Mumbai: In October 2015, ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against 51 out of 98 advertisements. Out of 51 advertisements against which complaints were upheld, 16 belonged to the Personal and Healthcare category, followed by 19 advertisements in the Education category, 5 in Telecommunication and Broadband category and 11 advertisements from other categories.
HEALTH AND PERSONAL CARE
The CCC found the following claims in health and personal care product or service advertisements of 15 advertisers 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 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.
- Procter & Gamble Home Products Ltd. (Pantene Shampoo): The claim of “New” in the advertisement of Pantene Shampoo is not qualified as per the ASCI Guidelines to elaborate that this refers to product upgrade. Thus, it was concluded that the advertisement is misleading by omission of this disclaimer.
- Colgate-Palmolive (India) Ltd. (Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief Enamel Repair): It was concluded that the advertisement’s claim in the voice over of “enamel repair” as well as the visual representation which indicate that the tooth enamel is restored to its original condition or is re-built, was not substantiated.
- Novartis India Limited (Otrivin Nasal Spray): Otrivin is an OTC product containing Xylometazoline which could cause Atrophic Rhinitis if not used as directed. Aggressive advertising without providing information about the caution to be exercised can promote indiscriminate use of the product among the general public. It was noted that the package insert of the product has necessary caution statements; however, reference to any usage indication is absent in the advertisement. It was concluded that in the absence of a disclaimer, the TVC shows an unsafe practice without justifiable reason and encourages negligence.
- Dabur India Limited (Dabur Odomos Mosquito Repellant): The claim in the advertisement, “It is clinically proven that Odomos offers the most effective outdoor defence against mosquitoes for as long as 12 hours”, that is presented in the context of protection of Dengue mosquitoes was not substantiated adequately.
- Patanjali Ayurved Ltd (Patanjali Kesh Kanti): The claims in the advertisement, “World’s No.1 Ayurvedic Brand” and “100% charity from Profits” were not substantiated.
- Patanjali Ayurved Ltd (Patanjali Dant Kanti): The claims “World’s No.1 Ayurvedic Brand”, also the claimed benefits of the ingredients (such as Akarakara, Tumburu, Babool, Vajradanti, Majuphal, Margosa/Neem, Vidang, Turmeric, Clove, Mint, Pippali, Bakul, and Peeloo,) and “100% charity from Profits”, were not substantiated and were misleading.
- Apollo Pharmacy (Free home delivery service): It was concluded that the claim, “Free Home delivery service”, is misleading by omission of a disclaimer qualifying the conditions under which the claim is tenable.
- Ved Vyas Mishra (Treatment for Various ailments): It was concluded that the claims in the advertisement, “Complete safe treatment through Homeopathy medicine”, “guaranteed treatment through Homeopathic medicines for Piles, Skin, Impotency, Infertility, Kidney stone, Migraine, Blood Pressure, Hair falling, Pimples, Gas acidity, weight loss etc”, were not substantiated. Specific to the claims related to guaranteed treatment for impotency, infertility, kidney stone and blood pressure, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violates The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act. Also, specific to the claims related to treatment for piles, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violates Schedule J of The Drugs and Cosmetic Act, 1940 and Rules, 1945.
- Sanjay (Ayurvedic Pvt Ltd – Ghuti +) Baljiwan Pharmacy: The claim in the advertisement, “Continuous service for the last 102 years”, was not substantiated.
- Glamour World Ayurvedic Co Pvt Ltd (Rocket Capsules): The claims in the advertisement, “With the magic of Rocket anyone can stand up today”, “One would feel the effect in three days” and “Men and women can enjoy the benefits of this medicine till seventy years of age”, were not substantiated with product efficacy data or approval from the licensing authority. Also, the claims read in conjunction with the visual imply that the product is meant for enhancement of sexual pleasure, which is in breach of the law.
- MK Agrotech Private Ltd. (Sunpure Refined Sunflower Oil): The claim in the advertisement which states, “India’s first chemical free processed sunflower oil with no harmful additives / preservatives” was considered to be misleading by implication. The advertisement unfairly denigrates oils undergoing regular processing. Also, the claim, “Rich with Natural vitamins”, was not substantiated. In addition no analytical test reports have been submitted to substantiate the claims of “Fresh”; “Healthy”; “all natural”; “natural vitamins”.
- Vibes Healthcare Limited (Vibes Weight Loss Assurance): The claim in the advertisement, “Vibes weight loss assurance” was not substantiated.
- Gupta’s Clinic: The claim in the Advertisement, “Dr Guptas Clinic is the country’s No.1 sexual disease treatment center”, was not substantiated.
- Raghav Lifestyle Products (Ajay Toothpaste): The claims on the pack of the product which state, “5x clove power vs. non clove toothpaste”, “Superior cavity protection”, “Advanced formulation”, “Complete natural protection”, were not substantiated and were misleading in nature.
- The Bodycare: The claim in the advertisement, “Get Services worth Rs.5000 for Rs.49 only”, was found to be false and misleading by omission of a disclaimer qualifying the conditions under which this claim is tenable.
- Ayurwin Pharma Pvt. Ltd. (Nutrislim): The advertisement shows “a man refusing to take his wife to official party because she is fat” and implies that only slim women are considered to be beautiful, derides women and is derogatory especially for women who are overweight.
The CCC found that claims in the 19 advertisements were not substantiated and, thus, violated ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions. Hence complaints against these advertisements were UPHELD.
- Byju Classes (GRE Coaching): The claims in the advertisement, “Why is success guaranteed in GRE with Mumbai’s top GRE coaching classes – BYJU’S classes?”, “60 sec is what you need to crack any verbal question using our Mathematical Approach”, “Best Teacher & comprehensive course content” and “70% of our students cross 320 in GRE with our courses”, were not substantiated.
- Byju Classes (CAT Coaching): The claims in the advertisement, “Bell the CAT with India’s No.1 CAT Trainers”, “2000 students attend BYJU’s Classes together in a single batch in single center – making it India’s Biggest Classroom” and “Byju Raveendran serial CAT topper & No. 1 trainer for the CAT”, were not substantiated.
- Byju Classes (GMAT Coaching Classes): The claims in the advertisement, “70% of our students have a score of 700+ in GMAT”, “60 sec is what you need to crack any GMAT verbal question using our Patented Mathematical Approach”, “760 is the minimum GMAT score of our trainers” and “We are exclusive education partner with Samsung, The Times of India, The Hindu”, were not substantiated with evidence.
- Byju Classes: The claims in the advertisement, “Best CAT Coaching Institute in India”, “GMAT Topper”, “Unique CAT Pattern Workshop”, “Can’t Compare with Byju & Santosh”, “Study Material of Most of the Institutes have no value differentiation”, “80% of the students have crossed 90 percentile over the last 5 years”, “Unique Approach to RC”, “Best Team of IAS Trainers”, “India’s No. Aptitude Trainer”, “India’s #1 IAS faculty”, “20,000 test-takers across the country”, “No National Level Tests” and “Best Teachers”, were not substantiated.
- CL Educate Ltd. (Career Launcher): The claims in the advertisement, “CAT Test Series – The No.1 Cat Test Series Program”, “Most recommended test series”, “Rated the best by students”, “True percentile predictor”, were not substantiated adequately.
- Rao Edusolutions Pvt Ltd. (Rao IIT Academy): The claims in the advertisement, “India’s most dominating results in JEE Advanced 2015”, “8 out every 10 RIITians qualify in MH-CET” and “Number of students selected from Mumbai” (graph showing year of JEE Advanced), were not substantiated with supporting data.
- Exam Victor (Online MBA Entrance Coaching): The claims in the advertisement, “India’s Finest Online MBA Entrance Coaching. Period”, “The Best Faculty-Each lecture, every problem and each video is painstakingly hand-crafted by Vivek, an alumnus of IIT Bombay and IIM Ahmedabad. So you can rest assured that your study material is of the highest quality”, “Individual Attention-Making you an Exam Victor is our only priority. We leverage the best technology and cutting-edge analytics to closely follow your progress and provide you timely feedback”, “How is learning online with ExamVictor better?” and “Most classes employ regular graduates of variable quality”, were not substantiated.
- Career Institute of Commerce & Accounting: The advertisement claiming rank after 10, was not substantiated.
- IMS Learning Resources Pvt. Ltd. (MBA CET): The advertiser argues that the term “Trusted for Success” is their logo and 15000+ students enrolling with their institute signifies their trust in the institute. The CCC did not consider enrolment of students to be necessarily an indicator of their trust in the institute. Hence, the CCC concluded that the claim in the complaint, “Trusted by 15000+ students for MBA CET since 2009”, when read in conjunction with the term “Trusted for Success” is misleading by ambiguity.
- CATKing (CAT Toppers): The claims in the advertisement, “CAT King No.1 CAT Classes in Borivali, Andheri & Powai”, “Best you can get” and “Prof Rahul Singh further went to Harvard Business School for his masters in management”, were not substantiated.
- IMS Learning Resources Pvt. Ltd. (CAT Training): The claims in the advertisement accompanied by a visual and cited in the complaint “Closest to CAT” was not adequately substantiated by comparative data versus other similar institutes. Also, the claim support data for “Designed by 5-time 100 percentiler” was not considered acceptable and authentic.
- CETKing Education: The claims in the advertisement, “Home of Toppers” with photographs of 3 students who have been toppers in entrance test, “Results:700+ IIM Calls, 200+ JBIMS Calls, 358 IIM Converts, 236 SYMBIOSIS, 63 NMIMS,18 TISS, 19 MICA .. many more”, were not substantiated with evidence.
- CETKing Education (CAT 2015)- It was concluded that the claims in the advertisement, “CET King No.1 in Dadar” “CET King Dadar Best Coaching available” “Increase your mark by 40 marks” “Guaranteed Admissions in top B-Schools”, were not substantiated with evidence.
- CATKing (CLAP Digital Marketing Course): The claims in the advertisement, “Certification from a Harvard Business School Alumni”, and claims with reference to Mr Rahul Singh – “He is a CAT 99.99% in Verbal Ability”, “He scored 780/800 in GMAT”, “He scored 340/340 in GRE and became the World’s Rank 1 GRE Topper”, “He ranks 14th in the world for teaching English”, “He pursued his MBA from SP Jain Institute of Management & Research, Mumbai” and “He also achieved a degree in Master of Information Technology from Virginia Tech”, were not substantiated with authentic evidence.
- Rao Edusolutions Pvt Ltd. (Rao IIT Academy): The claim in the advertisement, “Every nine out of ten Rao IIT students qualified for JEE Mains”, was not substantiated with evidence/ supporting data.
- Cheil India P. Ltd (Samsung Smart Learning): The claims, “Best test preparation institutes onboard ”, “Best in class content partners”, “Aakash is the premier institute for preparation of medical, engineering & foundation level entrance exams in India”, “Byju has revolutionized Indian education”, were not substantiated with authentic supporting data to prove the credentials of their partners.
- CL Educate Ltd. (CL LST): The claim in the advertisement, “8 consecutive CLAT toppers till date”, was not substantiated.
- Clat Possible: The CCC concluded that in the context of the coaching for Law Entrance exam being offered in the Institute, the claim in the Website, “Surabhi Modi Sahai has won Fulbright Scholarship”, is misleading by ambiguity as claim support was for Ms Modi to be a Hindi Teaching Assistant under Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant program.
- Triumphant Institute of Management Education P. Ltd: The claim in the advertisement, “Karnak Verma makes history by ranking All India 3rd in IAS CSAT exam”, is false and misleading as no such rankings are given by Union Public Service Commission who conduct the CSAT exam.
TELECOMMUNICATION & BROADBAND
- Bharti Airtel Ltd. (Airtel 4G): In the absence of appropriate disclaimers, the claims made in the advertisements that “Airtel 4G is the fastest network ever” and “If your network is faster, we will pay your mobile bills for life”, are misleading by omission.
- Reliance Communication Ltd. (Reliance Pro 3): The website claims as well as the claims on the packaging of, “upto 14.7 Mbps and upto 5.7 Mbps”, were not substantiated and in the absence of any disclaimer qualifying the conditions under which the claims were tenable, were misleading by exaggeration.
- Bharti Airtel Ltd. (Airtel 4G): The claim, “Airtel Challenge, yehi hai sabse tez network”, is misleading by omission that the service referred to Airtel 4G.
- Aircel Business Solutions Discount (Free Coupons): The Promotional SMS was viewed and the CCC concluded that it did not have any disclaimer of applicable “Terms and Conditions” and was therefore misleading by omission of reference to any other applicable charges.
- Reliance Communication Ltd: The claim, “Get Upto 1 GB extra FREE on every 3G Data Recharge of Rs 197…” in the promotional SMS was not substantiated and was misleading.
- IMG RELIANCE (Indian Super League): The visuals in the TVC, particularly the visuals showing the ball being thrown from an overbridge, a guy running on a parapet, children playing football amongst motorcycles and cars, children playing football on the pavement in the vicinity of people seated on chairs, encourage people to indulge in dangerous practices without justifiable reason. Regardless of the disclaimer, the TVC sends out a wrong message.
- Times Global Broadcasting Co.Ltd. (Times Now): The claim “No.1 English News Channel” is substantiated for week 38 only. The data period being referred is only of one week and not minimum of four consecutive weeks as required by the BARC Rules of Fair Usage guidelines. The claim did not have any mention of the source of the data as well. Thus, it contravened ASCI’s Guidelines.
- Lenskart.com: The claim in the TVC, “Lenskart give you first frame for free”, is false and misleading.
- Amazon.com Inc. (Redragon M613 2.4GHz Wireless Mouse): The website communication claiming the MRP of the product as Rs.1400, when actually printed MRP on product pack is Rs.1100, which is being offered at a discounted price of Rs.899, distorts facts and is therefore misleading the consumers as to actual discount being offered.
- Jubiliant Foodworks Limited (Domino’s Pizza): The claim of “30 minutes or Free”, regardless of the disclaimer, is misleading by omission as the terms and conditions say that liability is limited to Rs. 300/-, and what the advertiser provides is Rs. 300/- price off but not a free product.
- Pisces eServices Pvt Ltd. (Food Panda): The claim in the advertisement, “Upto 50% off”, is false and was not substantiated with evidence of customers who have availed this offer.
- Telecomtalk.info: The claim, “TelecomTalk has grown to become one of India’s top 10 technology media portals with a wide range of readership”, was not substantiated. Also, the source and date of research for the claim is not mentioned in the advertisement
- Polycab Wires Pvt Ltd.: The main theme of the TVC is focusing on “electricity saving by switching off running appliances” and does not refer to the “transmission losses”. The CCC concluded that the claim, “25% power saving” (“Pachis percent bijli ki bachat”) is misleading by implication (i.e. it implies that your electricity bill will be less).
- Vishnu Pouch Packaging Pvt. Ltd.: The visual presentation in the TVC showing the celebrity playing Holi with saffron (kesar) and the entire city enjoying the saffron rain, is grossly misleading by exaggeration. These visuals, seen in conjunction with the voiceover claim of “Daane Daane Mein Kesar ka Dum”, implies that the product has significant quantity of saffron as an ingredient, were considered to be misleading by implication. The claim, “Daane Daane Mein Kesar ka Dum”, was not substantiated with lab test reports confirming saffron content. Part of the supers in the TVC (“Not for minors. 0% Tobacco, No added Nicotine”) were not in the same language as the voice over of the TVC. This contravened the ASCI Guidelines on Supers.
- Nirmal One Spirit (Nirmal Builders): The claim, “Will earn 12% ROI per annum”, is misleading by omission of a disclaimer qualifying the conditions under which the claim is tenable, and also that the rate of 12% is for a period of one year on down payment. The claim of “ROI” was considered to be false.
- Jaypee Infratech Limited: The claim in the advertisement, “Wishes do come true” appearing with a checked mark against various projects implying that that the projects are completed, was not substantiated and was misleading.