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ASCI upheld complaints against 38 out of 70 ads in November 2015

MUMBAI: In November 2015, ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against 38 out of 70 advertisements.

Out of 38 advertisements against which complaints were upheld, 19 belonged to the healthcare category, followed by five in telecommunication and broadband category, four in personal care category, and 10 advertisements from other categories.

Health care

The CCC found the following claims in health care product or service advertisements of 19 advertisers to be either misleading or false or not adequately/scientifically substantiated and hence violating the 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.

1. Ayurwin Pharmaceutical Pvt Ltd (Nutrigain): The advertisement showcases a girl saying that she is being refused for marriage because of her thin body. The advertisement derides young girls and is derogatory to young girls, especially to those with weight issues as it results in social conditioning of opinion against them.

2. Ayurwin Pharmaceutical Pvt Ltd (Nutrigain): The advertisement showcases the protagonist saying that he is being denied a job because of his thin body. The advertisement is derogatory to men, especially, to those with weight issues as it results in social conditioning of opinion against them.

3. Ayurwin Pharmaceutical Pvt Ltd (Nutrigain): The advertisement’s claim of Nutrigain resulting in weight gain without side effect was not substantiated. In addition, the advertisement showing a reference to weight gain resulting in getting a job or success in job is derogatory to men, especially to those with weight issues as it results in social conditioning of opinion against them.

4. Ayurwin Pharmaceutical Pvt Ltd (Nutrigain): The advertisement’s claims, “helps gaining weight as well as (is meant for) for well-built body (sudhrudh sharrer ke saath vajan badhne mein madad kare)” was not substantiated.

5. Ayurwin Pharmaceutical Pvt Ltd (Nutrislim): The advertisement’s claims, “easy weight reduction effect of the product” and “healthy way to become slim” were not substantiated.

6. Ayurwin Pharmaceutical Pvt Ltd (Nutrislim): The claims in the advertisement, “easy weight reduction effect of the product” and “healthy way to become slim” were not substantiated. In addition, with reference to obesity (‘motapa’), the advertisement was misleading by implication that the product would solve the problem of obesity and therefore was in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.

7. Chaturbhuj Pharma Co. (Japani M & F Capsules): The claims in the advertisement, “For Strength and Energy”, “Especially for men’s strength” and “Popular and effective” were not substantiated. Also, the claims, read in conjunction with visuals and pack shots in the advertisement, implied that the product is meant for enhancement of sexual pleasure, which is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.

8. Japani M & F Capsules: The claims in the advertisement, “The effect starts from the very first day”, “Use it at least once in their life to experience erotic pleasure” and “Japani capsule F works for females and Japani capsule M works miracles for men by providing them extreme pleasure”, were not substantiated. Also, the advertisement’s claims, read in conjunction with the advertisement’s visual and the pack visual, imply that the product is meant for enhancement of sexual pleasure, which is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.

9. Chaturbhuj Pharma Company (Japani Oil): The claims in the advertisement, “For better results, regularly use Japani-M capsule also along with Japani Oil” were not substantiated. Also, the advertisement’s claims, “I began to like you because you started using Japani oil”, “Only for men” read in conjunction with the visuals in the advertisement as well as pack shots implied that the product is meant for enhancement of sexual pleasure, which is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.

10. Chaturbhuj Pharma Company (Japani Oil): The claim in the advertisement, that the product is a “mixture of Ayurvedic herbs which maintain the body’s strength and vigour” was not substantiated. Also the advertisement claims, “They give a feeling in mind and body of new found youth, enthusiasm, strength, and vigour”, when read in conjunction with the visuals in the advertisement implied that the product is meant for enhancement of sexual pleasure, which is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.

11. BT-36 Caps Oil & Cream: The claims in the advertisement, “India’s most reliable BT -36 caps oil and cream” and “Ayurvedic proprietary medicine helps you get the correct size and shape” were not substantiated. Also, the claims read in conjunction with the visual in the advertisement imply bust enhancement, which is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.

12. Sanjeevani Netralaya Retina Care Centre Bio Veda Action Research Co.: The claims in the advertisement, “cures eye related disease including disease of RETINA through medicine” and “cures even disease which cannot be cured in USA by advance medical science using laser”, were not substantiated. Also, specific to the claim related to cure of eye related diseases / Diabetic Retinopathy implying diseases of the optical system (item 11 under DMR Schedule), the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.

13. Bio Veda Action Research Co. (Big Margosa Anti-Dandruff Shampoo & Conditioner): The claims in the advertisement, “100% Natural”, “No Chemicals” and “No Preservatives”, were not substantiated.

14. The Body Care & Cure: The claims in the advertisement, “No Gym, No Machine, No Yoga, No Crash Diet, No Medicine, No Supplementary Foods”, were not substantiated.

15. Vacuum Therapy: The claims in the advertisement, “The American agency and FDA have together come up with a vacuum therapy that enables a man to increase the size of his penis from seven to eight inches length wise and four to five inches thickness wise, making it thicker and harder” and “It also treats other problems like impotency, swift flattening of the penis and helps in making the penis look better” were not substantiated. The claims, read in conjunction with the visual in the advertisement, imply that the product is meant for enhancement of sexual pleasure, which is in breach of the law as it violated the Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.

16. Shathayu Ayurveda (Ways to Tackle Diabesity): The claim in the advertisement, “Ayurveda’s Panchakarma approach for ‘diabesity’ is unique”, was not substantiated.

17. Noor Davakhana: The testimonial claim in the advertisement implying “treatment for brain cancer” and the claims implying “treatment for brain cancer, breast cancer, big tumour, any tumour in the body” were not substantiated. Moreover, specific to the claims implying treatment/cure for brain and breast cancer, any tumour in the body, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.

18. Homeocare International: The claim in the advertisement, “We found solution to keep your diabetes under control”, was not substantiated. Also, this claim read in conjunction with the picture of an old man about to eat a high sugar preparation (gulab jamun), is misleading by virtue of being a gross exaggeration.

19. Vacurect: The claims in the advertisement, “they are a mixture of Ayurvedic herbs which maintain the body & strength and vigour”, “They give a feeling in mind and body of new found youth, enthusiasm, strength, and vigour”, “Vacurect is a safe, US-FDA approved instrument for men who cannot take pleasure with their partners. It is not a tablet, injection or spray. It makes one fully capable and it has no side effects” and “It is suitable for every age person and every medically affected condition. Its benefits are listed as100% safe and approved by doctors, simple to use for longer period, no medical advice or approval necessary, patients of diabetes, and prostate can also use it”, were not substantiated. Also, the advertisement’s claims, read in conjunction with the advertisement’s visual, imply that the product is meant for enhancement of sexual pleasure, which is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.

Telecom & broadband

1. Bharti Airtel Ltd (Airtel-4G): The claim of ‘unLtd’ without any qualification or conditions clearly and legibly stated in the advertisement, is misleading as the “Airtel-4G-My Plan Infinity” is not completely unLtd. It was concluded that the claim of “unLtd calls” is not substantiated and is misleading contravening Chapters I.1 and I.4 of the ASCI’s Code and also Guidelines on size and duration of Supers.

2. Bharti Airtel Ltd (Airtel-4G): The advertisement in the form of a promotional mailer (SMS) claims, “Recharge for Rs 19 and get local calls 30P/MIN for 28 Days”, is misleading given that SMS response mentioned availability only for 5 days.

3. Bharti Airtel Ltd (Airtel 4G): The location shown in the TVC of Airtel-4G leads consumers to believe that the challenge that is being thrown by the Advertiser can be taken in any location such as a restaurant or a boat, etc. However, as per the advertiser’s response, the challenge is being conducted only in a predetermined place (one central location chosen by the advertiser per city). While the website provides the terms and conditions for the challenge, its portrayal in the TVC was considered misleading, especially given that the speed and therefore the challenge is location dependent i.e. available at locations with good LTE connectivity (signal strength greater than -90dBm).

4. Idea Cellular Ltd (Idea NMNP): The claim in the advertisement, “except for Idea no other service provider can give you connectivity from Patna to Pune”, is not substantiated and is misleading.

5. Bharti Softbank Ltd (Hike Messenger): The scene in the TVC of Hike Messenger depicting students playing a prank and as a result “a bursting sound in the class room while the teacher is teaching” shows a dangerous practice.

Personal care

1. Patanjali Ayurved Ltd (Kesh Kanti Oil): The advertisement’s claim, “Do muhe baalon, safed baalon evam jhadne se mukti pradaan karta hai”, was not substantiated with clinical evidence.

2. Keya’s Seth Ayurvedic Solution (Stopage Cream): The claims in the advertisement, “You can be 53 or 43, but you will look like you are 33”, “Stopage cream helps you to gain a young look by erasing and treating patches, wrinkles and such other age-related skin problems” and “Stopage and its benefits help one to get a cure for different kinds of age-related skin problems, making their skin look younger and healthier!”, were not substantiated.

3. Nature’s Essence Pvt Ltd (Kesh Vishesh Herbal Oil): The claims in the advertisement, “Kesh vishesh herbal oil is said to be a mixture of 7 oils with 17 ingredients having medicinal properties and it is said to be a safety cover (Suraksha Kavach) for hair fall which comprises 5 problems – hair fall, deficiency in hair growth, dandruff and loss of shine, two heads at the end (spilt hair) and premature white hair”, were not substantiated.

4. Nature’s Essence Pvt Ltd (Nature’s Essence Gold Kit): The claims in the advertisement, “Aromatherapy beauty solutions gold kit, 100g @Rs 1,400 with an offer of a hair dryer worth Rs 899 free”, “World’s largest selling products” and “Get immediate golden beauty”, were not substantiated.

Others

1. Vimal Pan Masala: In the radio advertisement of Vimal Pan Masala, the statutory warning at the end is spoken so fast that it is not understood. Thus, the disclaimers in the advertisement contravened the ASCI guidelines on Radio Mandatories.

2. Axis Bank Ltd (Axis Bank Credit Cards): The claim in the advertisement, “now convert your credit card transaction into convenient EMIs”, is misleading by omission of a disclaimer qualifying that the EMI conversion would not be available on purchase of gold/jewellery. It was noted that there was lack of clarity regarding the applicable terms and conditions in the communication to customers.

3. Fedex Express Transportation & Supply Chain India Pvt Ltd (Fedex Express Courier): The claims in the advertisement, “FedEx Priority Overnight” and “FedEx Standard Overnight”, were not substantiated and were misleading by ambiguity. The claims support data provided did not have any quantitative data over a period of past three to six months that was requested as evidence to support that shipments have been delivered “Overnight” as claimed. There was no data to indicate whether the terminologies used in the claim—”FedEx Priority Overnight” and “FedEx Standard Overnight”—were registered under a trademark for the services being offered to Indian consumers

4. Flipkart Private Internet Ltd (Tek-Tron Velroc Safety Outdoor Shoes): The website communication claiming the MRP of the product as Rs 599, when actually the printed MRP on product is the same as being offered as the discounted price of Rs 499, distorts facts and is therefore misleading the consumers as to the actual discount being offered.

5. Myntra.com (Offer of 35% Extra): The claim offer of “35% extra” was not substantiated and was misleading by omission of a disclaimer qualifying the conditions under which this claim is tenable or exclusion criteria for which this offer is not available.

6. Bajaj Auto Ltd (Bajaj Pulsar): In the advertisement, the stunts were performed by experts under a controlled environment and not on the road and there is no reference to real road conditions, i.e. people, traffic and the stunts shown in the TVC also carries a disclaimer/cautionary message. But it was concluded that the supers in the TVC were not prominent enough. Therefore, the advertisement is a stunt is not being conveyed clearly. This contravened Chapter III.3 of the ASCI Code and the ASCI guidelines on disclaimers on Automotive Vehicle Clause ‘C’ regarding the need for a “readable cautionary message drawing viewer attention to the depiction of stunts”.

7. Nissan Motor India Pvt Ltd (Datsun Go NXT): The promotional offer claimed in the advertisement, “Free first year Insurance”, is false and misleading by omission as it does not qualify the car variants for which this benefit is not applicable.

8. InterGlobe Aviation Ltd (IndiGo Airlines): The claims in the advertisement, “97 aircraft. 38 destinations. 603 domestic flights daily”, “Operational reliability of 99.95%”, “Lowest cost structures in the world” and “Best low-cost airline in Central Asia and India 6 years in a row at SkyTrax World Airline Awards”, were not substantiated with credible evidence.

9. LAVA International Ltd (Lava Pixel V1): In the advertisement of LAVA Pixel V1, regardless of the disclaimer, some visuals in the advertisement imply that the phone has “edge to edge display”. This was considered to be misleading by implication.

10. Baba Mirza Ji: The claim in the advertisement, “Are you in any problem or Trouble? Call us now from Home and get your solution”, was false, misleading by exaggeration, and the advertisement exploits the consumers’ lack of knowledge and is likely to lead to grave or widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers.