Consumer Issues
113 Advertisements, including those of Unilever, Snapdeal, Godrej, Essar, Videocon, MTS and Dr Batra axed by ASCI based on complaints

According to ASCI’s release 61 advertisements, or over half the advertisement banned were for Health and Personal Care category


As many as 113 out of 144 complaints flagged by Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) were upheld in November 2014 by its Consumer Complaints Council (CCC).


Companies asked to pull out their advertisements include Hindustan Unilever Ltd.


(Lifebuoy), Richfeel Health and Beauty Pvt. Ltd., Godrej Consumer Products Ltd.


(Goodknight), Dr. Batra's Homeopathy Clinic, Jasper Infotech P. Ltd. (Snapdeal), Essar Group (The Mobile Store), Mahindra Retail Pvt. Ltd. (Mom & Me) and Renault India Private Limited.


According to ASCI’s release 61 advertisements, or over half the advertisement banned were for Health and Personal Care category. Education advertisments were the next highest (33) to be banned followed by e-commerce, telecom, automobiles, food & beverages and others.


Prominent among those banned were:


Hindustan Unilever’s Lifebuoy advertisement failed to substantiate its very precise claim of “10x more germ protection” and “10x more skin care”.


Godrej Consumer Products Ltd (Goodknight) advertisement forgot the cautionary warning in its own product literature asking for the vapourizing machine be kept away from the reach of children. The ad has a child standing too close to the vapouriser.


-Philips Electronics India Ltd (Philips Kerashine Styling Kit) was in trouble in a road safety issue – a girl in the advt stands on the rear seat of a moving vehicle ‘showcasing a complete disregard for traffic rules’.


-Richfeel Health & Beauty Pvt Ltd (RichFeel Trichology Centre) The advertisement of RichFeel Trichology Centre could not substantiate its claim of ‘best hair care brand’ and providing the ‘best hair transplant’. It was also in trouble for violating the Central Council of Homeopathy Code of Ethics Regulations, Clause II 6.1 by mentioning the names of Dr. Apoorva Shah and Dr. Ferrari and soliciting patients in the advertisement.


-Dr. Batra’s Homeopathy Clinic had multiple advertismements banned. It made several discount offers with payment options that could not be substantiated as genuine. It could also not substantiate two other complaints about its ‘revolutionary, non-surgical hair growth treatment from France’ or that ‘77% have seen results in just 8 weeks’.


-Medihoney’s advertisement claimed that tes that weight gain is a result of low metabolism and its honey increases body metabolism causing weight loss. But it could prove its claims.


- Advertisments offering magic remedies are rampant in the media and many complaints were upheld against claims for products that promise cures to a wide range of illnesses. Many of these companies claim to offer ‘organic’ or ‘ayurvedic’ products and come from barely known companies. Some claimed the ability to cure alcoholism (Amba Health Clinic), brighten skin tones (The Colors Bar), infertility (Jimmy Health Clinic, Nagmata Dawakhana, Malpani Infertility, Fortius Herbal Clinic) and even Parkinson's disease (EMC Super Specialty Hospitals Pvt. Ltd). None of them could substantiate their claims.


-Jasper Infotech , i.e had, on 6th Oct. 2014, advertised in The Times of India regarding heavy discounts on pruchases from Snapdeal. However, while purchasing the products these products were not available and were sold out or the rates were higher while clicking the buy button.


- Essar Group (The Mobile Store) claimed 0% interest EMI on products with or without credit card but was not substantiated.


- Sistema Shyam Teleservices Ltd made the claim that its MTS 3G Plus TM network delivered strong average speed upto 9.8 Mbps, without mentioning that this may only be under ideal conditions. This was a matter that went into litigation and ASCI’s stand was upheld.


- Complaints against Nissan Motor India Pvt. Ltd (Datsun Go) and Renault India Private Limited (Renault) advertisements were upheld for making misleading claims in the matter of insurance.


- Coca-Cola India Inc (Coca Cola)’s advertisement contravened ASCI guidelines on Supers because its radio jingle was incomprehensible when it came to its claim that it contained no fruit juice.


- Other complaints upheld in this category including those regarding advertisements from Haldiram Foods International Pvt Ltd (Haldiram Prabhuji) for an ad that claimed to offer “any 2 packs of mixtures/ bhujia are available for Rs. 100/-” (which in the absence of any disclaimers, was found to be misleading) and one from ABMiller India Ltd. (Miller Ace Non- Alcoholic Malt Beverage) for an advertizement for Miller Ace Non- Alcoholic Malt Beverage which was concluded to be a surrogate advertisement for a promotion of a liquor product – Miller Beer.


- Educational institutions usually had their advertisements banned for claiming “job guarantee” (Mahanadi Education Society -Raipur Institute Technology – RITEE), 100% employment (Arcot Sri Mahalakshmi Women's Institute of Management), assured jobs (Bright Career Academy) or claiming to be “No 1” in their respective categories. They include institutions like Ramanujan College of Management, Kerala


- Small Industry Development Corporation Ltd (Kerala SIDCO), Shri Maharana Pratap Pvt. ITI, Academy of Future Analysis (AOFA) College, SVKM’s Narsee Monjee


- Institute of Management Studies, Swami Vivekanand University, Apollo Computer Education, ACME College of Engineering, Asian Institute, S R Institute of Management Technology (SRIMT), Institute of Technology & Management (ITM) and Institute of Computerised Financial Accounting (ICFA).


- Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Company Ltd (Bajaj Allianz): The advertisement claims to provide value added services such as 24x7 spot assistance, key and lock replacement cover along with the policy, fastest claims servicing through their 24 x7 call centre etc. The advertisement also claims “3400+ numbers of garages across the country”, “offer battery, fuel, spare keys assistance flat tyres, minor repairs and towing”, provide “Legal Advice and Medical Coordination”, “Message Service and Taxi Benefits Accommodation Benefits” and “Additional savings of upto 30% on medicines, eye care, dental care and many more outlets.” None of these claims were substantiated.


- Godrej Consumer Products’ advertisement for Cinthol deodorant got banned for denigrating alcohol based deos to establish its superiority. It seemed to suggest that alcohol-based deodorants alcohol based deodorants can melt the human skin by showing ball-pen art dissolving when sprayed with an alcohol deo.


- Mahindra Retail Pvt. Ltd (Mom & Me) was pulled up for its misleading claim of “Interest free EMI” although the interest was to bepaid after six months.


- JK Wall Putty claimed "seelan mein bhipapdee ka koi chance nahin” without providing any substantiating technical evidence.


- Videocon’s Split A/C ad also claimed 0% interest and zero process fee by Bajaj Finance - just pay Rs. 2014 and the balance in equal EMIs. A complainant had to pay the extra processing charges while purchase of the product.


- Others in this catergory include advertisements from Marathon Nexzone and Aims Max Gardenia Developers Pvt Ltd (Glory 46) regarding real estate claims, Hopewell Tableware Pvt Ltd (Larah Dinnerware) for claiming to be the strongest opal ware and the first choice of vegetarians without any proof, etc.


Book Review of 'Playing It My Way'
Sachin Tendulkar: 0, Cleaned Bowled. My Mother: 82, exactly
If God were to write about himself, there would be a million controversies. But when the God of cricket writes his autobiography, it becomes a best seller!
Though we have never met, in our home, no mention of Tendulkar can ever be without a heavy tinge of nostalgia and his humble humanity.
As for the book, Playing It My Way, it is more a chronology of events of one of history’s great sporting icons. Easy to follow, if you are a cricket fan; and, if you are not, you would not be holding the book. Think of a game, a year, a match or a series; one finds each episode duly compartmentalised. The book is an easy read. A few pages at a time. A bit over a cup of tea. Another few pages on the couch. It can be put down and picked up again without missing a beat. Open any page and there one finds bits of information. There are few statistics and one is thankful for that.
The man comes across as a boy throughout. He likes to play. That he has mastered his craft and reached Olympian heights is secondary. That just happened. He is a man after my heart. A foodie, he praises his mutton and fish and kebabs with aplomb. None of the hypocrisy usually dished out by those across the divide. And he still is God’s man. Prayers and temples are an integral part of the family. Anjali, Sara and Arjun find loving mention. And, there is the rest of his kin: mom, dad, the brothers and, of course, Achrekar Sir.
Sachin phoned my mother on 13 May 1998, her last birthday. But things went awry. An avid Sachin fan, but nearly paralysed, she would watch his every match, commenting on his every dismissal as if her world had collapsed. A close friend, sports journalist Pradeep Vijaykar, had arranged for her God to call and wish her. It was to become a comedy of errors.
A few months earlier, the author had written a limerick lambasting Anil Kumble for that rash shot in Canada. The next morning, over the speakerphone, a friend called, pretending to be Anil. Mom recognised the voice and said, “Mr Dhoria, I know it’s you.”
So when Sachin called, mom thought it was another one of my pranks. “No, Mrs Malcolm, I AM Sachin Tendulkar.” Mom referred to the name Sachin and asked him what it meant! Stumped, bowled, hit wicket? Or all three?
And yes, I was never forgiven. “I should have recognised that voice,” was all she kept repeating. But she died happy. Thanks, Sachin. Thanks ever so much. It was the greatest of all gifts. Maybe she too had a hand in the hundred 100s.
The story of that 100 is one that every reader will look for. It’s on page 376—information for the impatient. A lot has been written about the ‘quest’ by others, but only the achiever can understand the turmoil in the mind. Sunil Gavaskar had once told Sachin that his greatest achievement was 10,000 test runs. For Sachin, it was the centuries. To each his own. The lifting of the weight is a story by itself.
To tell the truth, the book looks like a hasty job. The very first sentence is not grammatically correct in the classical sense. “Who do I acknowledge first…” But, when your willow talks, who cares about the niceties of Queen’s English? It is the sweet pulp that one is after; and the book has a lot of it. 
In Vijay Merchant’s words, the ball was meant to be hit. Sachin did it more than most. The book tells you how he did it.


Traffic police must remove illegally parked vehicles, says HC

It is not the duty of a cooperative housing society or CHS to remove illegally parked vehicle from its approach road. Traffic police must prevent illegal parking on roads so as to allow fire fighting vehicles reaching the spot in case of emergency, the Bombay High Court said


The Bombay High Court has asked traffic police to take necessary steps for preventing parking of vehicles on the access road lane to facilitate easy egress and ingress for fire fighting vehicles.


Hearing a case filed by Mumbai-based Mount Unique Cooperative Housing Society Ltd, the bench of Justices Ranjit More and Anuja Prabhudessai said, "How can the Society remove parked vehicle on public road? It is the duty of police to do that".


The Fire Brigade on 5 January 2013 had issued a notice to the Society under under section 6 and Rule 9 (1) of the Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act, 2006. The notice had directed Mount Unique CHS to remove illegally parked cars on the public road as it would be a hindrance to the fire brigade from reaching the building in case of a fire.


Challenging the order from the Fire Brigade, the Society submitted before the Court that "only access to Mount Unique CHS is the small lane on which members of the Society as well others are parking cars, which may create impediment in the egress and ingress of the fire fighting vehicles in case of emergency. Despite repeated requests, members from the Society and other persons are refusing to remove their cars from the road lane in question."


The Assistant Public Prosecutor did not dispute that it was the responsibiliy of the state authorities to keep the said road lane obstruction free so as to allow free access to the fire fighting vehicles in case of emergency.


While disposing the writ petition, the Bench said, "Respondent Nos. 3, 4 and 5 (authorities) are directed to take necessary steps for preventing the parking of all types of vehicles on the access road-lane to the Petitioner's society in order to facilitate the easy egress and ingress for fire fighting vehicles."


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