New Delhi: Personal and healthcare companies are major offenders when it comes to misleading consumers through advertisements, according to the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI). In November last year, out of 113 advertisements against which the ASCI upheld complaints, 61 belonged to the personal and healthcare category. Education came a close second with 33 advertisements.
For instance, the advertisement of Goodknight, a mosquito repellent brand by Godrej Consumer Products, shows “a child standing near the mosquito vaporizer”, whereas the product’s leaflet includes a precaution that the electrical liquid vapourizing machine should be kept away from the reach of children. The advertisement features a dangerous practice, manifests a disregard for safety and encourages negligence, ASCI said in a statement.
Apart from being misleading or false, a lot of claims in advertisements by popular brands also could not be adequately or scientifically substantiated. ASCI found that the advertisement in which Lifebuoy (Hindustan Unilever) claims to provide “10 x more germ protection” and “10 x more skin care” than any other soap was not substantiated.
When it came to education, complaints were upheld due to unsubstantiated claims that they ‘provide 100% placement/AND/OR they claim to be the No.1 in their respective fields. R SVKM’s Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, SRIMT and Institute of Technology & Management (ITM) are some of them.
Even e-commerce companies were not spared. Jasper Infotech (Snapdeal.com) was pulled up because it had advertised heavy discounts but while purchasing the products, consumers discovered that they were not available and were sold out or the rates were higher while clicking the buy button.