ASCI acts on misleading ads for December 2019

01 Apr,2020

By A Correspondent


During the month of December 2019, the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) informs us that it investigated complaints against 310 advertisements, of which 77 advertisements were promptly withdrawn by the advertisers on receipt of communication from ASCI. The independent Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of ASCI evaluated remaining 233 advertisements, of which complaints against 225 advertisements were upheld. Of these 225 advertisements, 124 belonged to the education sector, 66 belonged to the healthcare sector, seven to the food & beverages sector, six to personal care and 22 were from the ‘others’ category.


A popular online shopping website was found misleading consumers by advertising a coupon code offering discount on all orders. The print ad of one of the leading alcohol brands in India was upheld because of surrogate advertising and violating ASCI’s guidelines of brand extension products. A widely used toothbrush brand could not substantiate a claim of being India’s No. 1 Toothbrush brand, recommended by Dentists.


ASCI, through its Suo Motu surveillance, also picked advertisements that were in violation of guidelines for celebrities in advertisement. An advertisement featuring a Bollywood actor endorsing the claim “India’s First Hygienic Gym” was found to be misleading. Claims made by one advertiser marketing ayurvedic eye drops co-promoted with a movie release and endorsed by the two female leads in the movie were not substantiated. Another advertisement by the same advertiser for women’s health tonic featuring a yesteryear Bollywood celebrity was found to be misleading.


Shweta Purandare

Said Shweta Purandare, Secretary General, ASCI: “Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic situation, there is widespread anxiety, confusion and fear amongst public at large. ASCI is monitoring advertisements that are making unsubstantiated and opportunistic claims. We have issued notices to advertisers for immediate suspension of such advertisements pending investigation. ASCI’s active social media listening as well as availability of the WhatsApp number 7710012345 during the lock down period have been key in enabling ASCI to act swiftly.”



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