During the quarter April-June 2011, the Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) upheld complaints against 27 advertisements from sectors such as FMCG, education, healthcare, DTH and media. The CCC also rejected complaints against 15 advertisements as they did not violate the ASCI Code.
In the education sector, a complaint against IMS Learning Resources’ advertisement claiming “8 out of 10 toppers in CBS” and other similar claims was upheld since the claims could not be substantiated with evidence validated by an independent agency. Similarly, the complaint against Roots Education’s ad claiming to be the No. 1 CAT coaching centre in Delhi was upheld. The complaint against the Career Launcher ad claiming 303 calls in Delhi University (BBS/ BFIA) without mentioning whether they were final admission calls or just interview calls was also upheld. The complaint against Sri Balaji Society’s ad claiming 829 students being placed from the 2009-11 batch without mentioning the total number of students was upheld on the ground that the claim contravened Section 4c of ASCI’s guidelines.
ITM Institute of Fashion, Design & Technology in their advertisement stated that their study programmess are approved by PIFT and MS University, but fail to provide details like full name and location. The complaint was upheld. Similarly, ITM Institute of Hotel Management stated that their degree programme was affiliated to Mumbai University but failed to provide a specific institution or college and its location. Also, their claim of being voted ‘Top Hotel Management College’ of the country by ‘Competition and Success Review’ was not substantiated.
‘High Definition’ claims also came under the CCC scanner during the quarter. Dish TV’s claim to offer ’30 True HD channels’ was rejected by CCC citing that the use of the word ‘True’ to denote “upscaled standard definition” channels as HD was misleading. Their claim of providing maximum number of HD channels was also challenged, stating that Dish TV can provide only a limited number of HD channels and the other ’‘claimed” HD channels were SD channels upscaled to HD. Similarly, complaints against certain claims made by Star India in its ‘AsliHD’ campaign were upheld.
Advertisement claims by FMCG majors HUL, P&G, Reckitt Benckiserand Paras Pharma amongst others came under the CCC’s scanner.HUL faced a complaint regarding their advertisement on a leaflet of ‘Pureit Water Purifier’ which contains numerous disparaging and false statements about the competitor product Tata Swach. The distribution of anti-Tata Swach danglers on Tata Swach packages by the advertiser was seen as undermining the Tata brand and an unethical trade practice. Another HUL ad that came under the scanner was the‘Axe Effect’ campaign, which was upheld on the grounds that the visual used was overtly sexual and portrayed women in an indecent manner.
The complaint against Paras Pharma’s sexually explicit ad of Set Wet Deodorant was upheld on the grounds that it portrayed women as sexual tools.
Some complaints on certain claims made by P&G’s Pantene Pro-V Hair Fall Control were upheld on the grounds that the depiction of a stylized golden circular drop misleads consumers into believing that 150 crore and not 15 crore women found Pantene to be effective. Moreover, P&G’s claim that 80 per cent of Indian women say that the new Pantene is better than anything else they have tried before, based on a study of just 360 women, was misleading. Following the CCC’s decision, P&G removed the stylized golden circular drop in the ad.
Similarly, complaints received against Reckitt Benckiser’sadvertisement for Dettol Skincare Soap was upheld on the ground that it was misleading consumers by wrongly linking skin condition to germs, where in reality there is no correlation between the two.
The complaint against Sundrop Heart’s ad was upheld on the ground that its statement “jeenekadaarnahi, khaaneka oil badaliye” can lead consumers to believe they can neglect the importance of a healthy lifestyle by merely changing the cooking oil they use.
The complaint against an ad of International Tractors for their brand Sonalika Tractors was upheld as they used the creative property ‘Mileage ka Master’ of Mahindra Tractors.
The complaint against GCMMF’s ad claiming that Amul Butter tops the food triangle was upheld as it could mislead consumers.
A few healthcare ads also came under the scanner. A complaint was received against the Institute of Indian Therapies for their ad of ‘AyuCare Lavana Tailam’, which claims that the external application of oil helps reduce the size of one’s stomach and lose all fat. CCC considered the report of the clinical trial submitted by the advertiser and concluded that the ad was misleading. AMA Herbal Labs ad mentioning that competitors use PPD (paraphenyenediamine), which can be harmful to the hair, was also pulled up.
The complaiant against BusinessWorld magazine claiming to be the No. 1 business magazine in India was upheld as the IRS for the 3rdQuarter of 2010 showed the magazine in third place.
The complaint against Jyothy Labs’s Exo Dish Shine Bar ad claiming that it can kill disease-causing germs in just 20 seconds was upheld. The advertiser made appropriate modifications to the ad post the CCC decision.
The complaints against the Amul Body Warmer ad were upheld on the ground that the depiction of Draupadi in a frivolous manner could hurt religious sentiments, thus causing grave and widespread offence.
The complaints against claims made by Shree Maruti Herbal’s D-Diabetes SMART Powder advertisement were upheld as these were not substantiated with clinical trials and technical data.
Complaints against Micromax Mobile’s ad showing a student experimenting in a chemistry lab which ends in a blast were upheld as it sends a wrong message to students.
During the same quarter, the CCC did not uphold complaints against 17 advertisements including MakeMyTrip, Mankind Pharma, P&G WellaKolestint, Dabur India, McNroe Consumer Products, Royal Hygiene, Tata Chemicals, HUL’s Axe Googly Deo and The Times of India, amongst others, as the concerned ads did not contravene ASCI’s Codes.