Educational advertisements remained at the top of the number of complaints received by Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) during June 2016 followed by health and personal care, food and beverages and e-commerce categories.
The Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of the (ASCI) has banned as many as 98 advertisements out of 159 complaints it received across segments during June 2016.
The banned ads are from prominent companies like Godrej Consumer Products Ltd (Cinthol Deo Stick), Athena Life Sciences Pvt Ltd (Hair for Sure), Patanjali Ayurved Ltd (Dant Kanti, Patanjali Juices and Energy Bar), Parle Products Pvt. Ltd. (Bakesmith Original English Marie biscuit), Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Limited (Amul Epic Choco Almond), Uber India Systems Pvt Ltd (Uber Moto - flat Rs10 offer), Policybazaar Insurance Web Aggregator Pvt Ltd (Policybazaar.com - Bike Insurance), One 97 Communications Ltd (PayTM), and Kent RO Systems Ltd (Kent Superb Water Purifiers) among others, they range from FMCGs to autos, personal accessories to alcohol, and education to media.
“...Out of 98 advertisements against which complaints were upheld, 39 belonged to the Education category, 25 in the Healthcare & Personal Care category, followed by 11 in the Food & Beverages category, six in Ecommerce category and 17 advertisements from other categories,” ASCI said in a release.
Here are the ads that were banned by ASCI during June 2016…
HEALTH & PERSONAL CARE
Godrej Consumer Products Ltd. (Cinthol Deo Stick): The advertisement’s claim,“3X longer” is not substantiated and is misleading by ambiguity and exaggeration as the advertisement indicates the product to be 3X better than all deodorants (all formats), while the product has been tested against only two marketed products. These products do not represent the major market leaders/players and all the Deo product formats.
Athena Life Sciences Pvt. Ltd. (Hair for Sure): The advertisement’s claim, “Meeri maniye Main ek Trichologist – Baaloan ka doctor, Isiliye I recommend Hair for Sure”, of a trichologist endorsing the product was not substantiated and was considered to be misleading by implication as the World Medical Trichologists Association (WMTA) certificate submitted by the advertiser only supports product quality and the certificate categorically states that it is not an endorsement for the product claim. Also, the claim, “Isme hai Rutexil – Ek breakthrough comprehensive regrowth complex. Effectively regrows hair from the roots”, was not adequately substantiated with clinical evidence. The claim, when read in conjunction with the visuals in the TVC showing significant regrowth of hair on bald patches, was considered to be grossly misleading. The supers in the Hindi TVC were not in the same language as the audio of the TVC.
Athena Life Sciences Pvt. Ltd. (Hair for Sure): The advertisement’s claim, ‘‘stop hair loss” was considered to be false as some hair fall is natural and cannot be stopped. The claim was misleading by exaggeration. Furthermore, for the advertisement’s claims, “Hair Regrowth Treatment” and “Begin Hair growth”, the in vitro data submitted regarding the constituents stated that the constituents do help in hair growth. However, there was no evidence that this data is extrapolatable to in vivo situation to support hair regrowth claim. The change in Anagen/Telogen ratio does not essentially translate into growth of hair into bald areas. Based on the photograding scores, these claims were not substantiated with efficacy of the product and are misleading. Also the advertisement’s claim, “Reutexil-The new era in hair regrowth treatment”, was not substantiated with clinical evidence and is misleading. In addition, the advertisement’s claims, “Growth Stimulant”, “Anti Fibrotic”, “Anti Inflammatory” and “anti Oxidative”, are based on ingredient specific in vitro data. These claims were not substantiated for in vivo situation for the ingredient levels present in the product. The claims being presented on the pack as a product efficacy attribute were misleading by ambiguity and implication.
Athena Life Sciences Pvt. Ltd. (Hair for Sure): The advertisement’s claim, “Extensive In-Vitro and Clinical Trials have been conducted on Hair for Sure Hair Tonic to validate the efficacy of the regimen to regrow hair.” was not adequately substantiated for the “Regrowth” aspect of the claim for in vivo situation. The claim stating that the studies were conducted to “validate the efficacy of the regimen to regrow hair” was considered to be misleading by ambiguity and implication. Furthermore the advertisement’s claim, “A 3.45 X times better in improving hair growth when compared to Market Leading Hair Regrowth Product priced at Rs. 650.” is incorrect to say that the mean photograding score of hair for sure is 3.45 times more on day 30th and 2.48 times more at the end of 60 day than the market leader tested against (Livon). Also, the advertisement’s claim, “Hair for Sure Increased Anagen/Telogen ratio significantly by 50.8% more compared to market leading brand in 45 days. Hair for Sure increases A/T ratio significantly 73.4 % from base line in 45 days.” is incorrect to say that the increase in the mean score of A/T ratio due to Hair for Sure is significantly more than the Comparitive treatment. In addition, the claim, “Hair for Sure increased percentage of Anagen Hair (growing hair) by 16.5% in 45 days. Human scalp has average hair count of 100,000. Considering this after applying Hair for Sure – Hair Tonic for 45 days twice a day, 16,500 (16.5%) non-growing hair would start re-growing.” was considered to be misleadingas the increase of 16.5% in anagen number cannot be interpreted as non-growing hair start regrowing. The advertisement’s claim, “It is first in India to be approved by World Medical Trichologist Association (WMTA)” was considered to be misleading by omission, ambiguity and implication as the WMTA certificate only supports product quality and the certificate categorically states that it is not an endorsement for the product claim. The advertisement’s claim, “clinically proven to help hair growth, clinically proven to accelerate hair growth, and clinically proven to stimulate Hair Growth” are based on the photograding scores, these claims were not substantiated with efficacy of the product and are misleading. Also, the advertisement’s claim, “No. 1 hair regrowth treatment *As on Amazon”, was not adequately substantiated and was considered to be misleading by ambiguity as this claim was based on product entries as available on Amazon. However, no authentic evidence for the same was provided.
Athena Life Science Pvt. Ltd. (Just for Moms Maternity Stretch Marks Prevention Lotion): The advertisement’s claim, “Tested and Gynaecologist approved” was not substantiated with relevant data as the test was for skin irritation potential carried out in males and non-pregnant female subjects. The claim was considered to be misleading by implication that the testing is for product efficacy. Also, the advertisement’s claim, “Helps reduce stretch marks” was not substantiated and is misleading.
FOOD & BEVERAGES
Patanjali Ayurved Limited (Patanjali Juices): The advertisement’s claim, “Will you still drink expensive fruit juices with less fruit pulp or drink cheaper Patanjali fruit juices with more fruit pulp for good health and more saving”, was not substantiated and is grossly misleading. Also, the claims unfairly denigrated the class/category of fruit juices.
Patanjali Ayurved Limited (Patanjali Energy Bar): The claim in the advertisement, “Chocolate ki bhuri aadat se chutkara payein”, was not substantiated and is misleading. Also, the claim unfairly denigrated the entire class/category of chocolates.
MSG All Trading International Pvt. Ltd. (MSG Products): The claims (in Hindi) that “all other food items contain poison and pesticides” were not substantiated with supporting evidence. Also, the claims are misleading by exaggeration and implication that consumption of other food is dangerous or hazardous, and unfairly denigrated the category of food items.
Kamla Kant & Company LLP (Rajshree Pan Masala): The advertisement of Rajshree Pan Masala features Anu Kapoor – a celebrity from the field of cinema for a product which has a health warning “Pan Masala is injurious to health” and which cannot be purchased or used by minors. The celebrity in the advertisement would have a significant influence on minors who are likely to emulate the celebrity in using the product. Hence the advertisement contravened Chapter III.2 (e) of the ASCI Code, which specifically states that advertisements “Should not feature personalities from the field of sports and entertainment for products which, by law, require a health warning such as “Panmasala is injurious to health” in their advertising or packaging.” Also, the supers/statutory warning in the Hindi TVC were not legible and not in the same language as the audio of the TVC.
Parle Products Pvt. Ltd. (Bakesmith Original English Marie biscuit): In the advertisement, quoting the story of a fictitious character and claiming the product to be “original English” Marie is misleading.
LBS Institute of Management & Technology: The advertisement’s claim, “Excellent Placements in Top Companies for last 19 years”, was not substantiated and is misleading.
Hierank Business School: The advertisement’s claim, “B-School with Record Placement between Four Lacs & Eight Lacs Package”, was not substantiated and is misleading.
ITM Business School: The advertisement’s claims, “Highest Package: Rs. 13.50 Lac”, and “Average CTC: Rs. 6.80 Lac”, were not substantiated and are misleading.
IMS Unison University: The advertisement’s claim, “Over 90% Placement consistently in last three years”, was not substantiated and is misleading.
Indore Indira Group (Indore Indira Business School): The advertisement’s claim, “200+ Recruiters, 2000+ Placements Domestic, 150+ Placements Overseas”, was not substantiated and is misleading.
ibibo Group Private Limited (Goibibo.com Refer and Earn scheme): The claim offer, “Refer Friends to download app & get free hotel night stay for 1st referral + 1000 goCash”, is misleading by ambiguity and implication as in reality, the advertiser is only giving a Rs.1000 discount for that one night stay.
Uber India Systems Private Limited (Uber Moto - flat Rs.10 offer): The claim offer, “Uber Moto - flat rate of Rs.10”, was misleading by omission of the validity period.
Naaptol Online Shopping Pvt. Ltd. (Body Massage Cum Fat Burner): The advertisement’s claim, “local fat and cellulitis loss”, was not substantiated and is misleading by exaggeration.
Policy bazaar Insurance Web Aggregator Private Limited (Policybazaar.com - Bike Insurance): The advertisement shows a situation wherein the two wheeler insurance is expired. The need of having the insurance is indicated in the event a policeman catches a person without insurance. It was concluded that the advertisement is misleading consumers to believe that they need not worry about lapsed policy and is encouraging negligence.
Printvenue (Printvenue.com): The advertisement’s claim, “flat 50% off on your first order valid on all products”, is misleading by ambiguity as though the main claim says that 50% offer is valid on all products, the terms and conditions state that maximum discount of Rs.500 per order is applicable on selected products..
Havells India Ltd. (Havells Standard Fans): The advertisement’s claims, “Best in the Industry Air delivery” and “standard fans build to deliver more air”, were not substantiated. These claims imply better performance versus other products in the market and are misleading as this comparison is not factual as the advertiser has not given any comparative test data against other industry products to prove superiority of their product over others. There is likelihood of the consumer being misled about the product advertised. It was also disagreed with the advertiser’s contention of the claim being puffery.
Kent RO Systems Ltd. (Kent Superb Water Purifiers): In the advertisement of Kent Superb the claim, “World’s 1st” Smart RO Water Purifier, is false, not substantiated and is grossly misleading.
LG Electronics India Ltd. (LG Smart Inverter Refrigerator): The claims in the advertisement, “New Smart Invertor Compressor”, “Saves upto 48 percent Energy”, “Dual fridge”, “100 percent faster conversion from freezer to fridge”, “Auto smart connect” and “Consumes Power less than 2 CFL Bulbs”, were not substantiated with technical data, and are misleading by ambiguity.
Renault India Pvt. Ltd. (Renault Lodgy): The advertisement’s claim, “Renault Lodgy – India’s No.1 MPV”, was not substantiated with market share sales data, and is misleading.
Asian Paints Ltd. (Royale Aspira): The contest claim, “SMS 'Aspira' to 56161 and win an all-expenses- paid trip to Singapore for two”, is misleading by omission of a disclaimer qualifying the conditions under which this claim offer is tenable.