ASCI upholds complaints against 191 erring ads

22 Jun,2018

By A Correspondent


In March 2018, ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against 191 advertisements out of the total of 269 advertisements that were evaluated by the CCC.


Of the total 191 advertisements against which complaints were upheld, 114 belonged to the healthcare sector, 24 to the education sector, 35 to the food and beverages category,seven to the personal care and 11 were from others category. A total of 183 advertisements were picked up by ASCI’s suo moto surveillance and objections against 165 advertisements were upheld.


Of the 86 advertisements complained against by the general public or by industry members, complaints against 26 advertisements were upheld by the CCC. Exaggeration of product efficacy was the number one reason for upholding complaints. The other reasons included exploiting consumers’ lack of knowledge, providing facts and figures which were inadequately substantiated to support claims and delivering advertisements which were misleading by ambiguity or by implication. This was followed by violations of the Drugs and Magic Remedies Act (DMR Act) and the Drugs and Cosmetics (D&C) Rules and advertisements which contravened various ASCI guidelines.


Among the various complaints against advertisements featuring celebrities, the CCC observed that an advertisement for an innerwear brand featuring a popular superstar was found to misguide the consumers, by trying to get them to think that superstars in the film industry wear this brand. A celebrity was seen endorsing a cream to clear dark spots, whose efficacy was not substantiated and was misleading. Likewise, an advertisement featuring a celebrity promoting excessive consumption of a snacking product was considered to be in contravention of the ASCI Guidelines for celebrities in Advertising.


Said Abanti Sankaranarayanan, Chairman, ASCI: “Grievances against brands from various segments have been upheld for not abiding by the Self-Regulation code and guidelines put forth by ASCI. It is ASCI’s ongoing mission to maintain and enhance the public’s confidence in advertising and ensure that consumers stay protected from misleading information in the advertisements.”



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