ASCI pulls up Republic TV ads for violating BARC guidelines

MUMBAI: The Advertisers Standards Council of India (ASCI) has pulled up Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV for misleading ads.

In the case of ARG Outlier Media, ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) concluded that the explanation given by the advertiser was unacceptable and that the leadership claims of the advertiser were in violation of the guidelines made by BARC in this regard, and were therefore misleading.

It was noted that as per “BARC India Ratings – Principles of Fair and Permissible Usage” the period of comparison for any claims of leadership should cover at least four consecutive weeks of data.

However, as per the disclaimer put by the advertiser, the claims are based on a single week and not on four consecutive weeks of data as per BARC guidelines. Therefore, it is violative of BARC guidelines.

The subject matter of comparison is chosen in such a way so as to confer an artificial advantage upon the advertiser so as to suggest that a better bargain is offered than is truly the case. Thus, the advertisement contravened the ASCI Code.

The council also found that Republic TV’s advertisement’s claims, “BARC Declares India’s new leader”, “Republic No.1 across all segments”, “India’s No. 1 channel with 43% of viewership”, were not substantiated and were misleading by exaggeration.

In July 2017, ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against 116 out of 165 advertisements. Out of 116 advertisements against which complaints were upheld, 51 belonged to the Healthcare category, 31 to the Education category, 10 in the Personal Care category, followed by 5 in the Food & Beverages category, and 19 advertisements from other categories.

ASCI processed complaints against the following advertisements from the general public, industry as well as from the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Grievances Against Misleading Advertisements (GAMA) Portal. Out of 73 advertisements, complaints against 32 advertisements were upheld.

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