ASCI bans 31 ads including Blue Star, Huggies, Magicbricks and Apollo Paints in December 2017
The Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has banned as many as 31 advertisements out of 81 complaints it received across segments during December 2017.   
 
Out of 31 advertisements against which complaints were upheld, 13 belonged to the healthcare category, seven to the education category, three to the food and beverages category and eight were from the 'others' category, the self-regulatory industry body said in a statement. 
 
The banned ads are from prominent companies like Blue Star Air Purifier, Huggies, Magicbricks Realty, Apollo Paints, among others, they range from FMCGs to autos, personal accessories to alcohol, and education to media. 
 
Gross exaggeration of product efficacy was the number one reason for upholding complaints, followed by violation of the Drugs and Magic Remedies Act (DMR Act) and the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules (D&C Rules). The other reasons were failure to provide substantial facts and figures to support claims, and delivering advertisements which were misleading by ambiguity and implication.  
 
Among the various complaints, CCC observed that a realty service provider was giving misleading information with gross exaggeration on the discounts and exclusive deals to attract customers. Similarly, a couple of advertisers were claiming market leadership which was not conclusively proven.  
 
“Our continuous focus is to deal effectively and accurately with the complaints received against misleading advertisements. 'Independent Review Process' under the chairmanship of Justice Mohit Shah, Former Chief Justice and Justice Dr S Radhakrishnan, Former Judge, Bombay High Court, was one such step that we took to further improve transparency for both, the advertiser as well as the complainant, to facilitate fair adjudication of complaints,” said Abanti Sankaranarayanan, Chairman, ASCI.
 
HEALTHCARE:
 
The CCC found claims of 13 advertisements in health care products or services to be either misleading or false or not adequately / scientifically substantiated and hence violating ASCI’s Code. Some of the health care products or clinic 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. Balaji Ayurved Sansthan:  The advertisement’s claim, “No side effects”, was not substantiated with clinical evidence of product safety. Furthermore, the claim, “trusted by millions” was not substantiated with supporting evidence or through a third party validation. These claims are also misleading by exaggeration.
 
2. Ayurnet Healthcare (Piles free): The advertisement’s claims, “Be Pile Free, Be tension Free”, “Beneficial for Piles and Haemorrhoids”, “There will be no pain, no bleeding and relief from burning sensation”, were not substantiated with product efficacy data and are misleading by exaggeration.
 
3. Orichem Drugs & Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd (Zalim Lotion): The advertisement’s claims, in Gujarati as translated in English, “Enemy of Ring worm, Scabies/eczema and Itches” and “Apply Orichem Green Ointment with Zalim Lotion and get instant relief from old disease”, were not substantiated with product efficacy data and are misleading by exaggeration.   Claim, “89 years of trust”, was not substantiated with supporting evidence or through a third party validation. The claims are misleading by exaggeration. 
 
4. Astha Clinic: The advertisement’s claims, “Vitiligo/Leukoderma - No need to hide white spots, get freedom from white spots in few months” were considered to be prima facie, in violation of The Drugs & Magic Remedies (DMR) Act. 
 
5. Zenlabs Ethica Ltd (Zenivot Tonic and Capsules): The advertisement’s claims, “Zenovit Multivitamin, Minerals Antioxidant, Soft gel Capsule”, “Tension, Weakness, Immunity, Trauma, Ageing, Pregnancy, Anaemia. Very effective in above mentioned states”, were not substantiated with any technical rationale regarding the RDA levels of the ingredients nor did they provide any evidence of product efficacy.  The claims are misleading by exaggeration. The visual of the celebrity when seen in conjunction with the unsubstantiated claims, is likely to mislead consumers regarding product efficacy.
 
6. Jaipur Ayush Clinic: The advertisement’s claim, “Successful Treatment of Heart Blockage, Paralysis,” was considered to be prima facie, in violation of the DMR Act.
 
7. Rediscover Clinic: The advertisement’s claim, “Get rid of unwanted bulges”, “Quick reduction and lose up to eight centimetres from one area (non-surgical)”, and “Lose upto five kilograms”,  were not substantiated with supporting clinical evidence, and with treatment efficacy data,  and are misleading by exaggeration. Also, efficacy being depicted via images of before and after the treatment is misleading.  Furthermore, the visual in the advertisement implies that a significant weight loss around tummy would be feasible, which is also grossly misleading.
 
8. Ayurwin Pharma Pvt Ltd (Nutrigain Range of Products): The advertisement’s claim, “The only product which makes your body healthy and toned and improves the body weight”, was not substantiated with evidence of product efficacy, data comparing it with similar products in the same category to prove that no other product performs equally well if not better and is misleading by exaggeration.  Additionally,  the  claim, “Approved by Ayush Dept.”, was considered to be inappropriate as all AYUSH products in the market are required to have approval from the State Licensing authorities, and calling it out separately as a claim is misleading by ambiguity and implication that Ministry of AYUSH has approved the product efficacy / claims made in the advertisement.
 
9. Ayurwin Pharma Pvt Ltd (Nutrigain Range of Products): The advertisement’s claim, “Gain Body Weight with Strong Personality”, was not substantiated with evidence of product efficacy, and is misleading by exaggeration.  Also the claim, “Approved by Ayush Dept.”, was considered to be inappropriate as all AYUSH products in the market are required to have approval from the State Licensing authorities, and calling it out separately as a claim is misleading by ambiguity and implication that Ministry of AYUSH has approved the product efficacy / claims made in the advertisement.  
 
10. Herbal Creations (Herbo Gold Tulsi Power): The advertisement’s claim, “Helpful in dengue, swine flu, chikungunya, plague, malaria, joint pain, stones, obesity, blood pressure, sugar, hepatitis, burn, urine related diseases, asthma, piles, pain of eyes, ringworm, scabies, haemorrhage, swelling of lungs, ulcer, lack of semen, heart blockage etc.”, were inadequately substantiated and are misleading by exaggeration.  
 
11. Alkaline ionizers India Pvt Ltd (Life Ionizers): The advertisement’s claim, “Gives the best and the healthiest alkaline water in the world”, was not substantiated and is misleading by exaggeration.  
 
12.  Medinn Belle Herbal Care Pvt Ltd  (Endura Mass):  The advertisement’s claims, “If you are also underweight, start taking Endura Mass” and “Gain Weight, Stay Fit”,  were not substantiated with evidence of product efficacy, and are misleading by implication and exaggeration.  
 
13. Ara Pharmaceutical Trade Company (Athiri Dia Care Herbal Tea): The advertisement’s claims, “Strengthen the immunity power”, “Removes the disease germs from blood and controls skin diseases”, “It Helps for the full function of liver and regulate insulin level and controls sugar level” and “Regulates the function of liver and spleen and helps for curing digestion problem and eye deficiency’, were not substantiated with clinical evidence of product efficacy. These advertisements are misleading by gross exaggeration.
 
EDUCATION:-
 
The CCC found claims in the advertisements by seven different advertisers were not substantiated and thus, violated ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions. Hence complaints against these advertisements were UPHELD.
 
1. IELTS Classes: The advertisement’s claim, (in Gujarati) as translated in English, “Guaranteed Seven Bands”, was not substantiated with verifiable supporting data and is misleading by exaggeration.  The claim, “Fees will be returned to those who fail”, was not substantiated with any supporting evidence of the students who got a refund, and is misleading by exaggeration.
 
2. Krishanam Classes: The advertisement’s claim, “Sure selection guarantee”, was not substantiated with any verifiable supporting data and is misleading by exaggeration.
 
Complaints against advertisements of all educational institutes listed below are UPHELD mostly because of unsubstantiated claims that they ‘provide 100% placement/AND/OR because of misleading claim that they provide ‘100% placement assistance/AND/OR they claim to be the No.1 in their respective fields’
 
Sapphire Global School, IMS Polytechnic, Akhil Institute Of Hotel Management, BBN ITI and New Rays Academy
 
FOOD AND BEVERAGES:- 
 
1. Kamla Kant & Company LLP Pan (Rajshree Masala): The TV promos displaying advertisement of Rajshree Pan Masala which stated “Rajshree Pan Masala – India ka favourite pan masala” and “Rajshree Pan Masala, achha khaiye nischinth rahiye”, were misleading by omission of the statutory warning, by ambiguity and implication regarding its ingredients, and also encouraged negligence by not highlighting the product’s hazardous effect on health.
 
2. Singhal Brothers (Saadar Supari): The advertisement’s claim, “Easy solution to quit gutkha”, was not substantiated with product efficacy data and is misleading by gross exaggeration. 
 
3. Sheelpe Enterprise (Aava Mineral Water): The advertisement’s claim, “India's Highest Selling Natural Mineral Water” was inadequately substantiated and is misleading by exaggeration.   
 
OTHERS:-
 
1. Blue Star Ltd (Blue Star Air purifier): The advertisement’s claim, “Air in your house is 10 times more polluted than air outside” did not provide any technical report in support of its quantitative claim of indoor air being 10x polluted. This claim was not substantiated and is misleading by exaggeration. The claims “Over time, the air becomes a deadly cocktail of trillions of dust mites, bacteria and viruses, smoke, cleaning agent fumes and many other pollutants. Its SensAir technology removes 99.7% of these pollutants” cannot be extended to pollutants less than this size, nor for non-particulate pollutants like fumes as has been implied in the claim.   No substantiation was provided for removal of virus and hence these claims were misleading by ambiguity and implication. It was concluded that the claim, regardless of the disclaimer, was misleading by ambiguity and implication.   
 
2. Kimberly Clark Lever Pvt Ltd (Huggies): The advertisement’s claim, “Rated India’s No.1 Soft pants…” with the visual showing full range of Huggies diapers, with a disclaimer in small font referring to Huggies Ultra Soft pants is misleading by ambiguity and implication.  
 
3. Dishnet Wireless Ltd: The advertisement’s claim, (in Assamese), as translated in English, "Largest Network in Assam with best quality of data and voice service", was not substantiated with verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s network and other network operators or through any third party validation. The claim is also misleading by exaggeration.
 
4. Magicbricks Realty Services Ltd: The advertisement’s claims, “Get a Mercedes on every booking, “Get Flat Rs.35 lac discount and many more such deals” and “500+ exclusive deals”, were not substantiated with evidence of the offer being officially offered and / or details regarding genuine customers who have availed of this offer. These claims are misleading by gross exaggeration.  
 
5. M/s Salebhai Internet Private Limited: The advertisement’s claims, “Flat 100% unlimited cash back on dry fruits”, ” No minimum purchase, no cap on cashback”, “Starting at Rs 114. Up to 33% off”, were not substantiated. The claim, “Best Namkeen from across India”, was not substantiated with any market / consumer survey data, or with any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s product and other similar products. The claims are misleading by exaggeration.
 
6. Apollo Paints Pvt Ltd (Apollo Paints Aqua):  The advertisement’s claim, “No more Asthma, No allergies”, was not substantiated and is misleading by exaggeration.
 
7. Apollo Paints Pvt Ltd (Apollo Paints Eco Plus):  The advertisement’s claim, “No more Asthma, No allergies”, was not substantiated and is misleading by exaggeration.
 
8. Corvi LED Pvt Ltd (Corvi Led Lights): The advertisement’s claims, “Brightest, lightest, and slimmest” and “lowest energy consumption” were not substantiated with technical tests/trial reports and are misleading by exaggeration.
 
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    Nagpur Consumer Forum penalises SBI for sending recovery notice after loan settlement
    In a significant decision, the Nagpur District Consumer Forum has asked State Bank of India (SBI) to pay compensation to a customer for sending loan recovery notice for a loan that was already repaid. 
     
    "This decision will have long lasting impact on banks for sending recovery notices even after loan was paid and paying no heed to requests of the consumers. The Consumer Forum found deficiency in service by SBI and directed bank to pay Rs5,000 towards mental harassment and Rs2,500 as litigation costs to the consumer," says Advocate Mahendra Limaye, who represented the customer.
     
    The case relates with V Sahasrabuddhe had availed a loan of Rs1 lakh from SBI's Dharampeth branch in Nagpur. However, he could not repay the loan in time resulting in the loan being transferred in SBI's Stressed Assets Recovery (SAR) Branch. The SAR Branch offered one time settlement scheme to Sahasrabuddhe, which he accepted and in 2014 repaid his loan as per the formula decided by the Bank.  
     
    However, in 2015, the Bank's Dharampeth branch, from where he had availed the loan, sent him notice for recovery with a warning to initiate action against him under the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest (SARFAESI) Act. 
     
    After receiving the notice, Sahasrabuddhe visited the Dharampeth branch of SBI and informed them about his loan settlement at SARB Branch. He also requested the Branch to issue a no dues certificate, which was declined by the Dharampeth branch.
      
    Aggrieved by this act of bank Sahasrabuddhe then moved to the District Consumer Forum at Nagpur, which after properly hearing both the parties, held State Bank of India liable for deficiency in service rendered.
     
    In its order, the Forum observed that even after the loan was paid in one branch, the demand for repayment by other branch amounts to deficiency in service. It held SBI liable to pay the costs for litigation and mental harassment.
     
    Advocate Limaye represented Sahasrabuddhe while Adv Pande and Adv Bhopalkar represented SBI before the Consumer Forum.
     
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    COMMENTS

    anil kumar srivastava

    2 years ago

    Banks lack interse co-ordination in this era of computerisation; but most shocking is lack of administrative will to correct themself on being pointed out by consumers. It appears that Banks are not consumer friendly; rather Banks are
    responding consumer's compliant apathetically with colour of sovereignty;which is against the spirit of the foundation of the democratic socialist governance guaranteed in the Greatest Law "The Constitution of India".Banking regulation is now utter failure. Who owns responsibility is a big question?

    SuchindranathAiyerS

    2 years ago

    This is a very common Banking practice. But an uncommon act of Jurisprudence.
    This is long overdue. I was debited with renewal fee on a cancelled Standard Chartered Gold Card when I had shifted to Nairobi from Bangalore. Interest was added on it. The debt collector came and badgered my father who, without consulting me, settled. On my return, the Bank began to badger me again. I took the documents and threatened to take them to court. They gave me a letter confirming that I owed them nothing. Years later, I was refused a Credit Card by HSBC with whom I had banked for decades. Luckily, as a former banker, I used my contacts to get a copy of my credit report. I took it to Standard Chartered and told them that if they do not issue a letter to HSBC forthwith, I shall take them to court. They delivered. But think of the stress and trauma for my father who was in his eighties at the time, and the humiliation for me. What happens to somebody without the contacts to get a copy of the credit report to threaten the puisine Bank that behaves like a an Indian High Court that will set aside the Indian Penal Code to favour the scum of the Earth, secure in the knowledge that the Supreme Court will decline to uphold the Rule of law?
    Here and there, there are blips of hope.

    Param

    2 years ago

    i bet the entire penalty amount that SBI will file an appeal and pay 10x the cost instead of accepting its fault. of course the depositors subsidize this ego massage...

    CCI imposes Rs 136.86 cr penalty on Google for 'search bias'
    In a setback for Google, fair trade regulator Competition Commission of India (CCI) on Thursday fined the tech giant Rs 136.86 crore for abuse of its dominance and biased search practices in India.
     
    The CCI passed the order on complaints, filed in 2012, saying that the penalty was being imposed on the company for "infringing anti-trust conduct".
     
    Meanwhile, a Google spokesperson said: "We have always focused on innovating to support the evolving needs of our users.
     
    "The Competition Commission of India has confirmed that on the majority of issues it examined, our conduct complies with Indian competition laws. We are reviewing the narrow concerns identified by the Commission and will assess our next steps."
     
    Google was accused of indulging in abuse of dominant position in the India market for online search through practices leading to search bias and manipulation.
     
    "Google was found to be indulging in practices of search bias and by doing so, it causes harm to its competitors as well as to users," the CCI said in its order.
     
    Google now has 60 days to deposit the fine, the commission said.
     
    According to the CCI order, the penalty amount is nearly five per cent of Google's average total revenue in India for the financial years 2013, 2014 and 2015.
     
    In 2012, cases were filed against Google by CUTS -- a consumer organisation led by Pradeep Mehta, and Consim -- a matrimonial website and Google AdWords customer.
     
    In June 2012, the CCI asked its investigative arm to conduct an investigation into the matter and it submitted its preliminary report in August 2015.
     
    In September 2016, CCI shared with Google the evidence and analysis behind the preliminary report.
     
    Two months later, Google submitted a written response and in January 2017, the company presented oral submissions at the CCI hearings.
     
    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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