Act). A large number of these advertisements were digital i.e. advertisers' own web-sites carrying the objectionable claims and visuals.
For the Food and Beverages sector, the CCC found a couple of well-known brands referring to ayurvedic or herbal ingredients known for their memory enhancing properties; however, the associated claims were not substantiated. A popular cooking oil was making claims regarding the oil being "Lite" and "Less absorbent" without any robust technical support data. An A-2 cow milk brand was projecting its products to have some unique immunity benefits or miraculous effects that were not substantiated by any scientific rationale or clinical evidence. Additionally, a couple of brands were making improper use of the FSSAI logo implying that the product has been tested/approved/endorsed by FSSAI. This was also in violation of the FSSAI advisory against such use which is not in the prescribed format.
Shweta Purandare, secretary general, ASCI says, "Over the last one year, in the Food and Beverage sector alone, ASCI's Consumer Complaints Council examined over 300 advertisements for misleading claims. This was a result of the co-regulation model under which FSSAI had given ASCI a mandate for comprehensive Suo Motu surveillance of potentially misleading advertisements in print media and television. Such arrangement provides a win-win for stakeholders wherein self-regulatory organizations ensure a better advertising ecosystem and the regulators can intervene only when necessary, thus bringing synergies in efficiency".
HEALTHCARE - Total of 83 advertisements complained against
Direct Complaints (58 advertisements)
Suo Motu Surveillance by ASCI (25 advertisements)
EDUCATION - Total of 33 advertisements complained against
Direct Complaints (One advertisements)
Suo Motu Surveillance by ASCI (32 advertisements)
FOOD AND BEVERAGES - Total of ten advertisements complained against
Direct Complaints (Four advertisements)
Suo Motu Surveillance by ASCI (Six advertisements)
PERSONAL CARE - Total of One advertisement complained against
Direct Complaints (One advertisement)
OTHERS: Total of 18 advertisements complained against
Direct Complaints (Eight advertisements)
Suo Motu Surveillance by ASCI (10 advertisements)
The advertisements given below were complained against by general public or by industry members. Of the 140 advertisements, 34 cases were informally resolved as the advertisers' ensured prompt corrective action immediately post receiving the complaints. Complaints against 72 advertisements were upheld by the CCC. Of these 72 advertisements, 58 belonged to Healthcare sector, four belonged to the Food & Beverages sector, one belonged to the Education sector and Personal Care sector each, and eight to the 'Others' category.
Sahajanand Life Sciences Pvt. Ltd. (JointAid Oil and JointAid Spray), Lord Dhanvantari Ayurvedic Hospital. Apart from these, 56 other advertisements were considered to be, prima facie, in violation of The Drugs & Magic Remedies (DMR) Act. The majority of these were advertiser web-sites carrying the objectionable claims.
Food and Beverage
Parle Products (Parle Magix Biscuit), Gujarat Co-Operative Milk Marketing Federation (Amul Memory Milk-Tropical Fruit), Gemini Edibles & Fats India (Freedom Refined Sunflower Oil), Nanophyto Wellness Pvt Limited. (Jumpstart Nutrition).
MARICO - True Roots Botanical Hair Tonic
One97 Communications (PayTM) (x2), Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (Honda), Vivo Mobile India (Vivo V11 Pro), Xiaomi Technology India (Mi LED Smart TV 4A Pro 49), VMware Software India (Vmware), CTC Impex (India), Zydus Wellness
Suo Motu Surveillance By Asci For Misleading Advertisements
The advertisements were picked up through ASCI's suo-motu surveillance of print and TV media via the National Advertisement Monitoring Services (NAMS) project. Out of 103 advertisements, 29 were informally resolved wherein the advertisers promptly confirmed that the advertisement are being withdrawn immediately post receiving the complaints. Of the 103 advertisements, complaints against 73 advertisements were upheld. Of these 73 advertisements 32 belonged to the Education sector, 25 to Healthcare, six to Food and Beverages sector and 10 belonged to the 'Others' category.
Bhodhayan Coaching, Vidyapeeth Defence & Sports Academy, Reverberation Films (Removes acting studio), The Shri Ram Universal School, Angel's Paradise
Complaints against advertisements of 27 educational institutes listed below are upheld mainly because of unsubstantiated claims and/or misleading claims that they provide 100% placement/100% placement assistance AND/OR they claim to be the No.1 in their respective fields.
Sharanya Narayani International School, Central Technology Training Foundation, Eager Education & Charitable Trust- Eager Training Institute, iRise Academy for Competitive Exams, Ratnam Coaching Centre, Sagar Institute of Research & Technology, Shankar IAS Academy, Gurukul Classes, Amar Paramedical College, Sri Bhavana Para Medical College, Mekapati Rajamohan Reddy Institute of Technology and Science, Management Development Institute, Drona Kids, Elite Academy, Mahatma Jyoti Rao Phoole University, Shivalik School, Agra Career Point, Flying Turtle Studio, Liberty Career Academy, Beacon Education, Krishnaben Mukeshbhai Jani College of Nursing, Matha College of Nursing/ Matha School of Nursing, Anurag Dixit's Musicology School of Music & Performing Arts, New King's Academy, R.K Group of Institutions (R. K School of Nursing & Paramedical), Sagar Public School, Spice Air Academy
Bharat Vikas Parishad Hospital & Research Centre, Sadana Fracture Centre, Sri Siddhivinayak Hospital, Shankar Pharmacy (Amrita Bindu), Arogya Niketan Sansthan & Research Center, Dr Dev Slimming Clinic, La Botanique International (Hca Gold Capsules), Mother Tincture/Anti-Addiction Liquid Herbal Creations - (Herbo Gold Tulsi Power), Queen's NRI Hospital, Rana Hospital
The following 14 advertisements were considered to be, prima facie, in violation of The Drugs & Magic Remedies (DMR) Act.
Ganga Ayurvedic Clinic, Borvankar Polyclinic, Dhanwantari Ayurveda, Chetak Clinic, Hero Clinic, Dr Ayurveda/Dr Ayurveda Power Prash, Paul Pharmacy /Paras Range of Products, Repl India/Super Sonic capsule, Ganga Grow up Ayurvedic Powder, Elan Impex/ReliefeonVini Pharma/ Vini Diabtonixx Capsule, Yuktamukhi Capsule & Gel, Dr Dixit's Accupuncture, Venkateshwar Homeopathic Clinic.
Food and Beverage
Arputham Aqua (Arputham Aqua Mineral Water), Amour Nutrition Ultra-Premium 100% Whey Protein-Chocolate (Nature Identical Flavors), Mallekan Dairy and Agro Pvt Ltd (Dairylac-A2 Desi Cow Milk), Sri Selvamathi Idly Factory(Sri Ammu Idly Dosai Batter), Krishndev Dairy Farm (A2 Gir Cow Milk), Dr. Food & Banatone Industries.
Voltas Limited (Refrigerator), Malayala Manorama (Quickerala.com), TCL Communication (BlackBerry Key 2/BlackBerry Evolve), Anand Enterprises, L.R. Builders & Developers Rameshwaram Residency, Madhuram Mini Mall (MM3), Ramnivash & Company-(Ramnivash Range of Products), Sauss Home Products Pvt. Ltd (Pooja white Detergent Cake and Powder), Singhania Buildcon (Harshit Harmony), Motia Developers (Motia's Royal Citi).
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