Tuesday, 25 June 2013

ASCI upheld complaints against 40 ads in April 2013


Processes first time ever a SMS ad complaint

24th June, 2013

In April 2013, ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against 40 ads. Health & Personal Care and Education were the main categories that continued to make misleading claims and come under the scanner of the CCC. Health & Personal Care sector leads with a whopping 52 per cent ads (148 out of 287) complaint upheld in the first four months of 2013.

ASCI is proactively strengthening its awareness to cover ads in every media form. One such step was taken in the month of April when, for the first time, it received and upheld a complaint against an SMS ad sent out by Hardcastle Restaurants Pvt. Ltd. for McDonalds. (Details in the CCC report below under ‘Others’ category).

HEALTH & PERSONAL CARE:

The CCC found the following claims in Health & Personal Care product or service ads released in (newspapers) the press to be either misleading or false or not adequately/scientifically substantiated and hence violated the Chapter I of the ASCI code. Some of the Health Care products or services ads also contravened the provisions of the Drug & Magic Remedies Act. Complaints against the following ads therefore were UPHELD –

·         Naaz India Company: Naaz Fat Cut Granuals in their advertisement claimed that they are a ‘new invention regarding obesity’, ‘result of 10 years of hard work of doctors’, ‘no side effects on body’, ‘body does not become over weight or underweight’, ‘skin becomes tighter, youthful, beautiful &doesn’t loosen again’, ‘stomach becomes flat for sure’, ‘government recognized medicine’, ‘expert doctors of Naaz India health care company have made Naaz cut granules for complete fat reduction & it is approved by Government Ayurveda department of India’.
·         Sagar Dispensary’s advertisement claimed that ‘Dr. S.A. Ali is an expert in STD’. ‘Treats patients with problems like less sperms, impotence & provides complete and permanent cure’, ‘our successful treatment has cured lakhs of disheartened patients and given them new life’.
·         Anant Clinic’s advertisement claimed that it ‘provides successful cure of male infertility’, ‘internal weakness’, ‘premature ejaculation erectile dysfunction’, ‘childlessness’, ‘skin disease’, ‘psoriasis and tumour in breast’.
·         GM Pharmacy: Sadabahar Sugar Free’s advertisement claimed that ‘Sadabahar sugar free is a diabetes killer powder’, ‘most effective medicine in diabetes’.
·         Nature Green Herbal Care’s advertisement claimed that, ‘it increases time of your sexual activities’, ‘made with miraculous desi herbs’, ‘100% result, and no side effect’.
·         Herbal Icon India: Trugesic’s advertisement claimed that it ‘helps to get rid of kidney stones in just 9 day course’, ‘magical ayurvedic medicine’.
·         Alshifa Churna’s advertisement claimed that it gives ‘result in 10 days of extra fat reduction on stomach’, ‘gets you relief from constipation, sugar, high blood pressure, gas, acidity and piles without operation’.

·         Sarkar Dispensary’s advertisement claimed that it ‘is the Best Ayurvedic clinic of 2011’
·         NCP Herbal: Sovolin Ayurvedic’s advertisement claimed that it ‘gives soft, smooth and silky skin with the touch of Sovolin which other cannot give’.
·         IPSA Labs Pvt Ltd.: Eraser Ayurvedic Skin Cream’s advertisement claimed that it ‘is a mixture of 8 essential herbs which removers every kind of spots from your face and skin’.
·         Musli Sakthi Herbals Pvt Ltd.: Musli Sakthi’s advertisement claimed that there’s ‘no need of Viagra now’, ‘first time in the world Musli Sakthi in silver colour powder form’. ‘Complete result within 7 days’, ‘happiness in sex and immediate solution for the sex problems’.
·         Gogaji Hair & Skin Care Centre: Gogaji Hair Oil’s advertisement claimed that ‘Gogaji Hair Oil stops baldness, stops hair fall.’
·         Stammering Cure Centre advertisement claimed that the centre ‘Partha Bagchi (world leader in stammering cure since 22 years) cures stammering in 12 days.’
·         R K Herbals Pharmacy’s advertisement claimed that this formula is 400 years old and has been used by the Nawabs and the Maharajahs to enhance their sexual life.’ ‘It improves vitality, increases volume and quality of semen, helps in treating erectile dysfunction.’
·         Raj Power Capsules’s advertisement claimed that ‘relief to sex weakness in males within 2 hours’, , ‘nervous weakness’, ‘quick disposal of sperms’, ‘inability to enjoy long time sex’, ‘sex effects due to diabetes to cure all these problem’.
·         KPR Herbals’s advertisement claimed that ‘Sex weakness in men and all sex related diseases can be cured by Power Booster’, ‘not interested in sex’, ‘couldn't achieve complete satisfaction in sex’, ‘erotic  problems’, ‘fast disposal of  semen while on sex’, ‘couldn't satisfy sexually your mate’, ‘weakness of sperms all these can be cured through our herbal medicine treatment’.
·         Lotus Granges (India) Ltd: Scent Soft Bio’s advertisement claimed that ‘it is made to eliminate objectionable odour with helpful microbes, which digest bad smell’.
·         Naaz India Company: Naaz Hair Up Oil’s advertisement claimed that it ‘stops hair fall’, ‘provides successful cure of baldness’.
·         Kamboj Foods Pvt Ltd: Kamboj Proper Diet’s print advertisement claimed that ‘Benefits of Kamboj Proper Diet 100% Natural QPM grain are that, it helps you rid of obesity and weakness, increases IQ and immunity power, makes your married life happy, keeps IT professionals away from stress.’

EDUCATION

The CCC found following claims in print ads by 12 different advertisers were not substantiated violating the ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions and hence the complaints against the ads were UPHELD –

·         Lakhani Academy advertisement claimed that ‘Lakhani Academy will give 100% fees refund, if students fail in IPCC/CPT.’
·         Indian Institute of Learning & Advanced Development’s advertisements claimed ‘100% assured placement’, ‘earn back upto 100% of course fee’.
·         Maharishi Basant Tutorials in its advertisement claimed that ‘guaranteed success program for IIT-Jee, else 100% fee refunds’.
·         Alchemist’s advertisement claimed that ‘it has more than 22 students in 99 percentile and 78 students in 95 percentile’.
·         Mukils English Academy’s advertisement claimed that it ‘provides 100% job guarantee on all courses’.
·         IT’S THE Education Group, Sai National Intuition of Technology (SNIT)’ & Tulip India’s advertisement claimed that they ‘provide 100% placement’.
·         Fastrack Institute of Technology’s advertisement claimed, ‘100% Job Guarantee’ & ‘100% Course Completion Guarantee’.
·         Swami Vivekanand Institute of Technology’s advertisement claimed that it ‘provides 200% placement.’  
·         Saffron Eduworld Pvt Ltd: Saffron Eduworld Coaching’s advertisement claimed ‘JEE 100% guaranteed result or money back.’  
·         INPTC advertisements claimed ‘100% placement’ & ‘INPTC-
·         Mahatma Tutorials: The advertisement claimed that Mahesh Tutorials ‘provides 100% success guarantee’.
·         Subhash Bose Institute of Hotel Management: The advertisement claimed that ‘273 out of 273 students were placed in 2012’ by the institute.
·         Amity University: In the ‘MBA 2013 Admission Notice’ print advertisement, the Amity University is showing its rankings given by ‘Business Today’ and ‘The Economic Times’ without providing the details of the years of ranking which is misleading.

OTHER FMCG:

Ganesh Wheat Product Pvt Ltd: Ganesh Atta’s print advertisement claimed that they are ‘processed through reverse osmosis, Ganesh bajra Atta and Ganesh Makkai Atta, prevent several health hazards and give you more nutritious and delicious rotis every day, Bajra (pearl millet) and Makai (Maize) are processed through water purified by reverse osmosis which makes the rotis more wholesome’. These claims need to be substantiated. In the absence of comments from the advertiser, the CCC concluded that the claims mentioned in the advertisement were not substantiated.  The advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code.    The complaint was UPHELD.

CONSUMER DURABLES:

Aqua Corporation: Aqua Pure Guard Water Purifier’s print advertisement claimed that it is ‘World's No.1 water purifier’. This claim needs to be substantiated. In the absence of comparative data from the Advertiser, the CCC concluded that the claim, ‘World's No.1 water purifier’, was not substantiated.  The advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code.  The complaint was UPHELD.

OTHERS: -

Hardcastle Restaurants Pvt. Ltd: - McDonald’s promotional SMS shows ‘McVeggie or McChicken FREE on order of Rs. 200/- above with McDonalds. Mention coupon code MCD07 while ordering, valid till 7/1/13. Call Now 66000666. T & C.’ The complainant was at the McDonald counter at the Food Court, Inorbit Mall, Malad(West) on 6/1/2013  and was informed that this SMS was sent purely for home delivery ONLY.

According to the complaint, (The) the SMS advertisement that McDonalds sent was totally misleading. It simply said “call now” and not that it applies only for “Home Delivery”. The CCC concluded that the advertisement - SMS was misleading by omission, as it did not mention that the offer of a free McVeggie or McChicken applies only to Home Delivery. The advertisement - SMS contravened Chapter I.4 of the Code.  The complaint was UPHELD.

Pernod Ricard India P. Ltd: Jacob’s Creek, the print advertisement is a promotion of a liquor brand.  Advertising of liquor is prohibited is prohibited by most States. The CCC concluded that the communication was an Advertorial pertaining to a Surrogate product. The complaint was UPHELD as it contravened the Brand Extension Guidelines as mentioned in Chapter III.6 of the Code.

Dr. Nigam’s Health Pvt Ltd.: Dr. Nigam Hair Multiplication’s “Dr. Nigam” has been tarnishing the brand of RichFeel and maligning it in their ads. The brand has also been deliberately using RichFeel’s brand template colour and a misrepresented brand look alike logo (RichFeel’s logo has two E’s, one of which is a mirror image of the other) as well, besides picking up scientifically proven points pertinent to RichFeel in their communication and negatively portraying the brand. The CCC concluded that the advertiser has made unjustifiable use of the name of Richfeel and taken unfair advantage of the goodwill attached to its trade mark and goodwill acquired by its advertising campaign. The advertisement contravened Chapter IV.2 of the Code.  The complaint was UPHELD.

Akansha Hair & Skin Care Herbal Unit Pvt Ltd: Akansha Sukhparash’s advertisement claimed that it ‘makes your face fair and removes wrinkles from your face’. After reviewing the advertisement and advertiser’s response, the CCC concluded that the claim, “makes your face fair”, was not substantiated.  The advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code.  This complaint was UPHELD. After reviewing the advertisement, the CCC realized that the ad does not claim to remove wrinkles from face, this complaint was NOT UPHELD.

During the month of April, the CCC also received complaints against 11 other advertisements. The complaints were received against the advertisements of Aviva Life Insurance Company India LtdEuro Fashion Inners International (P) Ltd - Euro Briefs, Great Eastern Management School - GEMS B School, Hindustan Unilever Ltd - Comfort 1 Rinse Fabric Conditioner, Keya Seth’s Ayurvedic Solution - Keya Seth’s Umbrella Sunscreen Lotion,  Kaleesuwari Refinery Pvt Ltd - Gold Winner Sunflower Oil, Mankind Pharma Ltd -Manforce Condom, McNROE Consumer Products P. Ltd - Wild Stone Deodorant, Piaggio Vehicles Pvt Ltd– Vespa, Times Business Solutions Ltd - Magicbricks.com, United Spirits Ltd – Kingfisher. However, as these advertisements did not contravene ASCI’s codes or guidelines, the complaints were NOT UPHELD.

About Advertising Standard Council of India (ASCI) - Advertising Standard Council of India is a voluntary organization self-regulating advertising content for the advertising industry. The Role and Functioning of the ASCI & its Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) is in dealing with Complaints received from Consumers and Industry, against Advertisements which are considered as False, Misleading, Indecent, Illegal, leading to Unsafe practices, or Unfair to competition, and consequently in contravention of the ASCI Code for Self-Regulation in Advertising.
For further information, please contact -
The Advertising Standards Council of India
Alan Collaco - Secretary General, ASCI 9324091072/23513982

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