In your interest.
Online Personal Finance Magazine
No beating about the bush.
While news channels are outraged about something or the other every weeknight, here are some of the issues the media ignored in 2013
We have an aam aadmi sitting in the chief minister’s chair in Delhi, after having shocked the capital’s power-brokers as well as Mumbai’s moneybags. Everybody is talking about a new wind blowing in the country. Middle-class awakening, helped by the social media, which, when translated to a significant increase in voter turnout, upset the Delhi electoral math and threw up game-changing results. Will the story be repeated elsewhere? Is there really a new intolerance for corruption among people and a willingness to fight for their rights? Well, the 2014 elections will provide an answer. But a dispassionate analysis will show that, in 2013, the rich and powerful got away with the same old machinations and they also dictated what is fit to be published or debated at super prime time.
The Watchdog that Didn’t Bark: The Financial Crisis and the Disappearance of Investigative Journalism, recently excerpted by Columbia Journalism Review, says, “The US business press failed to investigate and hold accountable Wall Street banks and major mortgage lenders in the years leading up to the financial crisis of 2008. That’s why the crisis came as such a shock to the public and to the press itself. And that’s the news about the news.” It also mentions how “some journalists, mostly outside the mainstream, were able to produce work that in fact did reflect the radical changes overtaking the financial system while the vast majority in the mainstream did not.”
Doesn’t this ring true of India today? There are questions that nobody asks; stories that die because they are simply not followed up or buried by hysterical and motivated pursuit of select and, often inconsequential, issues. The best example, in recent times. is that report of the speeding Aston Martin that was completely destroyed, after it crashed into two cars on the road where Mukesh Ambani lives in his billion-dollar home. Initial reports said that the driver of the Aston Martin was bundled into a security car and whisked away.
Later, a driver turned up to accept responsibility for the rash driving. There was no arrest. The owners of the damaged cars suddenly acquired new and more expensive cars, which may have induced haziness in their recollection of events. This is bound to happen, when the driver is rumoured to be the son of the richest Indian.
The expensive, customised Rs4.3-crore Aston Martin belongs to Reliance Ports and Terminals, which the media reports variously say is a Reliance group company or a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL). In that case, shouldn’t shareholders of RIL be asking why the company owns such an expensive car, rather than the chairman who takes home over Rs200 crore annually as dividend? Sure, Reliance is a giant company and its board of directors is not expected to look into trifling expenses like a Rs4.3-crore Aston Martin. But that is not the reason why they are not asking the questions.
Reliance Ports & Terminals (RPTL) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries Holding Private Limited, which owns all personal companies of Mukesh Ambani, built on large fund transfers from the publicly-listed RIL to these private entities. All this was in the public domain when brothers Anil and Mukesh were at loggerheads.
In fact, Firstpost wrote a hard-hitting article (Reliance funnels money and business to Mukesh Ambani’s private companies) about how RIL was “paying Mukesh Ambani Rs4,300 crore for bankrolling his private companies for fuel, transport, power, water and gas distribution”, in 2011. RPTL received Rs2,600 crore from RIL that year, says the Firstpost report. They have a guaranteed business from RIL and enjoy a triple AAA rating from CRISIL (whose report is silent about the peculiar funding and ownership).
In its unaudited results for June 2013, the company continues to report a net loss (carried forward) of about Rs4 crore. That figure is lower than the cost of the Aston Martin, used by the Ambanis, from money ‘funneled’ from the listed company. So what has Firstpost written this time on the Aston Martin scandal? Well, not much. You see, its parent, the TV18 group, is owned by Mukesh Ambani, in a complex deal, which saw a mammoth Rs3,500 crore injected into the loss-making media empire, to save it from imploding, about two years ago.
Let’s look at another example. The year-enders of every publication agree that Tarun Tejpal’s fall from grace was one of the biggest shockers of 2013. The fact is that Tejpal’s power did not emanate merely from his brilliance and brash confidence, but was owed, in no small measure, to the firm public conviction that he has the protection of the Congress high command.
How come Tehelka’s own investigative teams didn’t notice that the math behind their salary cheques, advertisements and spending did not add up? How did the tax authorities studiously look away, even when they saw large injection of funds from KD Singh of the Alchemist group and the shady Ponty Chadda (who was dramatically shot by his brother at their farm house) to set up an exclusive club called Pruffrock?
It wasn’t until the media-feeding frenzy that followed Tarun Tejpal’s sexual assault on a young colleague, and his subsequent arrest, that triggered a ‘probe’ by the tax authorities. Consider the irony. At a time when the government claims that our every foreign trip or purchase above Rs20,000 is tracked and reported to the taxman, the tax authorities will start investigating Tehelka’s unusual 2006 transaction now. On one day, the Tejpal family transferred 25,758 shares at a whopping premium, while Tarun Tejpal acquired 4,125 shares from Shankar Sharma and Devina Mehra of First Global, the original financiers of Tehelka, at just Rs10 each. The Indian Express says Tehelka issued such exorbitantly priced shares in 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2011-12 without the taxmen ever noticing these egregious deals.
From the media perspective, the bigger question is: Who were these investors and what were they paying for? Celebrities and intellectuals, who have supported Tehelka’s sting journalism, continue to sing paeans to its investigative work without asking how it enriched the Tejpal family instead of isolating it.
Finally, the more frightening story that is rarely discussed, except in a manner that makes no sense to ordinary people, is the sharp growth in bad loans or non-performing assets (NPAs) of Indian banks. The Congress-led government has allowed bad loans to balloon to a point where they are threatening the stability of the banking system. The mammoth All India Bank Employees Federation (AIBEA) has blown the whistle, named wilful defaulters and given a call to ‘stop the loot of public funds’ and start recovery of bad loans.
But the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) paints a more frightening picture. RBI’s financial stability report, released on 30th December says, “Failure of a major corporate or a major corporate group could trigger a contagion in the banking system due to exposures of a large number of banks to such corporates. The analysis shows that interconnectedness in the banking sector could cause losses due to contagion, over and above the direct losses on account of the failure of large corporate groups.” Bluntly speaking, it means that your safe fixed deposits in nationalised banks may no longer be as safe; when crisis grips the country, those too will be affected.
None of these issues is systematically pursued by India’s mainstream media (MSM). Loss-making MSM, desperate for advertising or capital infusion, do not have the luxury of editorial freedom. The most profitable media house openly puts advertising far above journalism. But the fault lies mainly with the reader, who cannot distinguish between outrage expressed on blogs and social media, and serious, unbiased investigation that requires organisation, funds and paid subscribers. Like the politicians, we get the press we deserve.
Sucheta Dalal is the managing editor of Moneylife. She was awarded the Padma Shri in 2006 for her outstanding contribution to journalism. She can be reached at [email protected]
Education, health and personal care category continue to lead with the highest number of complaints received by ASCI during October 2013. There are some particular misleading ads which have sizeable number of complaints against them, the Council said in a release
The Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) under the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has banned as many as 132 advertisements across segments out of 169 during October 13. 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 as well as New Domex Zero Stain, Indian Institute of Banking (IIB), Info Edge (India) Ltd, Kalyan Jewellers, Havells Wires, Kent Mineral RO Water Purifier, Bajaj Auto's Discover, Tata Docomo, GSK's Horkicks and Marico's Saffola Total; they range from FMCGs to autos, personal accessories to alcohol, and education to media.
“Most of the misleading ads were from the education sector and promise of 100% job placements was one of the recurring unsubstantiated claims made by the advertisers. This was followed by health & personal care category, where most of the upheld complaint ads were found misleading, or making false or unsubstantiated claims,” ASCI said in a release.
Here are the ads that were banned by ASCI during October…
HEALTH AND PERSONAL CARE
The CCC found the following claims in health and personal care product or service ads of 92 advertisers, released in the press to be either misleading or false or not adequately/ scientifically substantiated and hence violating ASCI’s Code. Some of the health care products or services ads also contravened provisions of the Drug & Magic Remedies Act.
Complaints against the following ads were UPHELD –
1. Navjeevan Nature Cure Center Claim: They help in ‘weight loss from 5 - 7 Kg in one week with detoxification’.
2. Hootone Remedies: The website claims to have cure for AIDS. Such medicines should be
acclaimed and accredited by Government.
3. RC Creatives Sales Pvt Ltd: Roomani Oil claims that it is ‘very famous for men's energy’. ‘Visual implies that the product is meant to enhance sexual pleasure.’
4. Eli Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd: Claim it is ‘effective in giving shine to your face and removes black marks, it also prevents them to appear again.’
5. Nature Care Wellness Pvt Ltd: Claims that it can give you ‘freedom from diabetes in just six months, no side effect, heals from roots.’
6. Anand Clinic: Claims that it is ‘complete treatment and solution of low sperm count, hydrocele without operation, infertility lycoria & infertility caused due to liquor and diabetes’, it is ‘complete treatment of all sexual diseases.’
7. Dr Anjali Shere Hair Science: Claims that it is the first ‘Robotic Hair Transplant Centre in
8. Hygienic Research Institute Pvt Ltd: Super Vasmol 33 claimed that it is a ‘Natural method to colour hair’.
9. Telemart Shopping Network Pvt Ltd: Fairpro claims that it ‘brightens up the complexion of dark skinned people in a very short time’.
10. Vikas Publcity: Shreeji One Diabetes Kit claims that one can ‘Get 100% success from lifetime capsule or insulin’.
11. Prince Pharma: 2 much Gold Capsules claims that ‘1, 50, 00,000 people have used it and are still using it.’
12. Dr. Shukla Sex Clinic: Claims that this clinic is a one a place ‘For most successful treatment of male weakness, premature ejaculation, semen in urine, infertility, less sperms and for all sexually transmitted diseases’.
13. Ashirvad Enterprises Ltd: Ashirvad Pure claims that it is ‘India's only one company who provides RO+UV+UF with pH Enhancer’.
14. Jeevan Jyoti Fertility Hospital: Claims that it gives ‘Complete treatment of infertility’.
15. Win Diabetes Clinic: Claims that it ‘Gets you rid of painful injections of insulin in just 10 days’, ‘100% effective herbal product’, ‘no magic, no miracle, astonishing result of years of research.’
16. Krushnakant Sanjivani Natural Spondylitis & Obesity: Claims that it gives ‘100% guaranteed Ayurvedic treatment’, ‘Obesity in 3 months reduces 10-15 kgs.’
17. Dr. Manjiris Instasculpt: Claims that it is a ‘Safe, Permanent, Instant & Non-surgical treatments for Figure, Face & Hair.’ One can ‘lose up to 10 kg in 10 weeks’.
18. Melblok Treatment Centre: Claims that ‘Melblok treats hyper or dark pigmented skin patches, blemishes, dark circles, uneven complexion, dull skin, acne marks, melasma, rough skin & open pores’. ‘Melblok clears acne with its marks completely, when everything fails.’
19. Sanjeevani Homeopathic Medical Center: Claims that it gives ‘Successful treatment of all types (gall bladder and kidney) of stones without any cut and operation with the help of complete homeopathic medicines.’
20. Dr Pandya skin Clinic Cosmetic & laser Center: Claims that it gives ‘Freedom from baldness (treatment through stem cell technique)’, ‘Benefits: growing of natural hair, growing of hair without Surgery’, ‘No need of hair transplant, no side effect, affordable and easy treatment.’
21. Yog Vigyan Sansthan: Claims that it gives ‘permanent cure for sex diseases so that you get rid of consuming medicines every now and then & gives instant benefit.’
22. Shree Baidyanath Ayur Bhawan: Baidyanath Mahasudarshan Ghanbati claims that it is the ‘best medicine for fever’, ‘useful in all kinds of fever (new, outworn, malaria and typhoid).’
23. Sri Ram Hospital Group: Claims that it gives ‘benefits of surgery for obesity- get rid of diabetes, blood pressure, and heart problem.’
24. JP Dikshit Yog & Prakrutik Chikitsalay: Claims that it gives ‘successful treatment of all incurable diseases without medicines like Eczema, Psoriasis.’
25. Detox Supplements: Claims that it is a ‘sure solution for liver diseases.’
26. Parul Homeo Laboratories P Ltd: Heightex Tablets implies that the product is meant to affect stature.
27. Looks Cosmetic Clinic: Claims that they can alter looks with ‘No Surgeries, No Needles, No Pain, No Downtime, No Side Effects , Lipo Laser - Lose up to 5-20 inches in a month.’
28. Dr. Shukla Sex Clinic: Claims that it is ‘No.1 sex clinic of Kanpur since last 15 years.’
29. Dr Kamlesh G Laser & Body Care: Claims that it helps you ‘Reduce 10 to 12 inch in just 2 hours.’
30. Gift Gyno IVF and Infertility Centre: Claims that ‘5000 infertile couples have had successful pregnancies through GIFT Centre.’
31. Shape & Glow: Claims that they give ‘Guaranteed 5 Kg weight loss’, ‘Lipo Laser removes fat.’
32. Slimming Beauty and Hair Clinic: This clinic has infringed on the Richfeel Anagrow Logo as well as the images used by Richfeel have been used.
33. Torque Pharma (No Scars): Claims that it gives ‘effective medicine for removing scars’ and ‘reduces and removes scars & marks.’
34. Shree Kalyan Ayurvedashram: Claims that they give ‘successful treatment for white spots’. ‘After beginning the treatment, white spots will reduce and will appear as normal skin
complexion’, ‘guaranteed benefit by treatment.’
35. OPTM Health Care: Claims that with ‘No Surgery, No Injections, No Oral Medicines, Free your knee from pain forever.’ ‘Organic Phyto Therapeutic Method (Several chronic conditions listed such as gout, osteoarthirtis, spondylosis etc.).’
36. S.P. Pharmaceuticals (Penzy Hair Oil/Capsule): Claims that it ‘stops baldness, breaking of hair and hair fall.’
37. Premi Skin Hair & Laser Clinic: Claims that it is a ‘Permanent treatment of white spots and surgical spots, baldness, laser therapy of unwanted hairs, warts.’
38. Re-Touch Hair & Skin Clinic: Claims that one can ‘now get 100% freedom from Asthma and White spots.’
39. Ghai Hospital: Claims that they help cure ‘manly weakness and is a guaranteed sure treatment of mistakes in childlessness, increasing age, impotency due sugar, early fall, undeveloped organ, night fall, breast beauty, childlessness, nil sperm count’, ‘effect from the very first day’. ‘After discontinuing the medicine the disease won't happen again.’
40. S D Industries (Zosh Capsules): The advertisement’s visual implies that the product is meant for enhancing sexual pleasure.
41. American IVF & Test Tube: Claims that they provide ‘successful treatment to unblock the Fallopian Tube without any operation’, ‘lakhs of people have benefited from this technique and are living a happy life.’
42. Sri Om Ayurvedic Seva Sansthan: Claims ‘100% successful treatment of Brain, Heart, Liver, Kidney, stomach disease, kidney stone, prostate, Obesity, skin disease, Diabetes, Arthritis and STD and Sexual disease etc.’
43. Meghdoot Sewa Gramodyog Sansthan: ‘Meghdoot Gramudyog- Meghdoot Madhu Shoonya Churan’ is misleading.
44. L G Hair Beauty Centre: Claims to ‘get rid of baldness in 2 hours.’
45. Prince Pharma: ‘2 Much breast capsule is useful for ‘twice efficacy and ‘make breasts attractive and feel beautiful.’
46. Vee Excel Drugs & Pharma Pvt Ltd: Obitek Herb Capsules Claims that it can help you ‘reduce weight and maintain figure, burns harmful cholesterol content’.
47. Krishna Kripa Industries: Sugarnil Powder Claims that it can controls sugar and get rid of its side effects on eyes, kidney, weakness of nerves, weak bones, calcium deficiency, pain,
numbness of hands and legs, fatigue, uninterested in working and generates new energy in the
48. Darling Buds Hair Transplant: Claims it is India's largest hair restoration centre with being world pioneers in FUE, doing the largest volume of FUE hair transplants in Asia as a stand-alone clinic. It claims to be the ‘most trusted & respected world over’.
49. Dr Anjali Shere Hair Science: Claims that the robotic hair transplant technique has 100% perfection in the treatment with 0% human error and doctor guided. It gives genuine stamp paper guarantee’, ‘5000 happy clients’ Ad using images to justify the before and aft er results of the patient.
50. Goodcare Pharma Pvt Ltd: Ezi Slim Slimming Tea burns excess fat, increases metabolism, limits false hunger, reduces transformation of carbohydrates to fats, keeps the heart healthy, 100% natural and no side-effects.
51. R.T.C. Enterprises: Claims that Celebrity Lift technique brings fairness of skin and promises to remove wrinkles and double chin.
52. Diabetic Cell: Claims the cell to be World's Safest Diabetic Treatment with a tag line saying ‘Eat what you love without a worry, 76% of our Diabetic patients are now happy.’
53. Pappu Guptakrut Range of Products: Claims that the products stop hair breakage in 30 days. Within a course of 45 days, the products claimed to start growth of hair within 8- 20 days, stopping baldness in 180 days’, growing black hair from the roots which has become white untimely, getting relief from dandruff in 3 days and completely rid of it in 20 days up till 10 years.
Dr. Shakti’s Hair Harmony & You: Claims that it brings the breakthrough technique d-DHT for the 1st time in Mumbai. ‘Don't get conned, get genuine hair transplant HHY writes breakthrough technique d-DHT. ’
54. Win Diabetes clinic: Claims that Lady fresh Gel range of products helps cure the looseness of vagina and whitens the area, works as a complete ayurvedic medicine to manage your private parts, made of pure ayurvedic medicines and is harmless
55. Appropriate Miss Beauty Capsules: Claims that the capsules are the 1st in India as skin whiteners. ‘The most trusted formula that blocks the formation of dark pigmentation melanin’, the benefits claim to add permanently fairer and pinkish glow to the skin - Lightening dark eye circle and spots, heal dark spots caused by Acne / Pimple - Underarms / Bikini line will lighten.
56. Vibgyor Clinic: Claims that the clinic could cure sex problems which include permanent
treatment of nightfall, early fall, stress, semen in urine, indesire (in male or female),
physical/mental weakness, depression by Ayurvedic medicines, joint pain - complete successful treatment of Arthritis, pain and swelling, spondylitis, migraine by Ayurvedic medicines, successful treatment of psoriasis, white spots, eczema, pimples, wrinkles, and other skin diseases by Ayurvedic medicines.
57. Somi’s Glow Plus Solution: Claims that Somi's has developed Glow Solution & Glow Plus Solution which are special Ayurvedic solutions for hair growth whose results will be shown in only 3 months of proper application. Visuals of the TVC are misleading showing Glow Solution & Glow Plus Solution to be catalysts for hair makeover.
58. Wet & Dry Personal Care Pvt Ltd: Claims that Everteen Vaginal Tightening Gel ‘helps maintain vaginal health, tighten and revitalize vagina, rejuvenates vaginal muscles, tone and vigor in vagina, improves lubrication and reduce dryness, removes vaginal harmful bacteria, restores post-delivery vaginal elasticity and enhances sexual pleasure’.
59. Procter & Gamble Hygiene & Health Care Ltd: Pantene Hair Fall Protection sachet states that ‘Maa banne ka baad baal toh tut te hi hain! Shampoo badal Pantene try kar. Iska pro-V formula balon ka tutna kam aur unhe lamba banane me madad karein’.
60. Relief Accupressure Clinic: Claims Dr Batras Homeopathic Clinic to be a successful treatment of each and every disease. ‘6 lakh hair patients successfully treated’, ‘90% hair patients will not change to any other brand for treatment - AC Nielsen study’, ‘India's Only Trusted Homeopathy Brand - The Brand Trust Report, 2013’
61. Dr Dilbagh Clinic: Claims assured treatment of mistakes of childhood, sexual weakness due to sugar, premature ejaculation, under developed organ, urine disease, semen in urine, night fall, less sperm count, no physical development, not feeling hungry, no weight growth, no height growth and piles.’
62. Sun Laboratories P Ltd: Claims that Titanic K2 Capsules is the no.1 in power capsules with 10 years of success, 100% Ayurvedic, correct treatment for excitement and energy. ‘Feel energetic in just one capsule’, ‘No side effect’
63. Vee Excel Drugs & Pharma Pvt Ltd: Claims that Vegafem make breasts attractive, effective for treatment of flat chest, safe alternative to expensive surgery, stimulate healthy breast growth, no flabby breasts, full, firm & younger looking cleavage, no scientific human hormones and completely herbal.
64. Dewan Farms: Claims that it penetrates into the pores of the knees and stops the noise made by joints and makes grease. ‘Grease oil for knees.’
65. Balaji Ayurved Sansthan: Claims that Bebo B C Capsule & Massage Oil is the ‘Breast care capsule, tel and cream, No Side Effect’
66. Prince Pharma : Claims that CP Gold Capsule and Syrup is used to improves the efficiency of organs by energizing it.
67. Kaleesuwari Refinery Pvt Ltd: Eldia Enriched Hair Oil has natural UV protection. It is enriched with virgin pomegranate seed oil, blue lotus flower and tomato extracts, and natural Vitamin E in coconut oil that provides protection from harmful sun rays.
68. Dabur India: New Fem Anti Darkening Hair Removal Cream has a visual and mention of sandal. However, the product ingredient declaration is misleading since it does not have sandal in the ingredient list.
69. Meck Pharmachem Ltd: Claims that Glucomeck Tablets is the only alternative to operation with ‘no side effects.’
70. MOD Innovative Care: Claims that their techniques help get rid of baldness in 2 Hours. ‘Do Comb, Shampoo, Color Etc. Note This Is Not A Wig’ and ‘Get Rid Of Obesity permanently.’
71. B. Lab: Claims that using the GLO Brightening Intense System product leads to the fairness of skin in human beings: and it promises to remove wrinkles and double chin, which is misleading. This advertisement is exploiting the vulnerable situation of people.
72. Makewell Pharmaceutical: Claims that use of Speed Height Capsule helps increase in physical stature.
73. Janta Hospital: Claims that the hospital has 100% successful way and effective treatment for White Spots, oldest of the spots will get removed from its roots.
74. Oshea Herbals : Claims that Oshea Herbals Hair Vitaliser prevents baldness.
75. Libra Ayur Lab: Claims that Hairton Tablet stops hair fall and baldness.
76. Dr. A K Jain Clinic: Claims that the clinic is no.1 in world's top 2 sexologists. It has a complete solution for sexual disease.
77. B Lab Complaint: Claims that their product, Pro Hair makes an impression & leads to cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of Baldness in human beings.
78. Lal kitab Amrit: Claims that ‘It is the key to success and can resolve any worry.’
79. Tulsi Amrit Pvt Ltd: Claims that Tulsi Amrit is a very high result of their Ayurvedic preparation made from Tulsi plant by Anil Bansal, Vedic Upchar Sansthan.
80. LÓreal India: LÓreal Fall Repair 3x shampoo TVC states, ‘Jadon me ho dum, to baal gire kum (Stronger the roots lesser the hair fall), Asli mazbooti jadon se aati hai (real strength comes from the roots), Kya apka shampoo deta hai jadon se mazboot baal? Mera deta hai (Does your shampoo strengthen from the roots? Mine does.)’
81. Shreya Ayur Clinic & Panchkarm Center: Claims that their techniques help in 100% successful treatment of white spots (Leucoderma).
82. Ayurwin: Nutri Slim Powder/Capsule ‘helps in melting the accumulated fat deposits’, ‘turns the body's fat into energy’, ‘controls the body's cholesterol’ and is ‘safe as it is an herbal product’.
83. Kunnath Pharmaceutical: Musli power premium capsules ‘reduces ageing processes and ‘results starts within a week’.
84. Hindustan Unilever Ltd: Claims that application of Dove Essential Nourishment Body Lotion will have soft skin even after 10 days of application. It means that consumer needs to apply the lotion only once and it gives soft skin for 10 days.
85. Ayurvedic Amrut: Claims that the product is ‘100% herbal medicines/products’, ‘cures ‘White Patches’ immediately, ‘enhances ‘memory ‘in 30 days’, cures ‘piles’ of any variety permanently’, ‘cures ‘Arthritis’ there by preventing surgery’, ‘prevents ‘hair fall’ completely’, ‘enhances hair growth’ and ‘reduces weight’.
86. Reliant Aqua Pvt Ltd: Claims that Reliant Aqua is India’s only one company who provides RO+UV+UF with pH Enhancer.
87. Jalan Healthcare: The advertisement is discriminatory, disrespectful and offensive towards women in general and to overweight women in particular. It shows women, especially obese ones, in poor light and appears to be mocking their looks.
88. Branolia Chemical Works: Claims that Branolia is enriched with Brahmi Branolia for Memory & Health. It claims to develop intellect, cool, enhance memory.
89. Dabur India Ltd: New Fem Anti Darkening Hair Removal Cream’s Claims that Fem Hair removal cream is the “First Hair removal cream that does not let your skin darken” and “Say no to skin darkening by Hair removal cream”.
90. Vegan Skyshop: Shaktivardhan Vaccume Therapy and Oil’s advertisement of this product/device makes an impression and it suggests & is calculated to lead to the use of such products as for the cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disorder/ condition of sexual impotence, premature ejaculation and spermatorrhoea and for the improvement in size and shape of the sexual organ, erectile disfunction & maintenance of erection of sexual organ in human being and thereby improvement of capacity of human beings for sexual pleasure.
91. Omega Hospitals: The advertisement of this hospital claims that at ‘the end of 30-40 days radiation’, ‘pain free’, ‘outpatient procedure’ and ‘patient can resume activity immediately after session.’
92. Hindustan Unilever Ltd: Fair and Lovely Fairness Cream’s advertisement claims that it’s a ‘laser focus like fairness treatment. It’s advanced pink formula targets melanin- the pigmentation agent at its root and helps prevents skin from becoming darker.
Hindustan Unilever Ltd: The TVC of New Domex Zero Stain claims that “Zero Stain” with a super on it stating –“refers to effective removal of commonly found toilet stains like lime scale and rust on regular usage (as per lab test)” thus creating a wrong impression that it removes all stains (100%). It then caveats itself with a super which contradicts the name clearly as it refers to only effective removal of commonly found toilet stains like lime scale and rust only. The antimicrobial test does not cover the causative micro-organisms for the diseases quoted in the TVC. The claim support data was not considered to be adequate to claim “zero” values in the context of the TVC. The decision of this complaint being UPHELD stands.
The CCC found following claims in print ads by 25 different advertisers were not substantiated violating the ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions and hence the complaints against the ads were UPHELD –
1. IIB (Indian Institute of Banking): Promises a bank job within 45 days.
2. Think and Learn Pvt Ltd: Claims that in BYJU Classes one can ‘Get trained by India’s best trainers’, ‘no one can do it better.’ It is ‘India’s leading aptitude trainer’.
3. Alchemist: Claims that it gives the ‘Best CAT Result in Delhi once again 1 in 7’, ‘the institute with highest percentage selections in CAT consistently for the 6th consecutive year.’
4. Triumphant Institute of Management Education Pvt. Ltd: T.I.M.E compares their number of admissions in CAT 2012 with that of their nearest competition in Gujarat (Endeavor) without adequate substantiation.
5. Info Edge (India) Ltd: www.shiksha.com advertisement claims that one can ‘Get Info on IIM Distance MBA Now. Recognized by DEC, UGC. Enquire Now Shiksha.com/IIM+ Distance+ MBA’.
6. Kish Cat Classes: Their advertisement claims to give ‘Guaranteed admission in India's Top-20 best B-Schools.’ Vignana Jyothi Institute of Management, VKS College of Engg & Technology, College of Commerce, AIMS Education Campus, Bhai Gurdas Group of Institute, Fatima College of Engineering and Tech, Visskan Institute of Aviation Management, New Delhi Institute of Management, NCLP Computer Education, APG Shimla University, Sanjeevani Hospital, AICS (Academic Institute of Coaching & Studies), Takshshila Institute of Engineering and Technology, Rairangpur ITI/Baisingha ITI, Delhi Para Medical & Management Institute, Ambition Law Institute, RIMT Institutes, Bitcode Technologies Complaints against advertisements of all above educational institutes were UPHELD because of unsubstantiated claims that they ‘provide 100% placement/AND/OR they claim to be the no.1 in their
Think and Learn Pvt Ltd: The advertisement claims that in BYJU Classes claims that “By Serial CAT topper” which implies that consecutively year after year Mr Byju is the CAT topper. “20,000 students are already learning from Byju across India for CAT making him India’s No.1 CAT Trainer” which implies that Byju is currently training 20,000 students. “An incredible 1200 students in every batch of BYJU” which implies that 1200 students are learning in every batch of BYJU. The CCC concluded that the claims that Byju is “Serial CAT topper” and “India’s No.1 CAT Trainer” were not substantiated. The advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code. The complaint was UPHELD.
Havells India Limited: Havells Wires claims that they have ‘Wires that don’t catch fire’concluded that the claim “Wires that don’t catch fire” was not substantiated, and was misleading regarding the nature of the product i.e. it being fire proof. The advertisement contravened Chapters I.1 and I.4 of the Code. The complaint was UPHELD.
Elgi Ultra Industries Limited: Endura Pressure cookers states ‘Aluminium causes Alzheimer, Kidney Damage, Parkinson’s, Sclerosis, Dementia and Liver Damage.* concluded that the claims that, “Aluminium causes Alzheimer’s’ disease, liver damage, Parkinson’s, Sclerosis, dementia”, were not substantiated and were misleading by gross exaggeration. Also, the advertisement unfairly denigrated other products. The advertisement contravened Chapters I.1, I.4 and IV.1 (e) of the Code. The complaint was UPHELD.
Kent Ro System Ltd: Kent Mineral RO Water Purifier claims that it has ‘Zero percent water wastage technology’, ‘retains essential minerals’, ‘100% purity’. These claims are not substantiated as the product water is less than input and report shows 50% water produced as product water from feed water. Nil drainage only means the waste water is retained inside the system temporarily in the tank for reject water and hence the said claim is misleading by ambiguity. The advertisement contravened Chapters I.1 and I.4 of the Code. This complaint was UPHELD.
Bajaj Auto Ltd: The Bajaj Discover TVC shows the rider dangerously entering a small gap between two trailer trucks and he speeds and comes out. It is a wrong driving practice to overtake another vehicle on the left side. It is potentially risky to enter between two vehicles The CCC concluded that the actions depicted in the TVC were dangerous. The advertisement contravened the Guidelines on Advertisements for Automotive Vehicles and minimum lettering size and duration requirement of ‘Supers’. The advertisement contravened Chapters III.3 and III.4 of the Code. The complaint was UPHELD.
Tata Teleservices Ltd: The advertisement of Tata Docomo depicts kids dancing in the ad in their bare minimums. The CCC concluded that some frames in the TVC showing ‘scantily clad children’ objectify a child’s body, which is likely in the light of generally prevailing standards of decency and propriety, to cause grave offence. The advertisement contravened Chapter II of the Code. The complaint was UPHELD.
FOOD & BEVERAGES
The CCC concluded that the claims mentioned in these eight advertisements were not substantiated. The advertisements contravened ASCI’s Code. The complaints were UPHELD.
1. Ankur Herbals Pvt Ltd: Bherav Fast O Slim Herbal Tea claims that it is ‘Made from natural herbs, Fast o Slim keeps you healthy, light and active’. ‘Removes impurities from the blood and helps control your body weight and reduces excess fat’.
2. GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Ltd: This Horlicks commercial is downgrading milk as a liquid with bad smell and giving a negative image of it to the children.
3. Jolly Pharma: The advertisement of Jolly Fat Go claims that ‘uncontrollable weight can be
controlled that too without dieting’.
4. Ganesh Grains Limited: The advertisement of Ganesh Atta claims that is a ‘healthier than ordinary flour and helpful for digestion.’
5. Shudh Plus pan Masala: The advertisement states that ‘chhotu’ is free with the shudh plus paan masala but does not describe chhotu which is in fact chewing tobacco. This paan masala company is giving a tobacco sachet free with the paan masala product. In India advertisement of tobacco products is illegal but the brand is openly advertising the product on FM radio and giving it for free.
6. Saboo Sodium Chrolo Ltd: Surya Namak states that salt improves memory, and that in turn improves the grades in school.
7. Gujarat Co-operative Milk Federation Ltd: Amul Butter claims that one can ‘eat milk with every meal, delight your health, eat milk with every meal and live every day, worry-free.’
8. Marico Ltd: The advertisement of Saffola Total states that ‘Double ratio of 2 to 1 in antioxidants vs. olive oil. The CCC concluded that the claim, ‘2 X double the antioxidant power than olive oil’, was inadequately substantiated. The context of using the comparison of antioxidant power along with the claim regarding benefits of antioxidants for heart was also misleading. The advertisement contravened Chapters I.1 and 1.4 of the Code. This complaint was UPHELD.
Four Various Astrologers advertisements making misleading claims like:
1. All India Open Challenge, 100% solution within 2 hrs for A to Z problems – Mirza Khan Bharti
2. 100% Solution within 7 hours. Come all your problems will be solved. – Baba Wasim Khan
3. A to Z problems confirm solution with 2 hours 100% with guaranteed – Miyan Abdul Haeej
4. If you are disappointed in business, domestic disturbance, love marriage, then come and get
101% solution in 5 hours – Baba Alam Shah
These Astrology ads spread superstitious ideologies and practices such as Black Magic which are scientifically not proven. They cause disappointment in the minds of consumers. The advertisement contravened Chapters I.1 and I.5 of the ASCI Code. The complaint was UPHELD.
Kalyan Jewellers: The advertisement states that ‘this is the result of Kalyan’s historical fight which they fought against wrong deeds of many jewelers who have taken undue advantage of uneducated customers and have infringed their rights and committed fraud with their hard earned money ’. The CCC concluded that the claims made in the advertisement were not substantiated. Also, the advertisement unfairly denigrates other jewelers by implication. The advertisement contravened Chapters I.1 and IV.1 (e) of the Code. The complaint was UPHELD.
Telemart Shopping Network Pvt. Ltd: The advertisement of Chole wale Hanuman Ji shows some TV actors claiming that if they Buy the Chole wale Hanuman ji product, it would help the buyer to get rid of the all the problems in their life. The CCC concluded that the claims in the TVC were not substantiated and were so exaggerated as to lead to grave or widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers. The advertisement contravened Chapters I.1 and I.5 of the ASCI Code. The complaint was UPHELD.
xoxo skyshop.com: The advertisement is of ‘Suraksha K awach’, which keeps you safe from black magic, ghosts, negative vibes, etc. The CCC viewed the website content of the advertiser that hosts the product complained against. In absence of any substantiation, the complaint was UPHELD as it violated Chapter I.1 of the ASCI code.
Olympia Incorporation: The advertisement of Mileage Plus claims that it can help ‘save petrol & increase your vehicle mileage up to 70%’, ‘increases average 25% to 70% (approx.)’, ‘increases power & performance of vehicle’, ‘reduces engine noise & vibration’, ‘increasing burning efficiency’, ‘increasing engine oil life’, ‘proven results of mileage plus kits already installed.’ The CCC concluded that the claims made in the Ad were not substantiated. The advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code. The complaint was UPHELD.
Pernod Ricard India P. Ltd: The advertisement of Seagram Imperial Blue (in Bengali) shows two hands holding conch-shells touching each other (conch-shells are used while worshipping God by Hindus.) At the bottom of the hoarding ‘Ullash’ has been written, which means cheers. This is a surrogate ad for alcohol. The CCC concluded that the Ad was a surrogate Ad for a liquor product – Seagram’s Imperial Blue, and contravened Chapter III.6 of the Code. The complaint was UPHELD.
Titan Industries Ltd: CCC reviewed the TVC and concluded that portion of the TVC showing three pairs of hands was implying indecent activity. This complaint was UPHELD as the TVC contravened Chapter II of the ASCI code.
Taylor Devices India Pvt. Ltd: The advertisement states, ‘Do you know when earthquake occurs in other countries (what happens to the building). Technology used on earthquake. Statement said in the ad: BIS code 1960 of Research & Technology used/mentioned.’ BIS trademark given is wrong. CCC reviewed the radio ad. CCC concluded that the claim of BIS standards not being updated since 1960 was not substantiated, and claim was misleading by omission. The advertisement contravened Chapters I.1 and I.4 of the Code. The complaint was UPHELD.
www.firstcry.com: The advertisement claims that ‘Everything at Rs. 1’. The CCC concluded that the claim – offer of ‘Everything @ Re.1’, is misleading. The advertisement contravened Chapter I.4 of the Code. The complaint was UPHELD.
Uptec: The advertisement claims that it is the ‘Winner of Best Performance Award 2012’. The CCC concluded that the claim, ‘Winner of Best Performance Award 2012’, was not substantiated. The advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code. The complaint was UPHELD.
The hard fact: those who consume 0-200 units would benefit by Rs170 per month at the most, or 25%. However, well-off household consuming 200-400 units are the real beneficiaries. They will enjoy upto 43% cut in their bill
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has delivered on its promise of reducing electricity rates by 50% within three days of assuming power in Delhi and made its implementation effective from 1 January 2014 for three months. Whereas in case of water, the route adopted by AAP was to cross-subsidize part of the population (read detailed analysis of impact of AAP’s water policy on different consumer classes here), in case of electricity, Delhi government has announced a budgetary subsidy to be paid to distribution companies (discoms) from Delhi exchequer as fixing power tariff comes under the purview of Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) and not the Delhi government. How does the subsidy affect the Aam Aadmi? It may surprise your to know that middle-class is a far bigger beneficiary of the power rate cut than the poorer sections.
Firstly, it has disappointed those who believed that reduction in electricity rates would be across-the-board and that it would be come from the discoms that are suspected to be fudging their accounts, even though AAP has also announced a move to begin audit of discom’s account books.
But the bigger question is as to how does this budgetary subsidy impact different consumer classes in Delhi? Is it a subsidy for the really poor or the middle class? Also, what impact it may have on discom’s finances and government exchequer? Is it a prudent decision or it adds more fire to a ticking time-bomb?
The metered slab-wise energy charge for domestic consumers without subsidy, with subsidy applicable before the new order and current subsidy after the new order is given below. We have not considered consumers in other categories as present subsidy is not applicable to them.
The difference between old and new subsidy is that whereas earlier the applicable subsidy in 0-200 units was not applicable if consumption went beyond 200 units, now, consumers within 400 units consumption level would get benefit of subsidy in both slabs. There is a fixed charge levied as per the sanctioned load which is given in Table 1.2 on which no subsidy is applicable
Additionally, there is an 8% surcharge (levied on metered slab-wise energy charge and fixed charge net of subsidy) and 5% Electricity Tax (levied on final amount). There is one more charge -- Power Purchase Adjustment Charge (PPAC) -- which has been discontinued from 31st July 2013.
So, how does it change the billing for consumers at different consumption points? Below is the table (Table 1.3) and graph (Graph 1.1) for comparison. Also, BSES companies claim a cost of Rs7.40 per unit for supplying power in Delhi, but more on this later.
What are the conclusions from these tables and graph?
Middle-class benefits more, not the poor
The question is: what kind of consumers consume up to 400 units of power in a month? Are they poor households or middle-class households, even assuming they are all Aam Admi? For an answer consider the table below (Table 1.4) of power consumption of different household appliances for a broadly representative household that may limit their consumption up to 400 units.
The purpose of this list is to indicate an approximate level of consumption. While care has been taken to source reliable wattage and consumption data, it should not be taken as precise depiction of consumption
Note that the list indicates that a household would be able to afford 1 AC of 1 Ton for cooling, geyser for heating water and yet limit their consumption within the 400-unit limit to gain from new subsidy regime. In our view, such consumption is possible for a middle-class household and is definitely not indicative of a poor household.
Our experience is that for four winter months in a year when air-conditioning is not required, middle-class households (who use more appliances like microwave oven, food processor, lot more lighting, washing machine, vacuum cleaners etc.) generally do not cross the 400-unit consumption threshold. It is a moot point whether such consumption pattern should be eligible for subsidy. Also, as per the ET report, this move is going to benefit ~80% of household with electricity connection. Again, it’s difficult to understand why the capital of India needs power subsidy for 80% of its population.
Due to middle-class activism, Delhi government had started providing subsidy from around April 2012 for 0-200 units slab and later announced it for 200-400 units slab as well. After the announcement of new tariff order by DERC for FY14, whereby rates were increased by 5%, such increase was made good to discoms by Delhi government by increasing quantum of subsidy (from Rs1 to Rs1.20 in Aug 2013) and therefore there was no impact in billed rates to consumers for consumption up to 400 units. Given this background and widespread support to AAP by middle-class, it is not surprising that Kejriwal has taken care of this constituency by bringing in new subsidy regime.
But what are the implications for this giveaway to the better-off middle-class at the macro level? That will be in the second part of the analysis
(Vivek Khaitan is an MBA from IIM Calcutta and is working as a management consultant for past five years in New Delhi)