ASCI takes corrective action against 125 erring ads

03 Apr,2019

By A Correspondent


In December 2018 and January 2019, ASCI investigated complaints against 415 advertisements, of which the advertisers ensured corrective action for 125 advertisements. ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against 230 advertisements from a total of 290 advertisements evaluated by them. Of these 230 advertisements, 106 belonged to the education sector, 61 to the healthcare sector, 32 to the food & beverages sector, nine to personal care, and 22 were from the ‘others’ category.


Among several advertisements that were examined, the CCC observed that in two separate cases, renowned cricketers were endorsing liquor brands that did not meet the ASCI Guidelines for Qualification of Brand Extension of Product or Service. Additionally, a famous Bollywood celebrity was seen endorsing two face cream product variants of the same brand, both made absolute claims of removal of skin marks which were unsubstantiated and hence misleading. Advertisements for two hair oil brands featuring celebrities were also considered misleading. Claims regarding mosquito repellent product by a famous Bollywood celebrity and claims regarding an online pharmacy endorsed by a cricketer were considered to be unsubstantiated.


A significant number of complaints looked into by the CCC pertained to Education sector arising out of suo motu surveillance activity by ASCI followed by Healthcare products and services. The most common reason for upholding complaints were unsubstantiated and exaggerated claims that exploit consumers’ lack of knowledge.


Said D Shivakumar, Chairman, ASCI: “Being a self-regulatory organisation in advertising, ASCI’s efforts have always been towards protecting the interest of consumers. In order to create mass consumer awareness about objectionable advertisements, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) issued an advisory for a scroller to be carried by all TV broadcasters in support of self-regulation for grievance against objectionable advertisements that refers to ASCI. With more and more TV channels carrying the ASCI WhatsApp number 77100 12345 in a scroller, there has been over a tenfold increase in consumers reaching out to ASCI.”



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