Consumer Issues
ASCI bans 42 ads, including Snapdeal, Olx, Uber, Airtel, Honda Cars, Bharti Axa Life in December
Educational advertisements remained at the top of the number of complaints received by ASCI during December 2015 followed by health and personal care and e-commerce categories
 
The Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has banned as many as 42 advertisements out of 79 complaints it received across segments during December 2015. 
 
The banned ads are from prominent companies like Snapdeal, Olx India, Koovs, Uber India, Mobikwik, Bharti Airtel (three ads), Tata Steel Ltd (Tata Shaktee steel roofing sheets), Honda Cars India Ltd (Honda Amaze), Agarwal d2d Packers and Movers Ltd and Bharti Axa Life Insurance Company Ltd (Bharti Axa Life Invest Once), KFC Corp (Offer of two pieces of chicken for Rs99), Colgate-Palmolive India Ltd (Colgate), Marico Ltd (Nihar Shanti Amla Hair Oil), Times Broadcasting Ltd (ET Now) and British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC World News) among others, they range from FMCGs to autos, personal accessories to alcohol, and education to media.
 
“...Out of 42 advertisements against which complaints were upheld, 8 belonged to the Healthcare category, 9 to the Education category, followed by 7 in the E-commerce category, 3 in Telecommunication and broadband category and 15 advertisements from other categories,” ASCI said in a release.
 
Here are the ads that were banned by ASCI during December 2015…

 

HEALTH CARE

 

The CCC found the following claims in health care product or service advertisements of 8 advertisers 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 Drug & Magic Remedies Act and Chapter 1.1 and III.4 of the ASCI Code. Complaints against the following advertisements were UPHELD.
 
1. Life cell International Private Limited (Stem cell Banking): The advertisement’s “Gynaecologists Recommended” claim support data was not considered to be recent and inadequate to make such claim currently. Also, the source of the research study was also not quoted in the advertisement. Further the advertisement states, “Life cell the #1 Cell Bank” was not substantiated. The claim in the advertisement, “Choice of over 1, 30,000 parents” was not substantiated and was misleading by ambiguity as this number of samples preserved need not correspond to 1, 30,000 parents as one parent could have provided more than one sample.
 
2. Shathayu Ayurveda (Manage Diabetes by Ayurveda Panchakarma - Detox): The claims in the advertisement, “Manage diabetes by Ayurveda Panchakarma (detox)”, “Pacifies/Prevents the diseases”, “Improves strength & complexion” and “Increases immunity”, were not substantiated.  
 
3. M/S. S. A. Safiullah & Co (Nizam Pakku): The advertisement is about taking arecanuts. The voiceover of a child in the advertisement is likely to encourage minors to consume the product which could cause harm to them.
 
4. Iqra Herbals (IH3 Capsules-Penis Enlargement Capsules): The claims in the advertisement, “No need to be average”, “Add size to your manhood” and “Best Product”, were not substantiated with product efficacy data.  Also, the claims read in conjunction with the advertisement visual, imply that the product is meant for enhancement of sexual pleasure, which is in breach of the law as it violates The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.
 
5. Iqra Herbals (NightKing Delay Liquid): The claims in the advertisement, “Last upto three hours in bedroom” and “Guaranteed Product”, were not substantiated. Also, the claims, read in conjunction with the advertisement visual, imply that the product is meant for enhancement of sexual pleasure, which is in breach of the law as it violates The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act. 
 
6. Iqra Herbals (Virgin Again): The claims in the advertisement, "Get your teenage back”, “Tighten & restore grip of loose vagina in minutes” and “Guaranteed Product”, were not substantiated.  Also, the claims read in conjunction with the advertisement visual, imply that the product is meant for enhancement of sexual pleasure, which is in breach of the law as it violates The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act. 
 
7. Baljiwan Medicines (P) Ltd. (Baljiwan Ghutti): The advertisement of baby health tonic Baljiwan Ghutti showcases their product mentioning original and adjacent to it a different packing is displayed with a cross on it, mentioning “Nakli” (fake). In absence of valid supporting data to prove that the product being depicted in the advertisement as “Nakli” (fake), the advertisement directly and unfairly denigrates the other product.
 
8. Apollo Heart Centre (Heart Blockages treatment without Operations): The claims in the advertisement, “Heart Blockages treatment without operation”, “to increase pumping capacity of Heart (Ejection fraction) by EECP Machine”, “Guaranteed results” and “US FDA approved therapy”, were not substantiated.
 

EDUCATION

 
The CCC found that claims in the 9 advertisements were not substantiated and, thus, violated ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions. Hence complaints against these advertisements were UPHELD.
 
9. Shyamli Institute of Hotel Management: The claims in the advertisement, “recognition of hotel management courses by UGC & AICTE”, “UGC & AICTE approved” and “job guarantee” (Naukri Sunishit) were not substantiated. 
 
10. Knowledge Station India Private Limited (The Santa Kidz): The advertisement’s claim, “Rajasthan's No. 1 School“, was not substantiated with supporting comparative data versus other institutes. Also, the claim, “India’s 1st Brain School with D.M.I Technology”, was not substantiated and was considered to be misleading by ambiguity as the advertisement does not give any credible references to authenticate the D.M.I. technology or how the school provides the implied unique brain development benefits of D.M.I Technology over conventional practices followed in other schools.    
 
11. Triumphant Institute of Management Education Pvt. Ltd.: The claims in the advertisement, “2116 T.I.M.E students into the IIMs alone – a total of 7379 final selections in CAT- 2014” and “Process and Results validated by an independent third party on 21/09/2015”, were not substantiated.
 
12. Triumphant Institute of Management Education Pvt. Ltd. (TIME Tuitions): The advertisement’s claims, “T.I.M.E., the national Leader in entrance exam training with 200+ centres across India” were not substantiated with supporting data.
 
13. Triumphant Institute of Management Education Pvt. Ltd (Aqua Regia the Science Quiz 2015): The claim in the advertisement, “Aqua Regia the Science Quiz 2015 - Certified by Guinness World Records & Limca Book of Records as the Largest Quiz Ever”, was not substantiated with supporting data. 
 
14. CATKing (CLAP Digital Marketing Course): The claims in the advertisement with reference to Mr Rahul Singh - “He pursued his MBA from SP Jain Institute of Management & Research, Mumbai”, “He also achieved a degree in Master of Information Technology from Virginia Tech”, and “Certification from a Harvard Business School Alumni”, were false, not substantiated with evidence, and were misleading. 
 
15. Triumphant Institute of Management Education (Times Google Search Result Validation): The claim in the advertisement, “Best Coaching Institute for CAT, GATE, Bank Exams, CSAT….” is an absolute claim and was not substantiated with comparative data versus other institutes.
 
16. CL Educate Ltd (CAT 16/17 Program): The claims in the advertisement, “Your Gateway to IIM”, “Closest to CAT”,  “9629 IIM Calls by CL students in CAT’14”, “The most comprehensive CAT ‘16/17 classroom program”, were not substantiated with supporting data.  Also, the claim, “9629 IIM Calls by CL students in CAT’14”, is misleading, as it does not match with the CA report on pages 6, 7, 8 – Clause 6 – Conclusion, the total adds up to 8793 only as against 9629 IIM calls as claimed in the advertisement.
 
17. Mahendra Education Pvt. Ltd (Mahendra’s No.1 Institute): The claim in the advertisement, “No. 1 Institute in India”, was not substantiated.
 

E-COMMERCE

 
18. Seven Mantras: The claim in the advertisement, “Delivery Charges Rs.99/- extra”, was found to be false. 
 
19. Snapdeal: The claim in the advertisement, “free delivery” was not substantiated.   
 
20. OLX India (Olx.in): The phrase “kahan se kharchega paise, baniye ka jo poot hai, aadhe khakhe diya dhaba jisme dry fruits hai” used in the advertisement was deriding a certain caste of people (baniya). 
 
21. OLX India Pvt. Ltd. (OLX.in – sell scooter n buy bike): The visual of “a police inspector riding a bike without a helmet” as shown in the advertisement, promotes an unsafe practice.  
 
22. Koovs Marketing Consulting Pvt. Ltd. (KOOVS.com): The scenes in the advertisement - “a girl jumping from a top floor of a building to a shirt which is hanging in the air, a girl jumping from a balcony and falling down a few floors down across the staircase, a boy jumping down from the balcony straight into the outfit, without justifiable reasons show and encourage dangerous practices, manifest a disregard for safety and encourage negligence. Regardless of the disclaimer, the advertisement contravened the ASCI Codes due to the objected visuals being shown.
 
23. Uber India (Uber Cabs): The claim in the advertisement, "Switch to Uber @ Rs.9/-per km period", was not substantiated and was also misleading by omission of any disclaimer that other additional charges are also being charged per minute/per trip. 
 
24. One Mobikwik Systems Pvt. Ltd (Mobikwik Cashback Offer): The claim in the advertisement, “Cashback offer”, was not substantiated.   

 

TELECOMMUNICATION & BROADBAND

 

25. Bharti Airtel Ltd. (50 % Cash back): The advertisement by Airtel showcases a girl entering a room of friends in the night and tells them to use internet on their phone in the night because they will get 50% cash back the next day. Regardless of the disclaimer, the word “Cash Back” in the claim “50% cash back on night internet” is incorrect and is misleading. 
 
26. Bharti Airtel Ltd. (Unlimited songs for free): The advertisement claims “unlimited song downloads for free on Airtel”, is misleading by ambiguity as the data plan is required to be purchased and the “download activity” for the unlimited music is also not free as there is an applicable data charge. 
 
27. Bharti Airtel Ltd. (50% data offer): In the advertisement, Airtel claims “50% data offer” during night time from 12am to 6am. The language of the super in the advertisement was not in Hindi and the hold duration of the disclaimer in the TVC was less than 4 seconds. Thus, the TVC contravened the ASCI Guidelines on Supers.  
 

OTHERS

 

28. Tata Steel (Tata Shaktee steel roofing sheets): The advertisement’s claim, “usage of Asbestos roofing sheets is hazardous to health”, was not substantiated and was found misleading by gross exaggeration. The advertisement also claims, “Superior in quality”, which was not substantiated. Also, the visual of asbestos roofing with a hole was considered to unfairly denigrate asbestos cement sheets.  
 
29. Devi Lal Tantrik: The claims in the advertisement, “Devi Lal Tantrik – specialist in love marriage, vashikaran, videsh mein pakka hone main rukavat, naukri, karobar, lottery, satta”, were false, misleading by exaggeration, and these claims exploits consumers’ lack of knowledge and are likely to lead to grave or widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers.   
 
30. Honda Cars India Ltd (Honda Amaze): The claims in the advertisement, “lowest turning radius”, “25.8 kmpl”, and “High Ground Clearance”, were not substantiated.  Also, the Super hold duration did not meet the ASCI’s Super Guidelines, and the disclaimer in the advertisement was not legible.  
 
31. Agarwal d2d Packers and Movers Ltd.: The claim in the advertisement, “60% people in the country Shift through us”, was not substantiated.
 
32. Bharti Axa Life Insurance Company Ltd. (Bharti Axa Life Invest Once): The advertisement claims, “10 guna life cover”, “Tax benefits” and “Up to 9% guaranteed additions”, was found incorrect. In a scene in the advertisement showcasing the couple “only contemplating”, as argued by the advertiser, was found to be wrong as the advertisement shows the couple ending the confusion by accepting the pitch for the product.  Buying the advertised product for “Confusion Ka End” makes fun of the decision making process for investing money. The advertisement also claims “with life insurance get the investment benefit too” which was found incorrect. The advertisement picking up one aspect for comparison FD (taxable), Gold (rates down), equity investment Markets (volatility) to push “Confusion Ka End” with Bharti AXA Life Invest Once was considered unjustified.
 
33. Microtek International Pvt. Ltd (Microtek Inverter UPS): The claim in the advertisement, “Ye itni bijali bachae ke 3 sal me ho jaye free” (“Saves so much electricity so that it becomes free in 3 years by saving electricity”) was not substantiated with comparative data.  
 
34. KFC Corporation (Offer of 2 pcs of chicken for Rs. 99/-): Regardless of the disclaimer in the advertisement, the advertisement shows the picture of a Burger and 2 chicken pieces read in conjunction with the offer of “2 pcs for Rs.99/-“, prominently displayed, is misleading by implication that the whole package costs Rs.99/- (discounted price). 
 
35. Kwality Confectioners & Bakery (India) Pvt. Ltd (Brown Bread): The claims in the advertisement, “Your way to natural health” and “High fibre and low calories”, were not substantiated with technical data and are misleading by ambiguity.
 
36. Manju Groups (Manju Groups Bhavishya Beach): The claim in the advertisement of the real estate company, “Manju Group project (Bhavishya Beach) is situated in Pondicherry”, was not substantiated. 
 
37. Ruparel Group (Ruparel Reality): The claims in the advertisement, “project approved by leading financial institutions and all government approvals received”, were not substantiated. Also, the claim when read in conjunction with the disclaimer is misleading; as the disclaimer states that “the features mentioned in the advertisement are only indicative of the kind of development proposed and are subject to approvals from respective authorities”.  
 
38. The Wadia Group (Bombay Reality): The claim in the advertisement, “project approvals received”, was not substantiated. Also, the claim when read in conjunction with the disclaimer is misleading, as the disclaimer states, “the plans, specifications, Visuals, images, dimensions, etc., are indicative and strictly for representation purposes only and are subject to approval from the competent authorities”.
 
39. Colgate-Palmolive India Ltd. (Colgate): The scene in the advertisement showing ‘two young school students kneeling on the school floor”, is in violation of Article 21 of the Protection of Children against Corporal Punishment in Schools and Institutions. Also, the advertisement is likely to result in the physical, mental or moral harm of the children.
 
40. Marico Ltd (Nihar Shanti Amla Hair Oil): The advertisement’s claim “500% jyada Vitamin E” was found misleading. The choice of comparison with a product that does not contain Vitamin E confers an artificial advantage upon the advertiser and there is likelihood of consumer being misled. Also, such comparison unfairly discredits Dabur Amla product.  
 
41. Times Broadcasting Ltd (ET Now): The advertisement claims, “No.1 Now an Undisputed leader” and “No 1 Week after Week”. ET Now has used weekly data to claim leadership position. This is in violation of BARC India Ratings – Principles of Fair and Permissible Usage, which state that “The period of comparison must cover at least four consecutive weeks of data". Thus, the advertisement promo also contravened Chapter I.3 of the ASCI Code. 
 
42. British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC World News): The claim in the advertisement, “BARC says we are India’s No.1 English news brand”, violates the Guidelines of BARC under Measurement & Comparison and also contravenes the ASCI Code. 

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COMMENTS

Rakesh Tripathi

12 months ago

Very informative. Thanks.

Ralph Rau

12 months ago

Exemplary penalties need to be imposed where there is a wanton mis-representation of the facts.

B. Yerram Raju

12 months ago

My heartiest compliments for the article. This article should actually go viral.

Several educational institutions are spending hundreds of lakhs of rupees on advertisements. A good educational institution does not need an advertisement. The outgoing students and their word of mouth spreading the virtues are enough for a school to attract the attention of the next generation of students. To the extent of such expenditure, the fees can be reduced and education can be made more affordable.
Immediately after formation of Telangana State, the new government was aghast to find as many as 110 B-Schools and Medical colleges did not even have the basic laboratories and wherewithal to even call themselves a primary school and yet several enrolments were shown to draw the incentives from the government. There was a thorough audit by the accredited university.

Minister appeals for funds as crunch hits pro-poor schemes

The minister said that each below-poverty-line family was being given Rs.12,000 for building a toilet. But the need apparently is greater

 

The funds crunch at the Centre seems to have adversely impacted the schemes meant for the rural poor which are managed by the union rural development ministry.
 
Low interest in Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) and delayed payments to workers under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) give credence to the claim.
 
Records with rural development ministry suggest that only 29 of the 543 Lok Sabha members have nominated gram panchayats from their respective constituencies in the second phase of the scheme. The case is even worse with the Rajya Sabha members as only five of the 252 members have identified the target villages. The deadline for the initial phase of nominations ended last month. 
 
The funds crunch also impacts other schemes. Rural Development Minister Birender Singh has made an appeal to commercial banks and private micro-investors to disburse money to people for building toilets at home, so that any shortfall in funds can be met from other sources. 
 
"There are people who are not below the poverty line, but still do not have toilets at their home. We have appealed to the companies and the NGOs to help fund toilets to make our villages free from open defecation," Birender Singh told IANS. 
 
The minister said that each below-poverty-line family was being given Rs.12,000 for building a toilet. But the need apparently is greater.
 
According to an official in the ministry, who did not wish to be named, the minister had also made an appeal to banks and private investors to fund some of the rural development schemes where the ministry was falling short of money. Corporate houses, too, are being approached, the source said.
 
Lack of funds was the primary reason behind the low interest in the village adoption scheme, the source said. 
 
"I know the response is not up to the mark and I will be writing to the MPs for that. The major complaint of the MPs is that there should be additional funds which should be provided for the villages they have selected," the minister said, adding that he did not see any scope for allocating additional money in this budget. 
 
"But I will write to the finance ministry for some sort of matching grant which can be provided from our side," he said.
 
He felt that additional funds may invoke interest of more members of parliament in the scheme. But a ministry source said that it would be difficult to raise more resources for the schemes.
 
"Our ministry cannot allocate additional funds for the villages. State governments are not lending a helping hands either," the source said.
 
For SAGY, where parliamentarians adopt gram panchayats, the prime minister and only eight ministers have made nominations. They include Ashok Gajapati (Andhra Pradesh), Ramvilas Paswan (Bihar), Jitendra Singh (Jammu & Kashmir), Sushma Swaraj (Madhya Pradesh), Bandaru Dattatreya (Telangana) and Babul Supriyo (West Bengal)
 
Three ministers hailing from the Rajya Sabha -- Nirmala Sitharaman, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Thaawar Chand Gehlot -- have also identified the villages to be developed under the second phase of SAGY.
 
As for MGNREGS, reports available with the ministry suggest that over 70 percent wages have not been paid on time to workers so far in 2015-16.
 
According to details available, 44.6 percent of the payments to workers were delayed between 15 to 30 days, 20.8 percent were delayed between 30 to 60 days, 4.3 percent were delayed for 60 to 90 days while 2.3 percent were delayed for more than 90 days.
 
"We have allocated more than 95 percent of the money but it is the state governments who are dragging their feet causing delay in payments," the ministry source said.
 
Though the Narendra Modi government had announced an increase in funding for MGNREGS, the hike does not find reflection on the ground.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article

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'Bring bank chairman, executive director under service rules'

Bankers told IANS that there are no service rules for EDs and CMDs other than "terms and conditions"

 

With several thousands of crore rupee-worth corporate loans given by government-owned banks turning bad, it is high time the top executives are also brought under service/conduct/ disciplinary rules, said a top leader of a bank union.
 
"Bad loans in the banks, particularly, the big ticket accounts are a potential zone for corruption. Syndicate Bank former chairman-cum-managing director (CMD) S.K. Jain episode is only a tip of the iceberg," C.H. Venkatachalam, general secretary, All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA), told IANS.
 
"There is no defined regulation to take action on executive directors and managing directors of banks as they are not governed by the common Officers Conduct Rules," he added.
 
Terming the current procedure to fix responsibility on top executives of government banks as cumbersome, a transparent and effective rule is to be evolved to deal with the complaints against these officials, Venkatachalam said.
 
Bankers told IANS that there are no service rules for EDs and CMDs other than "terms and conditions".
 
The "terms and conditions" are nothing but those governing pay and perquisites of CMDs and EDs and do not govern their conduct and the decision-making process while in office.
 
"Though the loans are sanctioned by a committee, the will of the CMD and EDs prevail at the committee meetings. There is nothing to hold the EDs and CMDs responsible if their actions hurt the bank's name/financial position," a senior bank official in a government owned bank told IANS preferring anonymity.
 
The only way delinquent EDs and CMDs are brought to book is under the prevention of corruption act, but there should be strong proof against them.
 
According to Venkatachalam, today, the common feeling is that small loan defaulters are harassed while the big fish escape and enjoy.
 
"Kingfisher Airline promoter Vijay Mallya is a classic example. Even now, there are reports that he is planning to leave India without repaying the bad dues. His passport should be impounded and he should not be allowed to leave India without settling the defaulted loans," Venkatachalam said.
 
Incidentally, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Wednesday said it has sent a notice to the chairman of Central Bank of India for asking him as to why a monetary relief of Rs.100,000 not be recommended for harassing an education loan borrower.
 
The NHRC said a female student and her father were termed 'defaulters' of education loan and faced insult and harassment at the hands of the Central Bank of India.
 
This despite the fact that the student had paid back half of the Rs.200,000 loan amount on the first month when the debt repayment fell due.
 
"In the case of Satyam Computers Ramalinga Raju, facts were hidden in the balance sheet and he was jailed. Can hiding bad loans from the books be seen differently. Can we not say that RBI is also guilty for hiding the actual health of the banks. All such issues cannot be ignored any longer," Venkatachalam remarked.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article
 

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COMMENTS

Nataraj Kailasam

12 months ago

Vijay Mallya claims that he is a Rajya Sabha MP and seeks refuge by this status and says he should not be arrested. I wish to remind that Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, a former Pak P M was hanged. I hope this message goes loud and clear against his hollow,silly argument.
Banks are in a deep mess. This is the result of so many factors and the rot started setting in about a decade and a half back. The Sarfaesi Act, the DRTs,the CDR mechanism,the Stressed Debts Restructuring have all been of little avail to banks in their efforts to recover their dues.
The need now is to strengthen the judicial process towards aiding banks to recover their dues quickly and without having to go through cumbersome and labyrinthine processes. A first step would,in my opinion be, to put up on the notice boards of each bank branch the names of the top 15 or 20 defaulters. Additionally, each Bank should publish on it's website the full list of defaulters owing monies in excess of 10 lacs,with the addresses and photographs,along with those of the guarantors. The RBI Act, if needed to be amended, must be done immediately. It should not take more than 30 days for a defaulter to be declared a "wilful defaulter". Unless the legal process is drastically overhauled, making it difficult for errant borrowers to give the slip, all this will not be possible.
A sound banking system is a pre-requisite for a well- functioning and good economy. The government should not drag it's feet anymore,but must take strong measures to put the banking system back on track. Political parties should stop asking for loan waivers for any section of borrowers. Banks are there to disburse loans,not gifts.

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