APN News

  • Sunday, October, 2021| Today's Market | Current Time: 06:10:29
  • ASCI Processes Complaints Against 208 Advertisements, 179 Of Which Were Regarding Misleading Claims

    Published on October 17, 2018

    Mr. Shivakumar, Chairman, ASCI

    Complaints against the following advertisements were upheld as the advertisements were in violation of ASCI’s Guidelines for Celebrities in Advertising:

     

    1. PepsiCo India Holding P. Ltd (Quaker Oats): In the advertisement, a lady conveys that being a play school teacher is like doing sprints and sit ups whole day. Celebrity chef Vikas Khanna conveys that Alisha Merchant eats Quaker oats which consists of two times more protein and fibre, immunity supporting micronutrient and nutritious energy that keeps you going. Claim “Quaker Oats me hai 2x More Protein and Fibre” was qualified with a disclaimer “*Per serve comparison with cornflakes. Reference: Atlas of Indian Foods”, which was not legible and not as per ASCI Guidelines on Disclaimers (font size, contrast, hold duration).  The commercial was considered to be misleading by ambiguity and omission of the direct reference of such comparison in the Voice Over itself.  The advertisement’s claim “Two times more protein” was misleading by ambiguity and implication and the commercial under reference contravened ASCI’s Guidelines for Celebrities in Advertising.
    2. PepsiCo India Holdings P. Ltd (Quaker Oats): In the advertisement, a doctor is seen operating a small kid at odd hours. Celebrity Chef Vikas Khanna then says that “Dr. Varun works a 24 hours shift. Dr Varun Nair is truly an ambassador of full fitness and is assisted by Quaker Oats”. Claim “Quaker Oats me hai 2x More Protein and Fibre*” was qualified with a disclaimer “*Per serve comparison with cornflakes. Reference: Atlas of Indian Foods”, which was not legible and not as per ASCI Guidelines on Disclaimers (font size, contrast, hold duration).  The commercial was considered to be misleading by ambiguity and omission of the direct reference of such comparison in the Voice Over itself.  The advertisement’s claim “Two times more protein” was misleading by ambiguity and implication and the commercial under reference contravened ASCI’s Guidelines for Celebrities in Advertising

    The below two advertisements violated Chapter III (Unsafe Practices) of ASCI Code:

    1. SpiceJet Ltd (SpiceJet): The visual of “a man inserting loose wires into a power socket and getting an electric shock, and also shown repeating this act again”, shows an unsafe and a dangerous practice, which manifests a disregard for safety and encourages negligence. It was also observed that dangerous act such as this is likely to encourage minors to emulate it in a manner which could cause harm or injury, and lead to them suffering shocks.
    2. Malayala Manorama: In the advertisement, actor Dulquer Salman is playing the main lead of the driver who provides lift to different people without wearing a seat belt. It was concluded that the scene in the commercial of “a model in a car not wearing a seat belt while driving”, shows an unsafe practice. The commercial is likely to mislead consumers by implying that seat belt is not compulsory while driving.

    EDUCATION:-

    1. Koneru Lakshmaiah Charities (KL University): The advertisement’s claim, “Deemed to be University”  was misleading as more prominence was given to the word “University” and there appeared to be a deliberate attempt to downplay the words “Deemed to be” in terms of font size, colour and weightage. The claim was misleading by ambiguity and implication.
    2. Sreedhar’s CCE: The advertisement’s claim, “225 Final Selections from Jan 2018 to Apr 2018”, was inadequately substantiated with authentic evidence or with any independent audit or verification certificate and is misleading by exaggeration.

    HEALTHCARE:

    1. RJR Herbal Hospital: The advertisement’s claim, (in Tamil) as translated in English, “Osteoarthritis, lumber spondylitis, spondylosis, disc compression, disc prolapse, disc bulge, can be cured completely within one or two months and this will be a lifelong cure”, was not substantiated with supporting clinical evidence for treatment efficacy and is misleading by gross exaggeration.
    2. RJR Herbal Hospital: The advertisement’s claim, “Psoriasis can be cured completely, after this treatment psoriasis was cured for lifetime”, was not substantiated with clinical evidence. The claim is misleading by exaggeration.

    PERSONAL CARE:-

    1. Hindustan Unilever Ltd (Lifebuoy Soap): The television advertisement when seen in totality creates an impression that Lifebuoy is recommended by doctors. This is emphasized by the celebrity posing as a doctor wherein she states “doctor se suno” and in the last frame of the commercial showing four persons in white coat giving an impression that doctors have endorsed this product. In view of the Code of Medical Ethics prohibiting doctors from endorsing any product and in absence of any market research data indicating that medical professionals in general recommend the advertised product, such visual presentation was considered to be misleading by ambiguity and implication.
    2. RSPL Limited (Venus Crème Bar): The advertisement’s claim, Venus crème bar made of natural cream that goes to the depth of the skin”, was not substantiated and is misleading by ambiguity and implication.

    FOOD AND BEVERAGES:-

    1. Kraft  Heinz  India  Private  Ltd  –  Complan: The advertisement’s claims, ONLY one cup of Complan has protein equivalent to one egg” and “Other Health drinks provide protein equivalent to half egg only.” were not substantiated.  “Only Complan” is hyperbolic and the word ‘Only’ pertains to a comparison with similar products i.e. health food drinks catering to healthy growing children aged between 5 -15 years which are in competition with ‘Core Range’ of Complan. The claims were considered to be misleading by ambiguity and exaggeration as well as in contravention of the ASCI Guidelines on Disclaimers.
    2. PepsiCo India Holding P. Ltd (New Tropicana Essentials-Fruits and Veggies): The advertisement’s claim, “New Tropicana Essentials” did not provide any supporting evidence to show that Tropicana Essentials was a “New” product at the time of publishing the advertisement. The claim was misleading. Moreover, the claim “Why would I eat something which has hair?” read in conjunction with a picture showing “drawing of a carrot” and reference to “all goodness, no excuses”, disparaged good dietary practice and selection of options, such as fresh vegetables that accepted dietary opinion recommends should form part of the normal diet.  The advertisement contravened ASCI Guidelines on Advertising of Foods & Beverages.

     

    OTHERS:-

    1. Reliance JioInfocomm Ltd: The advertisement’s claims “Best Network and World’s largest mobile data network” are misleading by ambiguity and implication as they refers to only “consumption of data” and not the extent and infrastructure of network.  The claim “Best Entertainment” was not substantiated with the superlative claim of being the best was misleading by ambiguity. Furthermore, the claim “Best post-paid offers” was not clear in terms of which aspect of the advertiser’s product is being compared with which aspects of the competitor’s product. The advertisement is misleading by omission.
    2. Myntra.com: The advertisement’s claim, “Here’s Rs. 300 on us”, is misleading by ambiguity and omission that the offer is only on select products, and that the offer is subject to terms and conditions. The advertiser did not provide the terms and conditions of the offer nor a link showing the same which would have informed the customer about the conditions.
    3. Yatra Online Private Limited (Yatra.com): In the advertisement, the claim offer related to the Fare Type “refundable” was misleading by ambiguity regarding the extent and conditions of the refund, and by omission of a qualifier to mention that it is subject to terms and conditions.

    SUO MOTO Surveillance by ASCI

    The below advertisement violated ASCI’s Guidelines for Celebrities in Advertising:

    1. Rasna Private Limited (Rasna): The advertisements claim, “Natural Fruit Energy”, was inadequately substantiated and is misleading by ambiguity and implication about the fruit content in the product.  The visual of celebrity Kareena Kapoor when seen in conjunction with the claim is likely to mislead consumers regarding the nature of product benefit and contravened the Guidelines for Celebrities in Advertising.

    HEALTHCARE:

    1. Fortis Healthcare Ltd: The advertisement’s claim, “The most trusted destination for Cancer treatment”, was not substantiated with any market survey data or any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s hospital and other similar hospitals for cancer treatment, or through a third party validation.  The claim is misleading by exaggeration and implication.  The claim, “Successful cancer treatment with 10000+ successful cases”, was not substantiated with supporting evidence of the cancer patients treated by the advertiser’s hospital, or through a third party validation.  The claim is misleading by exaggeration and exploits consumers’ lack of knowledge.
    2. Fortis Healthcare Ltd: The advertisement’s claim, “The most trusted destination for all types of brain and spine disorders”, was not substantiated with any market survey data, or any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s hospital and other similar hospitals providing treatment for brain and spine disorders” or through a third party validation.  The claim is misleading by exaggeration and implication.
    3. VLCC Healthcare Pvt Ltd (VLCC Sun Care Range): The advertisement’s claims, “SPF 30” and “SPF 40”, were not substantiated with technical report showing that the product is having the SPF values of 30 and 40 as claimed.  The claim, “Complete Sun Protection and not just tanning”, was not substantiated with product efficacy data. The claim is misleading by exaggeration and is likely to lead to grave or widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers.

    EDUCATION:-

    The CCC found claims in the advertisements by 16 advertisers that were not substantiated and thus, in violation of ASCI Guidelines for Advertising for Educational Institutions.

     

    1. The Evolving Minds – The Evolving Minds Preschool: The advertisement’s claim, “The biggest, safest and most advanced Pre School in Marathwada”, was not substantiated. The superlative claim is misleading by exaggeration and implication that other preschools in Marathwada are inferior.
    2. Rect Polytechnic College: The advertisement’s claim, “Best Educational Institution in South Tamil Nadu”, was not substantiated with any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s institute and similar institutes in South Tamil Nadu to prove that it is better than the rest, or through an independent third party validation.  The claim is misleading by exaggeration and implication.  While the advertiser could be providing job opportunities to their students, the use of 100% numerical is not relevant for “job opportunities” claim. The use of “100%” as a descriptor in the claim is misleading by implication and exploits consumers’ lack of knowledge and is likely to lead to grave or widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers.

    FOOD & BEVERAGE:-

    1. Organic India Pvt Ltd (Organic Honey and Organic Ghee): The advertisement’s claim, “Organic Ghee”, was not substantiated for its organic claim for marketing status and is misleading by ambiguity and implication. The claim, “Organic Honey Wild Forest – Boosts immunity and is a source of good bacteria”, was not substantiated and is misleading by ambiguity and implication.
    2. Jhandewalas Food Limited (Polki Refined Groundnut Oil): The advertisement’s claim, “Improves memory”, “Lowers cholesterol”, “Fights depression”, was not substantiated with any data; as the advertiser did not respond to the request for substantiation in terms of technical data, scientific rationale or clinical evidence of product efficacy, to prove the product’s ability to provide the health benefits claimed in the advertisement.  The advertisement promoting a food product claiming benefits of therapeutic nature, was misleading and exploit’s consumers’ lack of knowledge.

     

    PERSONAL CARE:-

    1. Lotus Herbals Pvt. Ltd (Lotus Professional PhytoRx Sun Protection Range): The advertisement’s claim, “Nature’s most effective shield against the sun”, was a superlative claim which not substantiated with evidence of product efficacy and with technical tests/trial reports and is misleading by gross exaggeration. The product packaging claims in the advertisement – “SPF 70 PA+++ PhytoRx Ultra Protect Sunblock”, “SPF 50 PA+++ PhytoRx Sunblock Mist”, and “SPF 30 PA++ PhytoRx UV Screen Gel”, were not substantiated with evidence of the claimed SPF/ PA values. The claims are misleading by exaggeration and likely to lead to grave or widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers.

     

    OTHERS:-

    For six different advertisements of the following Jewellery brands, the claim, “India’s Most Preferred Jeweller”, was not substantiated with verifiable comparative data / market survey data of the advertiser’s product and other competitor diamond jewellers or through a third party validation. The source and date of the claim was not mentioned and the claim is misleading by ambiguity and omission.

     

    1. Nirvana Diamond Jewellery
    2. Asmi Diamond Jewellery
    3. Nakshatra Diamonds
    4. Gitanjali Jewels
    5. Gili
    6. Sangini Diamond Jewellers
    7. ARG Outlier Media Asianet News P. Ltd (Republic TV): In the advertisement’s claim, the disclaimer put by the advertiser for the claim “India’s No. 1 Channel” is based on one day data (Period: Week 21 – 2018) and not four consecutive weeks of data and also the data was for week days excluding weekend (Day: Week days) and not for entire week as per Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC). Therefore, it violates BARC Principles. The subject matter of comparison is chosen in such a way so as to confer an artificial advantage upon the advertiser so as to suggest that a better bargain is offered than is truly the case. Hence, the claim “India’s No. 1 Channel” disclaimers in the ad were too small which  contravened ASCI’s Guidelines on disclaimers