ASCI upholds complaints against 10 ads in Sept-Oct 2011

10 Jan,2012

By A Correspondent


During the months of September and October, the Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) upheld complaints against 10 advertisements, most of them being products of home shopping networks. During the same period, the CCC dismissed complaints against eight advertisements.


TVC Sky Shop Ltd. released an advertisement for Sandhee Suddham Oil which made claims of ‘Immediate relief from joint pain (Arthritis) -100% effective; effective ayurvedic treatment to get relief from knee pain, all joint pain and arthritis; increases the flow of joint fluid; repairs and strengthens the damaged tissues to make your joints strong and give quick relief from pain and swelling and solves all your joint pain problems’. The claims had to be substantiated with technical data through clinical research and appeared to be gross exaggerations. They portrayed that the product, inclusive of its ingredients, possessed special properties, which were not yet proven scientifically. This was likely to lead to grave disappointment in the minds of the consumers. The complaint was upheld.


GTM Teleshopping Pvt. Ltd’s advertisement of Divyarishi’s Kuber Kunji claimed ‘Kuber Kunji will protect you if you are continuously in debt, if your money is spent as soon as you earn, if you have to struggle for anything in life.’ In another advertisement of Badha Mukti Yantra, the TVC suggested that ‘All of a sudden the happiness of your family disappears, your shop and business goes into a loss, if you come under the spell of black magic, then Badha Mukti Yantra is the cure/solution.’ One more complaint was made against the Shani Shubh Yantra advertisement which claimed ‘Shani Shubh Yantra will protect you from your business failing, from your marriage being on the rocks, from you not getting interview calls for a job, from marriage proposals for your beautiful daughter breaking down.’ The TVC for AAA Teleshoping Pvt Ltd’s Maha Dhan Laxmi  Yantra encouraged the use of this product for ‘procuring the blessings of Goddess Lakshmi and better finances and assets.’ The TVC claimed that the Maha Dhan Laxmi Yantra has miraculous powers to provide financial advancement and stability to the consumers. In all the cases, the CCC concluded that, in the absence of any response from the advertiser, the claims made in the advertisements and cited in the complaints, were not substantiated and were likely to cause widespread disappointment in the minds of the consumers. The complaints  were upheld.


In a complaint against Skymall/ Global Skyshop’s Sai Darshan Pendant, it was stated that the TVC encourages the use of this product for procuring fame, better finances and assets. The TVC professes different stones for different sun signs. The TVC claims that ‘Sai Darshan pendant has miraculous powers to grant everything one wants in life.  The product is said to have the blessings of Sai Baba.’ The CCC concluded that, in the absence of comments from the advertiser, the claims made in the advertisement and cited in the complaint, were not substantiated and were likely to cause disappointment. The complaint was upheld.


Bharat Business Channel Ltd’s Videocon d2h advertisement claimed that ‘Videocon d2h is the No.1 DTH service.’ This claim was in clear contradiction of the fact, since Videocon is neither the oldest nor largest DTH service provider nor does it provide  the largest number of channels.  Moreover, no survey or study was conducted in the market which has given such “No.1” rating to Videocon. The advertisement was seen as being false and misleading. The CCC concluded that the claim was not substantiated with data or independent market research.  The complaint was upheld.


Shri Lal Mahal Empire Basmati Rice’s recent advertisements also came under the CCC scanner with their claims on ‘Fat and Sugar Free Rice.’ The website claims, ‘Empire Basmati rice is India’s first sugar free, fat free rice with no cholesterol content’ while the TVC claimed the product to be ‘Sugar and fat free’. As per the complaint, being free of sugar, cholesterol and fat are general characteristics of rice, and are not limited to a particular brand. Moreover, rice is produced naturally, so one can’t change its nutritional value without genetically engineering the crop. These claims had to be substantiated with data from an independent scientific research. The CCC concluded that the claim was not substantiated and hence was misleading. The complaint was upheld.


TVC Sky Shop Ltd’s advertisement of Dr. Slim Tea claimed that ‘Lose weight with a cup of Herbal Tea; Ayurveda offers a comprehensive approach to tackle this lifestyle disease; Dr. Slim Tea is a premium blend of therapeutic herbs like Garcinia, Gymnema, Licorice, Ocimum, Pippali, Marich and so on, formulated to boost your metabolism and digestion, improve your immune system and shed kilos of extra fat, weight and inches and you will feel a noticeable effect from the first cup of Dr. Slim Tea.’ It was stated that these claims needed to be substantiated with technical data based on an independent clinical research. In the absence of comments from the advertiser, the CCC upheld the complaint.


There was a complaint received against the TVC of Popular Finance – Gold Loan, which is said to have appeared on Asianet TV. As per the complaint, the TVC claimed that Popular Finance is ‘India’s No.1 Gold Loan Company.’ It was stated that this claim is false, as Muthoot Finance isIndia’s largest Gold Loan company(in terms of Gold Loan Portfolio source, ICRA Management Consulting Service Ltd – IMACS report on Gold Loan Market inIndia). The CCC concluded that the claim, “India’s No.1 Gold Loan company” was not substantiated, and complaint was upheld.


During these two months, the CCC received complaints against Idea 3G, Maruti Stepney, Lilliput Kidswear, Expert Dishwash Bar, Ceat Tyres, Tata  Docomo Mobile  Network, Mankind  Pharma  Ltd’s Manforce  Condoms and Max New York Life  Insurance amongst others. As these advertisements did not contravene ASCI’s codes or guidelines, they were not upheld.


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