Companies & Sectors
National Institute of Virology warns HUL of legal action on false claims for water purifier

Directs company to change TV commercial which says ‘Pureit’ can destroy one crore viruses in one litre of water and that this is confirmed by tests by NIV

Pune-based National Institute of Virology (NIV) has warned Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) of legal action if it does not change the television commercial of its 'Pureit' water purifier. The advertisement is said to make unsubstantiated claims that it can destroy one crore virus in one litre of water.

In a letter to HUL dated 2 June 2011, A C Mishra, the director of NIV, explained the details of the tests conducted by the institute and said, "Your (HUL's) advertisements are not based on facts. You are requested to refrain from twisting and misrepresenting the facts. Failing to take immediate corrective measures may force us to resort to legal action against your company."

Moneylife had on 6 June 2011 reported the details of this case that were revealed through a Right to Information (RTI) query by Mumbai-based activist A R Shenoy. Pureit has been making the unsubstantiated claims through advertisements stating that the test results were backed by NIV, which tested eight domestic water purifiers using 0.67x105 Hepatitis E virus particles per litre of water.
 
According to the reply from NIV to the RTI application, the test was conducted on a sample of water of 0.67x105 Hepatitis E virus particles per litre and not one crore virus, as claimed by HUL. (Read, "How safe is your water purifier? HUL makes exaggerated claims")

 The report does not mention the names of any of the other water purifiers that were tested, apart from Pureit, which it says, removes 99.9% of virus particles using 0.67x105 Hepatitis E virus particles per litre of water, which is less than one million virus particles. Therefore, HUL took the liberty to twist the facts for its own benefit.

Subsequently, Mr Shenoy again evoked the RTI to find out from NIV whether there was any communication or official letter to HUL between April and early June 2011. In reply, to Mr Shenoy's query, NIV sent him a copy of the letter sent by its director, Mr Mishra, to HUL on 2nd June.

Speaking to Moneylife, Mr Shenoy said, "The letter is in agreement with my findings that the company is twisting the test reports for their own advantage." HUL has not answered an e-mail from Moneylife yet.

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COMMENTS

Sachin

5 years ago

There are many low cholesterol oils in the market.

I am sure you must have heard of these oils too.

The fact is that no vegetable product has cholesterol and still companies advertise that their oils have lower cholesterol than other oils in the market.

REPLY

Sachin Purohit

In Reply to Sachin 5 years ago

They are talking about the nature of cholestrol carriers in their oil. The formal medical terminologies are not understood by the masses. Vegetable oils don't have any cholestrol. So for vegetarians, the only cholestrol is the what the liver produces naturally. This cholestrol is transported to various parts of the body by lipoproteins. The low-density lipo-proteins (LDL) do not carry this cholestrol efficiently. HDL, on the other hand does it in a more clean way. Thus, you need more of HDL (called in common man's terms as Good Cholestrol) and less LDL (bad cholestrol). These two exist in foods that we eat - both vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian. The good oils (generally having higher proportion of unsaturated fats) have more of HDL and the bad oils (with more saturated fats) have more of LDL. Though they don't have any cholestrol of their own, in an ad consisting of less than a minute, you can't expect them to convey this entire scientific stuff to the target audience. So they just talk in terms of good cholestrol and bad. Don't be under the false assumption that vegetable products have no cholestrol and hence are heart-safe! They are not. You have to make a choice amongst the fats that you consume.

2G scam: Dayanidhi Maran comes under SC scanner

The CBI said that Malaysian firm Maxis was favoured by former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran and was granted licence within six months after taking over the Aircel in December 2006. Mr Maran was the telecom minister between February 2004 and May 2007

New Delhi: Union textile minister Dayanidhi Maran has come under the Supreme Court's scanner in the second generation (2G) spectrum allocation scam with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raking up his role in 'forcing' a Chennai-based telecom promoter to sell his stakes in Aircel to a Malaysian firm in 2006, reports PTI.

The agency, which placed its 71-page fresh status report about the 2G scam, said that during 2004-07 when Mr Maran was telecom Minister, the promoter C Sivasankaran, was forced to sell the stake in Aircel to a Malaysian firm Maxis Group.

Senior advocate KK Venugopal, who read the status report before a bench of justice GS Singhvi and AK Ganguly, did not take Mr Maran's name but stated that the Chennai businessman was not granted UAS licence for two years.

It said that the Malaysian firm was favoured by Mr Maran and was granted licence within six months after taking over the Aircel in December 2006. Mr Maran was the telecom minister between February 2004 and May 2007.

"The gentleman (promoter of Aircel) had been knocking at various doors but was left with no choice but to sell his shares to a Malaysian form," said Mr Venugopal, representing the CBI, while reading out from the status report that was filed in a sealed cover.

Earlier, an NGO, Centre for Public Interest Litigation, had placed documents before the apex court showing the alleged role of Mr Maran in favouring Maxis group of Malaysia which had bought Chennai-based telecom company, Aircel, owned by Siva Group, when he was telecom minister from 2004 to 2007.

CPIL had alleged that Mr Maran, who is now Union textile minister, had during his tenure as telecom minister granted 14 licences to Aircel which invested Rs599.01 crore in his family-owned business.

Later, he allegedly delayed the award of UAS licenses to Aircel which had been applying with the Department of Communications (DoT) since 2004 by raising irrelevant issues from time to time ignoring the request of its owner C Sivasankaran to resolve them, following which he sold the company to Maxis group owned by Malaysian business tycoon T Ananda Krishnan.

Mr Sivasankaran had appeared before the CBI last month and had recorded his statement.

The NGO claimed that after Aircel was taken over by the Maxis, Mr Maran's family-owned business, Sun TV, received substantial investment from Maxis Group (Aircel) by taking 20% equity in Sun Direct.

"Feeling harassed, Mr Sivasankaran was forced into selling Aircel. In March 2006, Maxis bought 74% stake in Aircel. The company got the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval in May 2006. As on 3 March 2006, a total of 14 applications from Aircel were pending in the DoT for award of licenses," the NGO had said.

During the hearing, Mr Venugopal told the court that the CBI is to complete its probe into the money trail, involving the 2G spectrum allocation scam, by 31st August.

He also added that the probe into all the irregularities in the spectrum allocation during 2001-08 will be completed within 3 months by 30th September.

The bench slated 11th July as the next date of hearing.

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Timbre Media-Saregama India to bring back WorldSpace legacy

Here is good news for WorldSpace radio fans. Erstwhile employees of WorldSpace along with Saregama India, plan to provide much-loved music through mobile, Internet and DTH

Saregama India Ltd, which owns the largest music archives in the country, has bought a 10% stake in Timbre Media Pvt Ltd for an undisclosed sum. Both Saregama and Timbre Media will provide a variety of high-quality, genre-based radio channels, similar to WorldSpace, in the Indian market. Timber Media is a venture set up by erstwhile employees of WorldSpace Satellite Radio that was forced to exit from the business.

Seetal Iyer, co-founder and head of content, Timbre Media, said, "Timbre Media was formed in 2010 and has drawn experience from professionals involved with WorldSpace. We focused on returning those lost stations of WorldSpace to the people. For our listeners, this means that their favourite WorldSpace stations like Farishta, Jhankaar, Gandharv, and Shruti, to name a few, will be back again soon on various platforms."

On 31 December 2009, WorldSpace stopped broadcasting its radio signals, leaving thousands of loyal listeners in shock. It was amazing to know and witness the kind of goodwill and customer base WorldSpace enjoyed among its Indian customer base. About 95% of the total WorldSpace subscribers were from India. The goodwill and customer base that WorldSpace India, a prodigy of a US-based company enjoyed across various parts of India, was the envy of Indian FM channels.

Saregama India and Timbre Media plan to leverage the distribution network of Saregama and Timbre Media-developed channels to target the digital domain of mobile, Internet and direct-to-home (DTH) television services.

"We believe that there is still a very loyal customer base that appreciates the quality that the Timbre team provided previously on WorldSpace. Through this alliance we will endeavour to bring the same quality and serve this product in all possible digital formats including mobile, DTH and the Internet," said Adarsh Gupta, business head for music at Saregama India.

The two companies plan to use content from Saregama's industry-leading and extensive library as well as from other popular labels, to provide unparalleled 24-hour stations, broadcasting Indian music ranging from old Hindi films, Hindustani classical, Carnatic classical, new Hindi music, ghazals, and also stations in major Indian languages.

Following the exit of WorldSpace from India, Airtel DTH that used to broadcast the radio channels on its platform, resorted to 10 radio channels of All India Radio (AIR). In 2009, out of about 4.5 lakh WorldSpace subscribers more than 50% used the Airtel DTH pay-TV package. However, WorldSpace India did not earn enough cash from its deal with Airtel DTH.

The DTH services provider offered 10 channels of WorldSpace at Rs10 a month, or Rs120 a year, with subscribers to its Rs200 package and above getting the radio channels absolutely free of cost. At the same time, WorldSpace was charged Rs2,000 per annum for 40 channels. Therefore, in a way, the deal was not profitable for WorldSpace, but helped it to increase its subscriber base in the country.
 

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COMMENTS

Shibaji Dash

5 years ago

everything you have written about World Space India- that was-is true in every respect. Like many I was desperately waiting for such a news. Frankly, World Space India, to my mind, was charging a pittance considering the super quality of streaming music and excellent informative interviews they were dishing out. Moneylife indeed has a keen eye on everything that's wholesome for life- from creating wealth in bonafide way to health care that ofcourse includes value music. Many thanx.

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