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ASCI upholds complaint against 51 ads

MUMBAI: Among others, ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) has upheld complaints against Times Global Broadcasting for claiming leadership position using one week’s BARC data.

The council noted that the company’s claim of ‘No. 1 English News Channel’ is substantiated for Week 38 only. However, the data period being referred to is only of one week and not minimum of four consecutive weeks as stipulated by BARC guidelines.

The claim did not have any mention of the source of the data as well, thus contravening ASCI’s guidelines.

The council also pulled up IMG Reliance for sending out a wrong message through its TVC that encourages people to indulge in dangerous practices.

In October 2015, council upheld complaints against 51 out of 98 advertisements. Out of these, 16 were from the Personal and Healthcare category, 19 from the Education category, five from Telecommunication and Broadband category, and 11 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.

1. Procter & Gamble (Pantene shampoo): The claim of ‘new’ in the advertisement of Pantene shampoo is not qualified as per the ASCI guidelines.

2. Colgate-Palmolive (Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief Enamel Repair): It was concluded that the advertisement’s claim of ‘enamel repair’ as well as the visual representation was not substantiated.

3. Novartis India (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.

4. Dabur India (Dabur Odomos Mosquito Repellent): 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”, was not substantiated adequately.

5. Patanjali Ayurved (Patanjali Kesh Kanti): The claims in the advertisement, ‘World’s No.1 Ayurvedic Brand’ and ‘100% charity from profits’ were not substantiated.

6. Patanjali Ayurved (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.

7. 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.

8. Dr. 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.

9. Sanjay (Ayurvedic Pvt Ltd – Ghuti +) Baljiwan Pharmacy: The claim in the advertisement, “Continuous service for the last 102 years”, was not substantiated.

10. 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. In addition, 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.

11. MK Agrotech Pvt Ltd. (Sunpure Refined Sunflower Oil): The claim in the advertisement, “India’s first chemical free processed sunflower oil with no harmful additives / preservatives” was considered misleading by implication.

12. Vibes Healthcare (Vibes Weight Loss Assurance): The claim in the advertisement, “Vibes weight loss assurance” was not substantiated.

13. Dr. Gupta’s Clinic: The claim in the advertisement, “Dr Gupta’s Clinic is the country’s No. 1 sexual disease treatment centre”, was not substantiated.

14. Raghav Lifestyle Products (Ajay Toothpaste): The claims on the pack of the product, “5x clove power vs. non clove toothpaste”, “Superior cavity protection”, “Advanced formulation”, “Complete natural protection”, were not substantiated and were misleading in nature.

15. 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.

16. 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.

Education

The CCC found that claims in the 19 advertisements were not substantiated and, thus, violated ASCI guidelines.

1. 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.

2. 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 centre—making it India’s Biggest Classroom” and “Byju Raveendran serial CAT topper & No. 1 trainer for the CAT”, were not substantiated.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. CL Educate Ltd (Career Launcher): The claims in the advertisement, “CAT Test Series – The No. 1 Cat Test Series Programme”, “Most recommended test series”, “Rated the best by students”, “True percentile predictor”, were not substantiated adequately.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. Career Institute of Commerce & Accounting: The advertisement claiming rank after 10 was not substantiated.

9. IMS Learning Resources Pvt Ltd (MBA CET): The advertiser argues that the term “Trusted for Success” is their logo and 15,000+ students enrolling with their institute signifies their trust in the institute. The CCC did not consider enrolment of students to be a necessary indicator of their trust in the institute.

10. 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.

11. 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.

12. 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.

13. 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.

14. 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.

15. Rao Edusolutions Pvt Ltd. (Rao IIT Academy): The claim in the advertisement, “Every nine out of 10 Rao IIT students qualified for JEE Mains”, was not substantiated with evidence/supporting data.

16. Cheil India Pvt 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 revolutionised Indian education”, were not substantiated with authentic supporting data to prove the credentials of their partners.

17. CL Educate Ltd (CL LST): The claim in the advertisement, “8 consecutive CLAT toppers to date”, was not substantiated.

18. Clat Possible: The CCC concluded that in the context of the coaching for law entrance exam being offered in the institute, the claim on 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 programme.

19. Triumphant Institute of Management Education: 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 and Broadband

1. 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.

2. Reliance Communication Ltd (Reliance Pro 3): The website claims as well as the claims on the packaging of, “up to 14.7 Mbps and up to 5.7 Mbps”, were not substantiated and were misleading by exaggeration.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. Reliance Communication Ltd: The claim, “Get up to 1 GB extra FREE on every 3G Data Recharge of Rs 197…” in the promotional SMS was not substantiated and was misleading.

Others

3. Lenskart.com: The claim in the TVC, “Lenskart gives you first frame for free”, is false and misleading.

4. Amazon.com Inc. (Redragon M613 2.4GHz Wireless Mouse): The website communication claiming the MRP of the product as Rs1,400, when actually printed MRP on product pack is Rs 1,100, 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.

5. Jubiliant Foodworks Ltd (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.

6. 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.

7. 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

8. 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.

9. Vishnu Pouch Packaging: 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.

10. 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 false.

11. Jaypee Infratech Ltd: 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.