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ASCI's CCC Upholds complaints against 27 Ads, Rejects complaints against 15 Ads
ASCI's CCC Upholds complaints against 27 Ads, Rejects complaints against 15 Ads
By: iMedia News Bureau

During the quarter April – June 2011 the Consumer Complaints Council of ASCI upheld complaints made against 27 advertisements from sectors  such as FMCG, Education, Healthcare, DTH, Media. During the same quarter, the CCC also rejected complaints  against 15 advertisements  as they did not  violate the ASCI Code.

In the educational sector, a complaint against IMS Learning Resources’ advertisement claiming “8 out of 10 toppers in CBS” and other similar claims was upheld since the claims could not be substantiated with evidence duly validated by an independent agency. Similarly, complaint against Roots Education’s advertisement claiming No 1 CAT coaching in Delhi and other claims was upheld due to lack of evidence to back the claim. The complaint against Career Launcher Ltd advertisement claiming 303 Calls in DU (BBS/ BFIA) without mentioning whether they were final admission calls or just interview calls was also upheld by the CCC. The complaint against Sri Balaji Society’s advertisement claiming 829 students being placed from the 209-11 batch without mentioning the total number of students was upheld on the ground that the claim contravened Section 4c of ASCI’s guidelines for advertising of educational institutions and programmes  as the advertisement shows images of colleges which  do not seem real.

‘High Definition’ claims also came under the CCC scanner during the quarter. Dish TV’s claim to offer ’30 True HD channels’ was  rejected by the CCC citing that the use of the word ‘True’ to denote “upscaled standard definition” channels as HD  was misleading. Their claim of providing maximum number of HD channels was also challenged, stating that Dish TV can provide only a limited number of HD channels and the other ’‘claimed’ HD channels were SD channels upscaled to HD at the DTH end. This claim would lead to consumers expecting an HD experience being misled. Similarly, complaints against certain claims made by Star India on the AsliHD campaign were upheld by the CCC stating that the claims of AsliHD were framed to exploit consumers’ lack of knowledge of HD technology.

Advertisement claims by FMCG majors HUL, P&G, Reckitt Benckiser, Paras Pharma amongst others came under the CCC’s scanner. FMCG major Hindustan Unilever was faced with a complaint regarding their advertisement on a leaflet of ‘Pureit Water Purifier’ which contains numerous disparaging and false statements about the competitor product – Tata Swach. The distribution of anti-Tata Swach danglers on Tata Swach packages by the advertiser was seen as undermining the Tata brand but also an unfair and unethical trade practice. Following the CCC’s intervention and upholding the complaints, HUL withdrew the leaflet from the market. Another HUL advertisement that came under the scanner was the Axe Effect campaign. This complaint was upheld on the grounds that the visual used was overtly sexual and vulgar and portrayed women in an indecent manner. The complaint against Paras Pharmaceutical’s sexually explicit advertisement of Set Wet Deodorant was upheld on the grounds that it was portraying women as sexual tools.

Some complaints on certain claims made by P&G’s Pantene Pro-V Hair Fall Control were upheld by the CCC  on the grounds that the depiction of a stylized golden circular drop misleads consumers  into believing that 150 crore and not 15 crore women found Pantene to be effective. Moreover, P&G’s claim that 80% of Indian women say that the new Pantene is better than anything else they have tried before, based on a study of just 360 women, was misleading. Following the CCC’s decision, P&G removed the stylized golden circular drop in the advertisement. Similarly, complaints received against Reckitt Benckiser’s advertisement  for Dettol Skincare Soap was upheld on the ground that it was misleading consumers by wrongly linking the skin condition to germs, where in reality there is no correlation between the two.

The complaint against Sundrop Heart’s advertisement was upheld on the ground that its statement “jeenekadaarnahi, khaaneka oil badaliye” can lead consumers to believe they can neglect the importance of healthy lifestyle by merely changing the cooking oil they use.

The complaints against GCMMF’s  advertisement claiming that Amul butter tops the food triangle, was upheld  in the absence of an appropriate disclaimer, ‘to be used in moderation’, which could mislead consumers to believe that Amul Butter is the best food to have, thus leading to over-consumption of butter.

Business World magazine claimed to be the No. 1 business magazine in India which was most read and most sold. However, the IRS for the 3rd Quarter of 2010 showed the magazine in third place. Since the claim was not supported by any independent research, the complaint against the advertisement was upheld.

The complaint against Jyothy Labs’s Exo Dish Shine Bar advertisement claiming that it can kill disease-causing germs in just 20 seconds was upheld as the technical data submitted did not support the claim that it “starts” killing germs in 20 seconds. The advertiser made appropriate modifications to the advertisement post the CCC’s decision.

The complaints against the Amul Body Warmer advertisement were upheld as the CCC concluded that the depiction of Draupadi in a frivolous manner could hurt religious sentiments of a large section of society, thus causing grave and widespread offence.

The complaints against claims made by Shree Maruti Herbal’s D-Diabetes SMART Powder advertisement were upheld as these were not substantiated with clinical trials and technical data.

Complaints against Micromax Mobile advertisement showing a student experimenting in a chemical laboratory which ends in a blast were upheld as it sends the wrong message to students and that it may encourage many students to emulate an act that could cause injury or harm.

During the same quarter, the CCC did not uphold complaints against 17advertisements of various advertisers including MakeMyTrip, Mankind Pharma, P&G WellaKolestint, Dabur India, McNroe Consumer Products, Royal Hygiene, Tata Chemicals, HUL’s Axe Googly Deo, Times of India, amongst others as these advertisements did not contravene ASCI’s codes or guidelines.