ASCI bans 344 ads including Republic TV, Hero MotoCorp, Blenders Pride, P&G, L'Oreal India, Head & Shoulders, HUL Ponds, Sensodyne, Lenskart, Rasna, Dabur, GoodKnight Patches in October & November 2018
The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) processed 389 complaints during October and November 2018. Out of these complaints, advertisers ensured corrective action for 112 advertisements while the Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of has banned as many as 232 advertisements, ASCI says in a release.
 
The self-regulatory industry body, in a statement said, of the 232 advertisements probed by CCI, 95 belonged to the education sector, 53 to the healthcare sector, 36 to the food & beverages sector, 23 to personal care, and 20 were from the 'others' category. Five advertisements violated BARC Guidelines. 
 
The banned ads are from prominent companies like Hero MotoCorp Ltd (Hero Xtreme 200r), L'Oreal India Pvt Ltd (L'Oreal Extraordinary Clay Shampoo & Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water), Procter & Gamble Hygiene & Health Care Ltd (Head & Shoulders Anti-Dandruff Shampoo), GlaxoSmithKline Asia (Sensodyne Toothpaste), Dabur India Ltd (Dabur Honitus Syrups), ITC Ltd (Sunfeast Yippee Powerup Masala Noodles), Pernod Ricard India (Blenders Pride Music CDs), Godrej Consumer Products Ltd (GoodKnight Patches), LG Washing Machine, Hindustan Unilever Ltd (Vim Anti Smell Bar & Ponds Oil Control Face wash) and Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd among others, they range from FMCGs to autos, personal accessories to alcohol, and education to media.  
 
Amongst various advertisements that were examined, the CCC observed that, Virat Kohli was endorsing a bike brand shown driving rashly and violating traffic rules, manifesting a disregard for safety. In addition to this, other famous celebrity, Alia Bhatt was found to endorse a shampoo claiming to keep hair non-stop fresh for up to 72 hours. In another advertisement a celebrity was endorsing a well-known brand of glasses promising that the product blocks harmful blue rays from digital media unlike other glasses.        
 
A significant number of complaints looked into by the CCC pertained to food and beverage sector, ASCI says, adding the most common reason for upholding complaints were unsubstantiated and exaggerated claims that exploit consumers' lack of knowledge. It was also observed that the advertisements had unsubstantiated leadership claims, improper use of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) logo in contravention of the FSSAI advisory, organic claims, disparagement of healthy eating habits as well as surrogate advertisements, it added.
 
D Shivkumar, chairman, ASCI said, "ASCI and FSSAI recently concluded their second year of collaboration via a memorandum of understanding (MOU). FSSAI had given ASCI a mandate for comprehensive Suo Moto surveillance of potentially misleading advertisements in the food and beverage sector. Over 200 misleading advertisements have been looked into by the CCC and their compliance status was updated to FSSAI. This co-regulation model has been quite effective in ensuring compliance and was recently also referred in a Rajya Sabha question."
 
DIRECT COMPLAINTS
 
The following advertisements were in violation of ASCI’s Guidelines for Celebrities in Advertising. The advertisers did not provide any evidence to show that the celebrities did due diligence prior to lending their name for the endorsements, to ensure that all description, claims and comparisons made in the advertisement are capable of substantiation:
 
1. Hero MotoCorp Ltd (Hero Xtreme 200r): In the advertisement, cricketer Virat Kohli is seen driving rashly in normal traffic conditions. The advertisement portrays violation of traffic rules, shows dangerous practices and manifests disregard for safety. The advertisement showed speed manoeuvrability in a manner which encourages unsafe or reckless driving which could harm the driver and general public.  The TVC contravened Chapter III.3 of the ASCI Code and Clauses (a) (b) and (c) of the ASCI Guidelines for Advertisements depicting Automotive Vehicles.
 
2. L’Oreal India Pvt Ltd. (L'Oreal Extraordinary Clay Shampoo): The advertisement’s claim, “The power of pure clay in shampoo” is inadequately substantiated as it lacked specific scientific evaluation showing the effectiveness of clay and is misleading by ambiguity and implication. For the claim “keeps hair non-stop fresh for up to 72 hours” the advertiser did not provide appropriate scientific evaluation to substantiate the claim, hence is misleading by ambiguity and exaggeration and is likely to lead to grave or widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers. 
 
3. L'Oreal India P. Ltd. (Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water): The advertisement with celebrity Alia Bhat claimed, “Makeup off in just one swipe,” which was not substantiated. The claim is misleading by exaggeration, and is likely to lead to grave or widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers. The advertiser did not provide any testimonials, or any evidence of the consent of the celebrity for the product efficacy claims.
 
4. Buy Happy Marketing LLP (VIP Natural Hair Colour Shampoo): The advertisement shows celebrity Vivek Oberoi applying the product with his bare hands, and saying “Gloves ki zaroorat hi nahin. Gloves ke bina hi, isse app geele haathon mein leke safed baloon par shampoo hi tarah maasage karke sirf 15 minutes mein wash kar le. Ye aapke skin par bilkul nahin lagega, sirf aapke balon par lagega”, the claim was not substantiated with any technical test reports and is misleading by ambiguity and implication. The instructions in product leaflet mention “Use gloves when required” while the pack says “can be applied with wet bare hands” are contradictory. Also, the claim “5 in 1 benefit i.e. application on head, moustache, beard, chest and hand” was not substantiated with any safety test reports. The advertisement to be encouraging unsafe practices among consumers. Lastly, the advertiser did not provide any evidence of the celebrity’s due diligence hence violating the ASCI Guidelines for Celebrities in Advertising. 
 
Food and beverage 
 
ITC Limited (Sunfeast Yippee Powerup Masala Noodles): The advertisement’s claim “Atta Noodles” is misleading by omission and exploits consumers’ lack of knowledge as the product also contains “Refined Wheat Flour” (Maida) quantity of which has not been declared in the ingredient list on the product pack. 
 
Pernod Ricard India (Blenders Pride Music CDs): The advertisement features a man wearing a suit, holding a cricket ball while the tagline reads: “It’s Never Too Early to create a legacy. Be Ages Ahead.” The advertisement is a surrogate advertisement for promotion of a liquor product – Seagram’s Blenders Pride and is misleading by implication.
 
Personal Care
 
The following advertisements were considered to be misleading and also likely to lead to grave or widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers.
 
1. Procter & Gamble Hygiene & Health Care Limited (Head & Shoulders Anti-Dandruff Shampoo): In 3 advertisements - Print, Digital and Point of sale, the claim, “Keeps you up to 100% dandruff free” requires the adjective “up to” to have an equal emphasis in the super, in terms of font size, weight as well as colour, shape / bold characters, as it is an important descriptor for the claim to hold true. The advertisement’s claim gives the impression that it is able to provide “100% dandruff free” hair which is misleading and it contravened Chapters I.4 and I.5 of the ASCI Code and the ASCI Guidelines on disclaimers in advertising.
 
2. Procter & Gamble Hygiene & Health Care Limited (Head & Shoulders Anti-Dandruff Shampoo): The print advertisement’s claim, “Dandruff free smooth baal, Rs 2 ka kamaal” is misleading by implication that the product would be effective with a single use of a sachet. “Dandruff free” claim was not substantiated for “single sachet use” for Basic Smooth variant and is inconsistent with the disclaimer recommending regular use for efficacy.
 
3. GlaxoSmithKline Asia (Sensodyne Toothpaste): The advertisement’s claims, “That’s Why Dentist Recommended” and “Eight out of 10 dentists recommend Sensodyne for sensitive teeth” were not adequately substantiated. The findings of the dentist survey of 2015 showed that 80% of the dentists recommended Sensodyne toothpaste to their patients suffering from dentine hypersensitivity.  This data is considered outdated since it did not correspond to the current or the previous calendar year. The claim is misleading by implication.
 
Healthcare  
 
1. Netmeds Marketplace Limited: The advertisement’s claim, “Netmeds-the pharmacy with over 100 years of experience”, was neither substantiated with supporting evidence of the commencement of their business in pharmaceuticals field to prove 100 years of experience, nor did they provide any independent audit or verification certificate. 
 
2. Ayushakti Ayurved Pvt Ltd (Diabetox): The advertisement’s claims, “Controls sugar naturally”, “Reduces dependency of other medications”, and testimonials of Mr. Shashi and Mrs. Anuradha whose photographs have been shown in the advertisement as having benefitted from the treatment, were not substantiated with treatment efficacy data. 
 
Education 
 
1. FIITJEE LTD: The advertisement’s claims, “Nobody can compare with our results in JEE Advanced/ IIT-JEE, JEE Main, Boards, KYPY, Olympiads, NSEJS & NTSE”, “No one can beat our expertise- Our 26 years of unblemished record is filled with excellence and extraordinariness”, and “We are the only institute capable of training faculty for not just IIT-JEE/ JEE advanced but also for JEE Main, Boards, KYPY, Olympiads & NTSE. Other institutes have tried and failed miserably”, were not substantiated with verifiable comparative data, or through a third party validation.  The claims are misleading by exaggeration and likely to lead to grave or widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers.  
 
2. Landmark Immigration: The advertisement’s claim, “95% success rate*”, was not substantiated with third party validation or verifiable supporting data to prove their 95% success in enabling immigration for their students to study abroad. The claim, “No. 1 Consultant in India for Canadian and USA Colleges”, was not substantiated with third party validation or verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s institute and other immigration consultants in India, to prove that it is in leadership position (No.1) as compared to the rest.   
 
BARC Guidelines
 
The following five advertisements violated the BARC Guidelines; BARC Guidelines require that for any leadership claim, the period of comparison must cover at least four consecutive weeks, and at least four consecutive clock hours of data. The leadership claim in all five cases below were based on two consecutive hours instead of four, and hence violated the BARC Guidelines.
 
1. ARG Outlier Media (Republic TV):  In the advertisement mailer dated 24th August, Republic TV has made leadership claim under Single Event Reporting. 
                                                                                                                                                                       
2. ARG Outlier Media (Republic TV): In the advertisement mailer dated 31st August, Republic TV has made leadership claim under Single Event Reporting. 
 
3. ARG Outlier Media (Republic TV): In the advertisement mailer dated 6th September, Republic TV has made leadership claim under Single Event Reporting. 
 
4. ARG Outlier Media (Republic TV): In the advertisement mailer dated 14th September, “Republic TV has made leadership claim under Single Event Reporting. 
 
5. ARG Outlier Media (Republic TV): In the advertisement mailer dated 20th September, Republic TV has made leadership claim under Single Event Reporting. 
 
Others
                                                         
1.  Hindustan Unilever Ltd (Vim Anti Smell Bar): The advertisement’s claim, "New Vim” was misleading as the product with this formulation was launched in mid-2017. The advertisement was published in August 2018. Hence, the advertisement is likely to lead to grave or widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers. 
 
2. LG Washing Machine: In the advertisement, the Ad – sticker displayed on the product (washing machine), did not provide details of the LG rat away technology used in their semi-automatic machine which keeps the rats away, thus preventing any harm to the machine.  The claim of “rat away” was unsubstantiated. Additionally, the claim of “India’s First” was not substantiated with comparative data, to prove that they are the first to use this technology. 
 
3. Godrej Consumer Products Ltd (GoodKnight Patches):  The advertisement’s claim, “100% Natural”, is misleading by implication and omission. The claim does not mention that this claim is limited to only the active ingredients. 
 
SUO MOTO Surveillance by ASCI 
 
The following advertisements were in violation of ASCI’s Guidelines for Celebrities in Advertising. The advertisers did not provide any evidence to show that the celebrities did due diligence prior to lending their name for the endorsements, to ensure that all claims, description and comparisons made in the advertisements are capable of substantiation, nor did the advertiser submit any testimonials or any evidence of the consent of the celebrity before endorsement: 
 
1. Lenskart.com (Lenskart Blu Smartphone Lenses): The advertisement’s claim, “Aankhe toh thakengi hi  ...kyunki digital screens Mein hoti hain harmful blue light… Jo na ruke ordinary lenses se…Na anti-glare se… Ruke to sirf lenskart blue lenses se…” was not substantiated with reliable evidence that digital screens emit blue light and its exposure is harmful to users. The advertiser did not submit any comparative data to prove the effectiveness of the Lenskart Blue Lens in obstructing the harmful blue light of the digital screen, compared to regular lenses and antiglare lenses. Also, the visual of Katrina Kaif urging customers to visit the Lenskart store for a Lenskart Blue demo when seen in conjunction with the claims is likely to mislead consumers regarding the product efficacy.  
 
2. Rasna International Pvt. Ltd (Native Hatt Aampanna): The advertisement’s claim, “No chemicals, preservatives”, was not substantiated with supporting data showing absence of any chemicals in the product. The claim is misleading by exaggeration, and is likely to lead to grave or widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers. The advertiser did not provide any evidence to show that celebrity Kareena Kapoor had done any due diligence. 
 
Education
 
The CCC found claims in the advertisements by following 19 advertisers that were not substantiated and thus, in violation of ASCI Guidelines for Advertising for Educational Institutions.
 
1. Swami Vivekanand Center: The advertisement’s claim, “Institute that has given most State's selection” was not substantiated and is misleading by exaggeration.
 
2. Excellence Classes: The advertisement’s claim, “Institute in the state that has given highest selections and toppers” is unsubstantiated and misleading by exaggeration.
 
3. LNCT University: The advertisement’s claim, “The most trusted in MP”, was not substantiated with a third party validation or any supporting comparative data of the advertiser’s institute and other similar institutes in MP or market survey data.  The claim, “No. 1 Technical, Medical and Professional Group of Central India”, was not substantiated with a third party validation or verifiable comparative data, to prove that it is in leadership position (No.1).  
 
Healthcare 
 
1. Dabur India Limited (Dabur Honitus Syrups): The advertisement’s claims, “Chemical Free” and “Sahi hai, kyunki chemicals nahi hai” are misleading by omission that they are in reference to only allopathic actives. The claim “Sahi hai, kyunki chemicals nahi hai” unfairly denigrated other cough syrup brands containing allopathic ingredients which are legally permitted to be marketed in India.  
 
2. Dr. Batras Positive Health Clinic (Geno Homeopathy): The advertisement’s claims, “Treatment for today + Prevention for tomorrow” and “Prevents the risk of any hereditary illness through timely treatment”, were not substantiated and are misleading by exaggeration. The Gene based treatment cannot be termed as pure Homoeopathy as diagnosis and treatment in homoeopathy is based on history of the patient and signs and symptoms. For Homeopathy, history forms a very important tool for prescription of medicine, not genetic analysis. It is not possible to give homoeopathic treatment unless and until the symptoms appear. Also, Geno Homoeopathy is not recognized branch in India.   
 
3. Dr. Batra’s Positive Health Clinic: The advertisement’s claims (in Hindi) as translated in English, “Complete solution to hair” and “Complete solution to skin”, were not substantiated with supporting clinical evidence or treatment efficacy data.  Efficacies being depicted via images of before and after the treatment are misleading and imply cure from baldness and white spots (vitiligo).   
 
Food and Beverage 
 
1. Rex  (U&A) Remedies Pvt Ltd  – Food product (Heartorex Syrup): The advertisement’s claim, “Hum Heartorex pite hai, jo cholesterol ghata ta hai, blood ko patla karta hai, aur blockage bhi ghathi hai.”,  Voice over claim, “Heart rate ko normalize karta hai aur high blood pressure ko kam karta hai” implies that by consumption of the product there would be no chance of a heart attack and was not substantiated with supporting clinical evidence of product efficacy, and is misleading.
 
2. Sri Anagha Refineries Private Limited (Sun Premium Refined Sunflower Oil): The advertisement’s claim, “Prestigious rising brand of India award for the best in quality and fastest rising brand”, was not substantiated with copy of the award certificate, details of the criteria for granting the award, references of the award received such as the year, source and category.
Personal Care
 
1. Hindustan Unilever Ltd (Ponds Oil Control Face Wash): The advertisement’s claim, (in Kannada), “All day oil control” was inadequately substantiated and is misleading by implication. The claim “control” implies maintenance of sebum level at a particular fixed value whereas, the product is demonstrating “reduction” in sebum and not “control” over the 12 hour period. The claim is likely to lead to grave or widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers.
 
2. Vcare Herbal Concepts (P) Limited (Vcare Shampoo Hair Colour): The advertisement’s claim, “Unlike others it does not have harmful substance like PPD that causes allergy, rashes, dermatitis and can also cause cancer”, was not substantiated with any evidence of the ingredients present in the product and with specific benefits attributable to the ingredients responsible for the hair growth.  The claim, “Hair growth factors that help to increase hair growth and colours hair in just five mins”, was not substantiated with product efficacy data.  
 
3. Maa Herbals (Maa Herbal Hair Oil): The advertisement’s claims, “Rich Source of Vitamin E stimulates hair growth”,  “Cures Hair Loss”, “Prevents migraine attacks”, and “Helps in blood pressure control”, were not substantiated with evidence of product efficacy.                                                                                                                                                   
 
Others  
 
1. Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd:  The advertisement’s claim, “Rupees one crore invested in value strategy has grown to Rupees 25.09 Crore in just 15 years”, was misleading by omission of appropriate disclaimers.
 
2. Pitambari Klenz Nanowash: The advertisement’s claim, “24 hour protection from Bacteria”, was inadequately substantiated, and is misleading by exaggeration.
 
3. Phoenix Agencies (Aqua Phoenix Water Purifier): The advertisement’s claims, “No.1 RO Water Purification System”, and “Most Reliable”, were not substantiated with a third party validation or any verifiable comparative data to prove that it is in leadership position (No.1) and more reliable than the rest. The source for the claim of being “No.1” was not indicated in the advertisement
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COMMENTS

Vasu

3 months ago

No one taking actions on Liquor Brands (with Logos) promoting glassware, soda in all forms of media for years ....

REPLY

Vasu

In Reply to Vasu 3 months ago

In fact these Liquor brands promote their brands, in indirect way thru glassware, sodas.. There are TV Programmes also. ..TeluguĀ“ popular TV Show (McDowell No.1 Yaari With Rana chat-show).
Also many Pan-Masaala ads these days.
In India, rules are bent always.... :-(

Lodha Builders, Directors Asked to Pay Rs2.52 crore to Homebuyer by National Consumer Commission
Updated on 29 March 2019 to include response from Lodha Group.
 
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) has ordered Lodha Crown Buidlmart Pvt Ltd and its present directors, Ramandas Pandey and Pranav Goel, to refund a homebuyer over Rs2.52 crore with interest, which includes his deposit and other expenses, after they failed to deliver the promised 60th floor flat in Worli. 
 
A consumer complaint had been filed by Jagannath and Baby Hiray on the basis that Lodha had continued to demand payments from them, even after realising the fact that Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) would not give the permission to construct beyond 55 floors. The complainants had booked a 3BHK flat on the 60th floor of “Lodha Dioro” costing Rs4.46 crore with a duly registered agreement on 9 May 2012. They also claimed to have paid Rs14 lakh as parking charges for two parking spaces. 
 
The Hirays said that on 19 July 2013 they were informed for the first time by Lodha that the building would be constructed with 55 floors, in order to ensure the completion and possession of flats by the end of 2015. However later in 2014, Lodha revealed that the reason for this was that they did not get permission from the competent authority, which was contrary to their earlier reason. 
 
Counsel for the Hirays argued that the commencement certificate was granted by MMRDA on 20 February 2013 in which permission is granted only up to ground plus 53 floors. It was further argued, that the developer was fully aware that no permission would be granted by MMRDA for a building having more than 55 floors prior to accepting the payment for allotment of flat on the 60th floor to the Hirays. 
 
Furthermore, Hirays stated that Lodha continued to demand payments from them, with dishonest intentions, deliberately and knowingly misrepresenting facts with regards to the number of floors in the building and induced them to book a flat on the 60th floor, consequently charging more for floor rise, view premium, VAT, service tax, and stamp duty. 
 
It was claimed in the complaint that even after receiving the commencement certificate, Lodha neglected to inform the buyer on reduction in number of floors and kept demanding balance amount as per agreement for a flat on the 60th floor. 
 
The buyer finally received a cancellation letter in 2015, after which they filed a consumer complaint seeking Rs2.81 crore along with 18% interest, if the flat could not be given and damages of over Rs1 crore. 
 
In this consumer complaint, Lodha had offered to refund the deposit amounts or a new flat in the same building (on the 50th floor) with the same carpet area, without any extra cost, which the complainant refused. 
 
Lodha claimed that they were proactively making their best efforts to provide the complainant equal benefits, which is being repeatedly refused by them. However, it later came to light that the builder did not have sanction for a flat on the 50th floor either and had misguided the Commission by filing false and fabricated written version on record. 
 
Lodha had received permission to build only 45 floors due to a restriction on height placed by the Airports Authority of India (AAI). 
 
The developer had also initially counter argued that the buyers cannot be considered as consumers as they have deposited amounts by way of cheques and payment vouchers issued by Hiray Enterprises Builders and Developers and have the intentions to use the flat for commercial purposes. 
 
In response, Presiding NCDRC member Prem Narain said, “The assertion of the learned counsel for the opposite parties may have some substance in his argument, but the question is whether the said booking was made for commercial purpose. Even, if the amount has been paid by the Hiray Enterprises Builders and Developers, the booking may be and is for the complainants, as the allotment has been made in the name of Jagannath D Hiray.”
 
“Though the opposite parties state that they are ready to allot some other flat, however, no specific proposal has been given to the complainants or has been indicated before this Commission. In such situation, when the booked flat cannot be delivered by the opposite parties as the opposite parties could not get permission to build the flat, clearly, the opposite parties are guilty of deficiency in service”, the Commission observed. 
 
Accordingly, they ordered that a refund of Rs2.52 crore along with simple interest of 9% per annum be paid by Lodha within 45 days from the date of the order. 
 
Update:
On 29 March 2019, Lodha Builders contacted Moneylife.
 
In a statement, the Lodha group says, "The unit was sold after approval of plans by the concerned authorities. Well after construction started, height was reduced causing immense hardship to us and the affected customers. As a responsible corporate, we have offered all such affected customers alternative units or refund of their moneys with interest. About 99% of customers have accepted the same - Mr Hiray seems to be acting with ulterior motives and moved Court without giving notice to us. Now that we have become aware of these proceedings, we will present the true facts before the Court and authorities and are confident that justice will be done."
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IRCTC launches payment aggregator iPay
In a bid to promote digital transactions, the Indian Rail Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) on Thursday launched its much awaited payment aggregator system 'IRCTC iPay'.
 
The exclusive digital payment gateway will provide better digital experience and improved online digital payment convenience to rail passengers availing online travel-related services through the website, IRCTC said in a statement.
 
"With the launch of IRCTC iPay, the passengers will not need any third-party platforms. IRCTC iPay provides payment options like credit card, debit card, unified payment interface, international card," it said. 
 
The option of IRCTC prepaid card-cum-wallet and auto debit shall also be available soon.
 
The IRCTC, which handles catering, tourism, and online ticketing operations of the Indian national transporter said, under this new arrangement, "IRCTC will have full control of the payment system because of its direct relationship with acquiring banks, card networks and other partners". 
 
"This will help reduce the gap between IRCTC and banks which will eventually lead to substantial reduction in payment failures.
 
"Moreover, in case an online transaction is unsuccessful or some other error occurs, IRCTC can directly get in touch with the bank instead of relying on an intermediate source which usually delays the process," the statement said.
 
IRCTC said iPay promises to be passenger friendly, easy to use, reliable and faster.
 
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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