ASCI hauls up 105 misleading ads

09 Dec,2014

By A Correspondent

 

In October 2014, ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against 105 out of 146 advertisements. Out of 105 advertisements against which complaints were upheld, 44 belonged to Personal and Healthcare category, followed by the Education category with 43 advertisements.

 

The CCC found the following claims in health and personal care product or service advertisements of 44 advertisers 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 advertisements also contravened provisions of the Drug & Magic Remedies Act and Chapter 1.1 and III.4 of the ASCI Code. Some of the complaints that were upheld include:

Hindustan Unilever Ltd (Fair & Lovely) – The advertisement of Fair & Lovely claims that the product marketed in India gives better results than other fairness creams marketed in Dubai, Singapore and Japan stating a comparison versus “some of the world’s best products”. The Advertisement is misleading by exaggeration and implication that the advertised product is unbeatable with all the products in those countries. Also the advertisement is likely to be misleading by ambiguity as the comparison is only for instant whitening effect of the advertiser’s product.

 

Wockhardt Hospitals: The advertisement of Wockhardt Hospitals claims, “Best in Healthcare” and “Best in Bariatric Surgery”. The advertisement is misleading as the Registration Certificate of the doctor shows his registration only as MBBS and not a specialist (MS). Also, the advertisement is in breach of Code of Medical Ethics as the advertisement mentions the name of Dr. Bhandari promoting the Hospital which is in violation of the Medical Council of India (MCI) Code of Ethics Regulations 2002 Clause 6.1.

 

Dabur India Limited (Dabur Range of Product): The advertisement of Dabur Range of Product claims “Do you have the energy of Shilajit Gold?” & “Shila X Oil – Full of energy”, were not substantiated. Also, when read in conjunction with the visual in the advertisement and specific to the advertisement claim, “Shila X Oil – Full of energy”,   the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.

 

As for Education, the CCC found following claims in the advertisements by 43 different advertisers were not substantiated and thus, violated ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions. The complaints against the following were upheld.

 

AKS University: The advertisement claims that AKS University is the best university. The claim was not qualified with appropriate disclaimers.

 

Cloud Enabled: The advertisement states that Cloud Enabled announces cloud engineer training for freshers with 100% job guarantee on day one of training commencement.

 

SR Engineering College: The advertisement of SR Engineering College claims to be the only college in the state with women technology power.

 

Also, complaints against advertisements of all educational institutes listed below were upheld because of unsubstantiated claims that they ‘provide 100 per cent placement/and/or they claim to be the No.1 in their respective fields’:

 

MIET Group of Institute (Meerut Institute of Technology), Swaraj Institute Management & Technology, HHITI Hamirpur, Institute of Banking Services – IBS, Seemanchal Group of Institute, Param Bhagwat Siksha & Samajik Vikas Sansthan – National Institute of Fire Engineering & Safety Management, Shreya Education, Careerspin Consulting India Private Limited, Best Tax Filer, Vivek Bharti Trust – Noble Engineering College, Shri Venkteshwar Institute of Technology, Mangalmay Institutions, Shri Siddhivinayak Polytechnic, CLAT Possible, College of Computer & Communication,  Sai Charitable Trust (College of Engineering), Andhra Mahila Sabha(College of Teacher Education), Kashi Institute of Management Science, EGS Pillay Engineering College, Guru Dronacharya College of Nursing, SDM Jainmatt Navgrahteerth Trust (Jain AGM Institute of Technology), Adarsh Institute of Indian Technology, Mahatma Gandhi Homeopathic Medical College & Hospital, Mahendra Gayatri College of Nursing, N.S Group of College, Prans Media Institute, Zala Paramedical Institute, Indraprastha Institute of Technology, ITV Network ITV School of Media & Management, Christian Medical Training Centre School & College of Nursing, CHM Institute of Hotel & Business Management, Career College of Management, Freedom Institute of Industrial Training Centre (FIITC), Doric Multimedia, Madras Institute of Business Management, Madam Mala Institute of Hotel Management, Mit Study Center, NVS College of Aviation, R&D Centre Bicycle & Sewing Machine and  Ibirds Services Group (Ibirds College).

 

The other complaints upheld  include, HT Media Ltd (Hindustan Hindi Daily): The advertisement claims that Hindustan Hindi Daily is the No. 1 newspaper of Jharkhand. The claim contravened the ASCI Guidelines on Supers.

 

AJK Network: The advertisement of AJK Network claims ‘250+ TV channels across different genres and languages including Local Channels’, ‘Electronic Programming Guide with genre-wise channel listings’ and  ‘Free Customer Support’, were not substantiated.

 

Odisha Television Ltd (Odisha Television Network) – The advertisement of OTV Network claims to be No.1 through a bar graph compared to other channels. It was concluded that the bar chart comparison shown in the advertisement which appeared in Samaj, is a misrepresentation of facts and is misleading.

 

Tata Teleservices (*) Tata Docomo Photon Max Wi-Fi: The advertisement of Tata Docomo Photon Max Wi-Fi claims, “Consistent high speeds” which was not substantiated with test reports from independent third party. Also, the Advertiser did not provide substantiation of actual speed achieved in real conditions and in several locations within the cities quoted in the advertisement.

 

Viacom 18 Media P.  Ltd (*) (Sonic Power Rangers): This advertisement shows teenagers in uniform climbing the walls of their education institution and doing somersaults while entering the class. As the advertisement shows dangerous acts which are likely to encourage minors to emulate them in a manner which could cause harm or injury, the complaint was upheld under Chapter III 2b) of the ASCI Code.

 

Philips Electronics India Ltd (Philips W6610): The advertisement of Philips W6610 – 12.7 cms (5) claims concerning the QHD display was not substantiated.

 

Rupa & Co Ltd (Macrowomen): The advertisement shows a woman opening the sportswear and the men / coach staring at her, which was found indecent and vulgar.

 

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd (Mahindra Bolero Maxitruck Plus): The advertisement claims that a new Bolero MAXITRUCK PLUS is stronger than three “Chota Hatti”. The comparisons made in the advertisement were not substantiated, and were likely to mislead the consumers about the product advertised and ones with which it is compared.

 

Procter & Gamble Hygiene and Health Care Ltd (Pantene Pro Vitamin Oil): The advertisement of Pantene Pro Vitamin Oil claims “OIL HAI BUT OILY NAHI”, used by the advertiser was almost identical to the slogan used in the earlier run advertisement of the complainant so as to suggest plagiarism.

 

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