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False advertising: “You are a part of a solution,” says Paritosh Joshi

Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) not only has a detailed code to ensure truth in advertising but also allows you to file complaints against complaints online ( However, it is the duty of the common man to complain about them and be part of the solution.


Advertisements have to adhere to a code of self-regulation prescribed by the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI). Yet there are several advertisements that are misleading or offensive. At a Moneylife Foundation seminar, Partha Rakshit, chairman of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), explained the role of ASCI in monitoring advertisements and its job in taking action against misleading and offensive advertisements. Paritosh Joshi, member of the technical committee for the Broadcast Audience Research Council, took the audience through a fascinating interactive session explaining how complaints are upheld or rejected by the council. He invited volunteers to judge three ads to explain exactly how the ASCI committee works.


“A good self-regulatory system depends on all the stake holders and not just one regulatory body,” said Mr Joshi, emphasising that everyone should actively participate in reporting false advertisements. “The advertising code revolves around just four words—truthful, decent, safe and fair--to decide whether an advertisement is inappropriate. The ordinary point of view is most important factor” he said further.


Speaking on why ASCI should work as a censor body for advertisements, Mr Joshi said, “ASCI acts as a conscious keeper.” Screening thousands of advertisements would take much time and it would be better for ASCI to act as a moral police than work as a judicial body.


Earlier in the session, Mr Rakshit explained how about how one can file complaints and how the complaints are screened. “Under ASCI there is the Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) which upholds or rejects complaints,” he said. In October 2013, the Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) under the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has banned as many as 132 advertisements.


Among these are ads from prominent companies like Procter & Gamble's Pantene, Dabur India's New Fem Anti Darkening  Hair Removal Cream, LÓreal India's Fall Repair 3x shampoo, Hindustan Unilever (HUL)'s Dove Essential Nourishment Body Lotion and Fair & Lovely Fairness Cream etc.


In a bid to strengthen the process of reducing misleading advertisements which harm the interests of consumers, ASCI’s National Advertising Monitoring Service (NAMS) tracks advertisements nationally. As per the arrangement, AdEx India, a division of TAM Media Research, with support from ASCI trained personnel, checks on a continuous basis all newly released TV and Newspaper print advertisements, specifically for violation ASCI’s advertisement code related to unsubstantiated, misleading or false claims in the advertisement.


NAMS monitors 45,000 newly released ads appearing in all leading newspapers (covering approx. 80% national readership) and 1,500 TVCs every month in all languages. Advertisements seen as potentially violating Chapter 1 of ASCI Code are then forwarded to ASCI on a weekly basis. ASCI takes suo motu cognizance of Ads potentially violating Chapter 1. NAMS reports all advertisements that could be misleading, false or based on unsubstantiated claims.



Ms Sucheta Dalal emphasised that there is a need for a common code that brings banks and insurance companies on par with mutual funds While toxic insurance products were sold to the gullible investors nothing is been done to stop false advertisements. Since the banking regulator has no rule on misleading advertisements, banks too can get away by mis-leading consumers by showing a higher return


She further said, the only regulator to fix the problem of mis-selling of mutual funds is the Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI). Its definition says, mis-selling is not restricted to false statements, but can also happen by ‘concealing or omitting material facts’ or ‘concealing associated risks’ and not taking care to ensure ‘suitability of the scheme to the buyer’.


Investors have the option of complaining to the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), but that may not work either. ASCI’s advertising code, which is the strict yardstick by which its complaints committee judges advertisements, does not provide for the peculiar nature of financial advertisements, which cause great financial damage by simply omitting key details.



mukesh dangat

3 years ago

Yesterday on 26 January 2014 I saw the advertising about Samruddh jeevan food which has been debarred from taking deposits from public by SEBI on Marathi channel MI Marathi which is owned by liveindia. It was in form of news It was boosting how samruddh Jeevan is changing life of lakhs of people.

Sensex, Nifty possibly headed lower: Weekly market report

A possible midweek bounce may indicate the extent of the decline

The BSE Sensex closed at 21,133.56 (up 70 points or 0.33%) while the NSE Nifty closed at 6,266.75 (up 5 points or 0.08%).


Last week, we mentioned that the market looks weak and for the rally to resume the Nifty should close above 6,300.


After a weak closing on last Friday, the market opened in the positive and remained up for almost the entire session on Monday. The move on the bourses happened after the prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's speech on Sunday wherein he said the emphasis will be on urbanisation, infrastructure and inflation control. On the other hand the Congress-led government in Maharashtra decided to reduce 15% to 20% cut in power tariff charged to domestic consumers, industries and powerlooms. Nifty closed at 6,304 (up 42 points or 0.68%).


On Tuesday the Nifty closed at 6,314 (up 10 points or 0.16%). There were no market triggers except for the news from China where The People’s Bank of China added funds to large commercial banks using its Standing Lending Facility and conducted 255 billion yuan of reverse-repurchase agreements.


A Reserve Bank of India panel has recommended that the central bank should start using a consumer-price inflation target to determine monetary policy. On the other hand the finance minister P Chidambaram said India is better prepared US Federal Reserve's winding down of its stimulus. Nifty closed at 6,339 (up 25 points or 0.40%) on Wednesday.


The International Monetary Fund, raised its forecast for global growth this year as expansions in the US and UK accelerate, and urged advanced economies to maintain monetary accommodation to strengthen the recovery. While it raised the outlook for advanced nations, the IMF said "downside risks remain," including financial-market volatility in emerging markets.


On Thursday the market continued with its struggle to keep the positive trend. Nifty closed at 6,346 (up 7 points or 0.11%).There were news that the Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi has written to the government, to ask for a cut in the record import duty on gold and for other restrictions to be eased. On the other hand, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said that India has the potential to grow over 6% and even 7.5% in the long term.


On Friday, Nifty wiped off almost all the gains made in the past four trading days. The market sentiment was hit adversely by Reserve Bank of India  governor Raghuram Rajan's comments on Thursday that inflation is a “destructive disease” that is the cause of high interest rates. Nifty closed at 6,267 (down 79 points or 1.24%).


For the week, among the other indices on the NSE, the top two performers were IT (1%) and Service (1%) while the worst two performers were PSU Bank (2%) and Dividend Opportunities (2%).


Among the Nifty stocks, the top five stocks for the week were Axis Bank (4%); Wipro (4%); Hindalco Industries (2%); HCL Technologies (2%) and ICICI Bank (2%) while the top five losers were Ranbaxy (17%); Kotak Mahindra Bank (6%); Coal India (5%); Ambuja Cements (4%) and Bank of Baroda (4%).


Of the 1,364 companies on the NSE, 511 companies closed in the green, 808 companies closed in the red while 45 companies closed flat.


Out of the 27 main sectors tracked by Moneylife, top five and the bottom five sectors for this week were:


Top ML sector


Worst ML sector


Lifestyle & Leisure


Foods & Beverages


Software & IT Services




Non-Ferrous Metals




Telecom Services


Real Estate








Sensex, Nifty may have started a downtrend: Friday closing report

Nifty will be headed lower unless it closes above 6,300 on Monday

Today’s plunge in the Nifty wiped off almost all the gains made in the past four trading days. The market sentiment was hit adversely by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Raghuram Rajan's comments on Thursday that inflation is a “destructive disease” that is the cause of high interest rates.


The Sensex and the Nifty opened today in the negative and continues to move down. The Sensex opened at 21,289 and immediately after hitting a high of 21,334 the index side down to hit a low of 21,124 and almost at the same level at 21,134 (down 240 points or 1.12%). The Nifty opened at 6,302 and went to hit a low of 6,264 after hitting a high of 6,331. The index closed at 6,267 (down 79 points or 1.24%). The NSE recorded a volume of 51.62 crore shares.


"Industrialists complain about high interest rates but we don't have a choice but to keep interest at a high rate because inflation is high at 8%", Rajan said. The strong warning against inflation comes ahead of the central bank's policy review early next week.


A Reserve Bank of India panel earlier this week recommended making inflation the “predominant objective” of monetary policy. The finance minister Palaniappan Chidambaram said the central bank must keep the objective of supporting growth. Differing opinions over how best to tackle Asia’s fastest inflation signal a lengthy debate that won’t be settled soon.


India is not planning any changes to its record import duty on gold and other restrictions on imports until the current account deficit is firmly under control, the finance minister told a television channel.


US indices closed in the negative on Thursday.


The US flash purchasing managers index slipped to 53.7 in January, down from December's level of 55, which was an 11-month high. This is the slowest improvement in conditions since October. US initial jobless claims rose slightly to 326,000 last week. The leading economic index rose 0.1% in December, marking its sixth gain in a row, the nonprofit Conference Board said Thursday. In the housing sector, sales of existing homes rose 1% in December to a 4.98 million annual rate, while the median sale price climbed 9.9% to $198,000.


Except for Shanghai Composite (up 0.60%) and Taiwan Weighted (up 0.04%) all the other Asian indices closed in the red. Nikkei 225 was the top loser which fell 1.94%.


European indices were trading in the red.  


Fitch Ratings today affirmed Germany's credit rating at AAA with a stable outlook, citing a decline in the debt level of Europe's biggest economy. “Germany continues to have the components of a declining public debt path,” Fitch said in a statement. “The economy is growing, the budget position is relatively favorable and nominal interest rates are low.”


US Futures too were trading lower.


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