ASCI upheld complaints against 114 out of 193 ads in August 2017
Advertising Standards Council of India’s (ASCI) Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against 114 out of 193 advertisements in August 2017. Out of 114 advertisements against which complaints were upheld, 51 belonged to the Healthcare category, 31 to the Education category, followed by 17 in the Food & Beverages category, five in the Personal Care category, and 10 advertisements from other categories.
ASCI processed complaints against the following advertisements from the general public, industry as well as from the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Grievances Against Misleading Advertisements (GAMA) Portal. Out of 93 advertisements, complaints against 52 advertisements were upheld.
The CCC found the following claims of 19 advertisements in healthcare products or services to be either misleading or false or not adequately/ scientifically substantiated and hence, violating ASCI’s Code. Some of the healthcare products or services advertisements also contravened provisions of the Drugs & Magic Remedies Act (DMR Act), Drugs and Cosmetics Rules (D&C Rules) and Chapter I.1 and III.4 of the ASCI Code. Complaints against the following advertisements were upheld.
SBS Biotech (Unit-II) Ayurvedic Division (PetSaffa): The advertisement’s claim, “Not Habit forming” was not substantiated as the ingredient in the product - Senna is habit forming. Hence the claim is misleading. The claim “No side effects” was not substantiated and this claim is misleading by exaggeration. Regarding the No. 1 Brand claim, the copy of the award certificate mentions that the product is No.1 Brand in India’s “Best Digestive Medicine” category. The claim, “No 1 Brand India 2016”, was therefore considered to be misleading by omission of mention of the category.
Diabetacare (Dried Blackberries 100% organic): It was observed that on the back of pack the advertiser has declared content of sugaras zero which contradictory to the USDA database analysis which declares total sugar per 100 grams as 4.88. It was considered that this label claim was considered to be false and grossly misleading in the context of the product name `Diabetacare 24x7 Diabetes Care’.
Flipbald: The testimonial claim (in Hindi) as translated in English, “I lost 25 kilograms weight in only two months”, was not substantiated with evidence of product efficacy and is misleading by exaggeration. Also, efficacy being depicted via images of before and after the treatment is misleading.
Kusum Homeopathic Clinic (Dr Kamal Garg): The advertisement’s claim, “Special treatment of premature ejaculation, lack of sperms, wet dreams, weakness,” is considered to be, prima facie, in violation of the D&C Rules.
Jagat Pharma (IsotineAyurvedic Eye Drops): The advertisement’s claim, “Dr Basu , with the help of Isotine Eye Drops and various other Ayurvedic medicines has been curing eye problems since 30 years,” is considered to be, prima facie, in violation of the DMR Act.
Dr Natasha Ayurvedic Doctor (Ayurved Tablet KavishVati): The advertisement’s claims, “If you are not satisfied with your sex life, try KavishVati today”, “After you consume it, you will be satisfying your partner as never before”, “First time sex will last upto 35 mins, Second time will last 55 minutes and third time, one hour and ten minutes”. The visual in the advertisement read in conjunction with the claims objected to imply that the product is meant for the enhancement of sexual pleasure. The claims were considered to be, prima facie, in violation of the D&C Rules.
Dr Natasha Ayurvedic Doctor (Permanent Course KavishMajun): The advertisement’s claim, “This ‘Majun’ is for those men who suffer from premature ejaculation. After you consume this, you will never suffer from timing related problems”, is considered to be, prima facie, in violation of the D&C Rules.
Dr Natasha Ayurvedic Doctor (Kavish Permanent Penis Tight Cream): The advertisement’s claim, “The problem of loose penis can be eradicated from roots. After applying this cream, loose penis problem will stop by 100%”, is considered to be, prima facie, in violation of the D&C Rules.
Dr Navneet Agarwal: The advertisement’s claim, “Successful treatment of Piles and Fistula”, is considered to be, prima facie, in violation of the D&C Rules.
Dr. Ayyub Hasan (Maarshal Medical Center): The advertisement’s claim, “Take treatment from world renowned Senior Epilepsy Specialist Dr Ayyub Hasan ‘Maarshal’and be free from epilepsy forever”, is considered to be, prima facie, in violation of the DMR Act and the D&C Rules.
Dr. Roy health solutions clinic (Dr.Sitesh Roy): The claim, “Voted among Best Doctors in America six years in a row”, was not substantiated, and is misleading by exaggeration. The CCC also expressed its reservations regarding the “Best Doctors” award process and lack of any disclaimers in the advertisement to provide a reference to consumers regarding the nature of this poll.
Strides Consumer Private Limited (Nixit nicotine lozenges): The advertisement’s claims, "Nicotine lozenges are unique and better than nicotine gums because: Can reduce withdrawal symptoms significantly”, “Unique with controlled release of nicotine”, “Higher quit rate”, “Lesser chances of relapse”, “Lesser chances of quitting-related weight gain” and “Nicotine Lozenges are more effective than Gum", were not substantiated with product specific clinical data, and are misleading by exaggeration. It was also concluded that the claim, by implication, unfairly denigrates the complainant’s product and other similar competing products in the same category.
Goodlife Wellness (Slim at home): The advertisement’sclaims (in Gujarati) as translated into English, “Professional consultancy at your doorstep”, “Lose weight”, “100% guarantee”, “Through Naturopathy grains”, “Naturopathy is most safe and effective”, “Good life Weight loss plan is 100% slim at home program”, “Weight loss without any medicine, machine and exercise”, “Dieting is not required”, “Routine food can also be eaten”, “Lose ten kilograms till 17thAugust 2017 and twenty kilograms till 12th October 2017” and “Hormonal weight loss plan: Hypothyroid PCOD, Water Retention, Teenage girls plan”, were not substantiated with supporting clinical evidence, and with treatment efficacy data, and are misleading by exaggeration.
Wellness Water Point and Gas Services: The advertisement’s claims (in Gujarati) as translated into English, “Product name is Alkaline Water.”, “First time in India”, “Change Water and increase Life expectancy”, “Intake Alkaline water and avoid illness”, “According to great Scientists and Doctors; drinking water from various filters and R.O. leads to greater harm as compared to benefit as all types of water are acidic”, “90% of diseases in our body are caused due to water only”, “Advantages of drinking Alkaline water: Migraine can be removed (treated), thyroid can be removed (treated), Cardiopulmonary pain is removed, Relief in Food allergy, Relief from Heart problems, despair can be removed, Advantage in diabetes, Obesity is removed, advantage in blood pressure, memory power increases, one can have complete sleep, Asthama can be removed, Swelling and bile can be removed, Gout can be removed, skin diseases can be removed, T.B. can be removed, stone can be removed”, “Live demo of Alkaline water”, “Alkaline water products are made up of Korean Bioceramic Technology” and “The quality of Alkaline water is certified by World’s famous organization such as- NSF, FDA, KFDA”, were not substantiated with any supporting evidence, and are misleading by exaggeration.
Sheth Brothers (Komla Gutika): The advertisement’sclaims (in Gujarati) as translated into English, “For both women and men”, “Komala Gutika helps to make body symmetric which has been shapeless for Women’s bloating abdomen after pregnancy, sedentary life of men and women and intake of junk food by youngsters” and “Stay fit and slim by Komala Gutika”, were not substantiated with product efficacy data, and are misleading by exaggeration.
Waghanna Vaidyakiya Seva Pvt. Ltd.: The advertisement’s claim, “Successful cure of incurable diseases including Cerebral Palsy, Down's Syndrome, Paralysis, Asthma” and the print advertisement’s claim, “successful cure for "incurable diseases" including Cerebral Palsy, Down’s Syndrome, Paralysis, Asthma” were considered to be, prima facie, in violation of the DMR Act and the D&C Rules.
Lifezen Healthcare Pvt. Ltd. (Wonder Pro The Sugar Probiotic): The advertisement’sclaim, “Boosts Immunity” was considered to be misleading by ambiguity as the data provided showed evidence only on immunity against intestinal disorders and not against general immunity of the human body.
Food & Beverage
Kelloggs India Pvt. Ltd. (Kelloggs Special K): The advertisement’s claim, “It is high in protein and fibre” is false as it is not applicable for the serving size of the product and,in the context of a product positioned for weight management, it is misleading by ambiguity. Also the claim,“Foods high in protein and fibre make you feel full and keep hunger pangs away” - Since this claim is linked to the claim of the product being high in protein and fibre, it is also misleading due to the reasons mentioned above. Furthermore, the claim was also inadequately substantiated for the specific product being advertised. The claim, “To manage weight eat a breakfast like Kellogg’s Special K”, was considered to be misleading by ambiguity and implication. The visual of the celebrity when seen in conjunction with the claims is likely to mislead consumers regarding the product efficacy as the advertiser was not able to submit any evidence that the celebrity is in agreement with the claims being made in the advertisement in general, and where she claims this to be her experience in particular. This contravenes the Guidelines for Celebrities in Advertising. Also, the disclaimers in the advertisement were not legible. The height of the picture area was 386 lines for SD and 1090 for HD. The lowercase elements were measured to be of height of about 7-8 pixels or less for SD and 18-19 pixels for HD formats. The SD clip (provided by the complainant) does not comply whereas the HD clip (provided by the advertiser) does comply with the ASCI Guidelines for DisclaimersClauses (VII) (i)(1) of ASCI Guidelines for Disclaimers (“For standard definition images, the height of the text lower case elements shall be not less than 12 pixels (12 pixels lines) in a 576 line raster.”) for SD version of the advertisement.
Yum! Restaurants (India) Private Limited (Pizza Hut): The disclaimers in the advertisement complained against were not legible and also not in the same language as the audio of the advertisement (Hindi). This does not comply with the ASCI Guidelines for Disclaimers.
D Foods MFG. (India) Pvt. Ltd. (Tops Strawberry Jam), (Tops Pineapple Jam), (Tops Orange Marmalade), (Tops Mango Jam), (Tops Tomato No Onion No Garlic Ketchup), (Tops Zingy Snack Sauce), (Tops Sweet & Sour Sauce), (Tops Classic Sauce), and (Tops Continental Sauce).
Heinz India Limited (Complan): The advertisement indicates that children always eat half and have inadequate intake of food. The advertisement presents Complan as the replacement to half of regular food which children don’t eat, while being silent on the importance of balanced meal. The words used is the advertisement, “Bachche hamesha aadha khate hain” (emphasis supplied), apart from not reflecting the actual reality, appear to have caused anxiety in the mind of the complainant that the advertisement validates what is a non-healthy practice of many children. Also, the disclaimers, whether in English or Hindi, are in comparatively much smaller fonts as compared to the visuals in the advertisement and do not seem to run for four seconds as required by ASCI guidelines. Even after correcting the language mismatch the fact remains that the viewers of the advertisement would hardly notice those disclaimers.
Trophic Wellness Pvt. Ltd. (Nutricharge S & F): The advertisement’s claims, “Clinically proven to reduce fat and central obesity in men and women” and “Can reduce up to 11 kilogram of body weight and up to four inched waist size in three months”, were inadequately substantiated and are misleading by gross exaggeration. Further the testimonial claims of a 32 year old man saying that “due to his overweight he was not getting married and his doctor told him that he is at the risk of having diabetes, blood pressure and heart ailments. After searching a lot on internet he found out Nutricharge S&F and started taking it. He has reduced over seven and a half kilograms in three months and plans to continue Nutricharge S&F for three months more.”, as well as the testimonial itself being by a genuine person were not substantiated with supporting evidence and were misleading by gross exaggeration. It was also seen that while there are no endorsement statements by the celebrities themselves, the website contains images of the celebrities (Amitabh Bacchan and Sania Mirza) and when seen in conjunction with the unsubstantiated claims, these “tacit” endorsements are likely to mislead consumers regarding product efficacy. This contravenes the Guidelines for Celebrities in Advertising.
Trophic Wellness Pvt. Ltd. (Nutricharge BJ):The advertisement’s claims, “It is a special supplement for improving the health of knee joints”, “It contains selected nutrients like milk calcium, rosehip, glucosamine, vitamin K27and boswellia”, “It helps in promoting knee health besides maintenance and repair of knee joints and cartilages, reduces pain and inflammation and improves mobility and flexibility of knee joints in osteoarthritis”, “Regular use of Nutricharge BJ can help in avoiding or delaying knee cap surgery” and “For initial results consume it at least for three to six months”, were inadequately substantiated and are misleading by gross exaggeration. Further the testimonial claims of a 62 year old Retired Asst. Commissioner of Police, Mumbai and a regular Half Marathon runner saying that, “since running impacts the knee cartilages, his nutritionist has advised him to take Nutricharge BJ which has several benefits. Nutricharge BJ has vitamins and minerals which is beneficial for bones and joints. From the past six months he has been taking Nutricharge BJ tablets and powder and he now doesn’t feel any pain in his knees and joints”, as well as the testimonial itself being by a genuine person were not substantiated with supporting evidence and are misleading by gross exaggeration. The advertiser did not substantiate that the video testimonial (Prakash Wani) was genuine and unpaid by providing evidence from the model appearing in the same.The complaint regarding endorsement by the Celebrity, it was seen that while there are no endorsement statements by the celebrities themselves, the website contains images of the celebrities (Amitabh Bachchan and Sania Mirza) and when seen in conjunction with the unsubstantiated claims, these “tacit” endorsements are likely to mislead consumers regarding product efficacy.This contravened the Guidelines for Celebrities in Advertising.
Agro Global Resources P. Ltd. (Wagga Wagga Diabetes Care): The packaging claims, “Diabetes Care”, “Helps control blood sugar”, and the advertisement’s claims, “Ab Diabetes se kya darna sugar control karna hai toh oil badal kar dekho”, “Diabetes Care”, and “The Australian that helps control blood sugar”, were inadequately substantiated. The claims refer to a serious disease, namely diabetes and its biomarker, namely blood sugar and insulin level. The claim “Ab Diabetes se kya darna sugar control karna hai toh oil badal kar dekho”, imply that Wagga Wagga oil has therapeutic properties and these may influence the diabetic patients / consumers to believe that by consuming the advertised product, one can overcome the problem of diabetic complications.The disclaimers in the advertisement are not in the same language as the audio of the advertisement (Hindi) and contravened the ASCI Guidelines for Disclaimers.
Hindustan Unilever Ltd. (Dove Hair fall Shampoo): The advertisement’s visuals showing lesser hair fall for Dove were misleading by exaggeration.
Olivia Health Care (Olivia Herb Bleach): The advertisement’s claim, “Enriched with Haldi, Chandan, Nimbu and AloeVera”, was not substantiated with supporting data showing presence of these ingredients in the product. Also the claim, “Dermatologically tested”, “No Burning”, “No itching”, “No redness”, and “No long hours of waiting” were not substantiated with any test reports. These claims are misleading by ambiguity and implication that the bleach is herbal, acts faster than other bleaches and the ingredients prevent any harsh effects.
Hindustan Unilever Ltd. (Fair and lovely Anti Marks Treatment): It was observed that the clinical study supports theadvertisement claims of “100 % marks reduced”. However, one of the pre-requisites of the study is that the subjects are required to avoid exposure to sun in excess of 30 minutes. In absence of such disclaimer, the advertisement was considered to be misleading by omission. It was noted that the disclaimers in the advertisement are not clearly legible and not in compliance with the ASCI Guidelines for Disclaimers.
The CCC found following claims in the advertisements by five different advertisers were not substantiated and, thus, violated ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions. Hence, complaints against these advertisements were upheld.
AIM Bhopal: The advertisement’s claim, “For the first time in Bhopal an institute has given selection in AILET and NLIU Bhopal from crash course programme”, was not substantiated with any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s institute and other similar institutes to prove that they were the first in Bhopal to give selection from crash course programme. Furthermore, the claim is misleading by ambiguity and exaggeration.
CL Educate Ltd: The advertisement showing Kabir Jaiswal as AIR 58 in the advertisement is misleading and is a misrepresentation of facts. The advertiser did not provide data to substantiate that all the students shown under the Bhopal Centre results are their Test Series students and not the previous year’s students, which is also misleading.
Vedavyasa Trust (Vedavyasa Institute of Technology): The advertisement’s claims, “100% results in Btech”, “94% success for Btech courses in the college”, “institution is famous for placements”, were not substantiated with verifiable supporting data, and were misleading by exaggeration.
Amity University: The advertisement’s claim,"India's No.1 not-for-profit private University in the India Rankings 2017- with the logo of NIRF, Ministry of HRD, Government of India" was not substantiated, and is misleading by ambiguity and implication.
Nachiketa Higher Secondary School: The advertisement’s claim, “100% Job Placement”, was not substantiated with authentic supporting data such as detailed list of students who have been placed through their Institute, contact details of students for verification, enrolment forms and appointment letters received by the students, nor any independent audit or verification certificate. Also, the claim is misleading by exaggeration.
Dainik Bhaskar Group (Dainik Bhaskar Newspaper): The advertisement’s claim (in Gujarati) as translated into English, “Divya Bhaskar is Bharat’s No.1 and World’s fourth newspaper having maximum number of circulation”, was not substantiated with supporting comparative data for circulation figures, and is misleading by exaggeration.Also, the source and date of research and criteria for assessment for the claim made was not indicated in the advertisement.
Carrier Midea India Private Limited (Midea Water Purifiers): The advertisement’s claim, “Midea UV, ….. to ensure 100% safe water is dispensed”, was not substantiated and is misleading by exaggeration.
Alphathum Project Housing: The advertisement inviting consumers to invest in the housing project, without appropriate disclaimers was misleading by omission.
Scot Apparels (Scotlane): The advertisement’s claim, “Winner of India’s Most Trusted Brand”, was not adequately substantiated, and is misleading by ambiguity and exaggeration.
Haier Appliances India Pvt. Ltd. (Haier refrigerator): The advertisement’sclaim (in Gujarati) as translated into English, “Haier has been the World’s No. 1 deep freezer brand continuously for the past eight years”, was not substantiated with any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s product and other competitor products, or any third party validation. Also the claim, “Upto 40% savings in electricity”, was not substantiated with comparative technical data/test reports. The claims are misleading by exaggeration.
Bharti Airtel Ltd.: The advertisement’s claim, “Rs 244 - Unlimited Local + STD Airtel call +1GB/day 4G/3G/2G for 70 days (On 4G HS + 4G SIM)”, was misleading by ambiguity and exaggerationas the advertiser did not clarify if the said benefit claimed is indeed Unlimited for Local & STD or capped at a particular limit. The advertisement contravened the ASCI Guidelines for Disclaimers (“A disclaimer can expand or clarify a claim, make qualifications, or resolve ambiguities, to explain the claim in further details, but should not contradict the material claim made or contradict the main message conveyed by the advertiser or change the dictionary meaning of the words used in the claim as received or perceived by a consumer.”)
Guru MaaJanki Devi: The advertisement’s claims (in Hindi) related to astrology, providing solutions for various problems, “Solutions by phone call (free astrology consultancy) agar aap ka pati, beti ya premi kisike vash main ho, shaadi ya vise main deri, sautan ya dushman se chootkara, court case mein jeet, talaak, pyaar mein dhoka, grih kalesh, pati patni mein anban, prem vivaah, contact……” were false, not substantiated and misleading by gross exaggeration. Also, the advertisement exploits consumers’ lack of knowledge and is likely to lead to grave or widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers.
Lucky Mycro Fine Appliances Pvt. Ltd. (Mycro Fine Atta Maker): The advertisement’sclaims (in Gujarati) as translated into English, “The Electric Motor contains Power saver turbo Technology which saves 40% Electricity”and “It contains double action cleaning technology”, were not substantiated with supporting technical data, and are misleading by exaggeration.
Amazon.com, Inc. (Parachute Advanced Coconut Hair Oil): The website communication claiming the MRP of the product as Rs.149 was false. The advertisement offering the product at the discounted price of Rs.142, when the actual MRP of the product is Rs.135, distorts facts and is therefore misleading consumers as to the actual discount being offered.
Dabur India Limited - Dabur Odomos: The advertisement’s claim “yanimachoro se best protection” & “isliyena machine se, na coil se, best protection sirf Dabur Odomos se” were not substantiated and were misleading by exaggeration.
Suo Moto Action
The advertisements given below were picked up through ASCI’s Suo Moto surveillance of print and TV media via National Advertisement Monitoring Services (NAMS) project. Out of 100 advertisements, total of 62 advertisements were considered to be misleading. Of these, 32 advertisements against Healthcare, 26 belonged to the Education category, two belonged to the Personal category, and two belonged to Food & Beverage category.
The CCC found the following claims of 32 advertisements in health care products or services 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 Drugs & Magic Remedies Act (DMR Act), Drugs and Cosmetics Rules (D&C Rules) and Chapter I.1 and III.4 of the ASCI Code. Complaints against the following advertisements were upheld.
Dr Biswaroop Roy Chowdhury (Indo Vietnam Medical Board-Virtual-72 Hrs Diabetes Reversal Program); 34 Heart Care; Qi LifecarePvt. Ltd. (Qi Spine Clinic); Dr. Richa’s Unique Clinic; Surya Amrit Jivan; Ganga Ayurvedic Clinic; Pushpa Clinic; Baba Haridas Ayurveda (Night Gold Tablets); Sri Karpagam Herbals; Gaharwar Pharma Products Pvt. Ltd. (P.V. Tone Oil and Capsule); Dindayal Industries Limited (303 Capsule); Dindayal Industries Limited (303 Gold Power Oil); Apna Ayurveda (Apna Ayurveda Products); Rajnish Hot Deals Pvt. Ltd. (Kasaav Dusting Powder); Rajnish Hot Deals Pvt. Ltd. (Kasaav Dusting Powder); Rajnish Hot Deals Pvt. Ltd (Playwin Plus Capsule); Rajnish Hot Deals Pvt. Ltd. (Playwin Capsule); Rajnish Hot Deals Pvt. Ltd. (Play Win Oil and Capsule); Chaturbhuj Pharmaceutical Company (Japani Oil); Shree Maruti Herbal (Stay-On Power Oil); Shree Maruti Herbal (Stay-On Capsule and Oil); Shree Maruti Herbal (Stay-On Oral Liquid); Shree Maruti Herbal (Stay-On Power Capsules); Punarnava Ayurvedic (Thyrodon Ghan); Sri Bhagwan Mahavir Heart Centre; Sardar Ji Skin Cure; Innovative Cure Health and Beauty Clinic; Chahal Clinic; Star Dental Centre P. Ltd; MSR India Limited (Dr Copper Seamless Copper Bottle).
Food & Beverages
Excelus Brands LLp- Kettle Studio (The Grannary Chips); The Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation Limited (Oothu Green Tea).
Naturoma Herbal (Saffire Sunfree); SBS Biotech Ayurvedic Division (Roop Mantra Skin Care Products).
The CCC found following claims in the advertisements by 26 different advertisers were not substantiated and, thus, violated ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions. Hence, complaints against these advertisements were upheld.
IBA (Indus Business Academy); Alhind Group (Alhind Academy); Bansal Learning Private Limited (Bansal IIT/JEE Medical Foundation); Murugesan Institute of Technology-Polytechnic (Murugesan Polytechnic College); Jhunjhunu Defence Academy; IIPHS College of Fire and Safety Management; KiiT Group of Institutions (KiiT International School); Tirunelveli IIPE (DON NEET- JEE School); Unique Publishers (Unique Shiksha); Dhaanish Ahmed Group of Institutions (Dhaanish Ahmed Institute of Technology); CKS Integrate College of Education; Lovely Professional University; Talent Technology Pvt. Ltd.; Career Point University Kota; AJK College Of Arts And Science; Smt. T. V. Mehta Charitable Foundation (B.H. Gardi College of Engineering and Technology); Chandra Study Circle.
Complaints against nine advertisements of all educational institutes listed below mostly are upheld because of unsubstantiated claims that they ‘provide 100% placement and/or they claim to be the No.1 in their respective fields:
Airwin Academy, Dhanwantari Institute & Placement, Chellammal Educational Trust- Lourdes Mount College of Engineering & Technology, Kumaran Nursing School, Madras Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology, NIMS International Institute of Hotel Management, Chennai's Amirta International Institute of Hotel Management, Chennai's Amirta International Institute of Hotel Management and Kingston Engineering College.