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355 misleading ads banned by ASCI

Thursday, December 20, 2018
By Raju Vernekar

The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has upheld complaints of misleading and unsubstantiated 355 advertisements from a total of 459 advertisements evaluated in August and September.

Of the 355 advertisements, 201 belong to the education sector, 62 to the healthcare sector, 24 to the food and beverages category, 24 to personal care, seven related to violation of the guidelines of the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) and 37 are from the ‘others’ category.

In all the ASCI investigated complaints against 590 advertisements. Of these the advertisers of 131 advertisement promptly ensured corrective action.

Unsubstantiated ads featuring celebrities and violating norms included  Frankfinn Institute of Air Hostess Training - the ad featuring Alia Bhat, claimed to be 'World’s No 1 Airhostess Training Institute'. The ad of Garnier Men Acnofight Facewash featuring Tiger Shroff claimed - 'Stay Germ free, Stay Pimple free'. The ad of Hindustan Unilever’s 'Sunsilk Think and Long', featuring Alia Bhatt claimed - 'Two times thicker looking hair'. Reckitt Benckiser (India) Pvt Ltd’ ad 'New Veet Nikhaar' featuring Shraddha Kapoor claimed 'Veet Nikhar for visibly brighter skin'.
Unsafe advertisements
Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd (Mahindra Scorpio): The ad showed an SUV being driven in the middle of the road on the straight line, in violation of traffic rules, which stipulate that one must not change lanes or drive on the straight line. The ad of 'Apple iPhone X' showed a male protagonist playing reality game and is typing a message on the iPhone while walking on the road. He was also shown jumping, kicking and hitting the creatures advancing towards him.

Asian Business School - The ad claimed - 'Highest package offered 15 lakhs per annum'. Similarly the ad of Singhania University claimed - 'India’s first innovative competitive exams focused integrated curriculum'.

Personal Care
Lever Ayush Antimarks Turmeric Face cream - 'A skin care treatment formulated with 5,000 years of Ayurvedic wisdom from the granthas'. Similarly the ad of Hindustan Unilever’s 'Pure Derm Shampoo' claimed - '100 per cent tak Dandruff Jayega Aur Waapas Nahin Aayega'. Also the ad of 'Henna Industries’ 'Color Mate Hair colour' claimed - 'Hibiscus strengthens your hair and prevents hair loss'. The advertisement of Keya Seth’s Ayurvedic Solution (Stopage Cream) claimed that - 'Whether age is 53 or 43, you will look exactly like 33'. The claim was not substantiated with product efficacy data and are misleading by exaggeration.
Health Care
Dr. Batra’s Geno Homeopathy -
'Geno Homeopathy – a breakthrough treatment based on gene analysis for ailments across all age groups', Huxley’s Co (India) (Wintogeno Pain Reliever) - 'Most reliable and powerful pain reliever since 1899' and Shree Dhanvantri Herbals - Swing Forte Capsule - 'Improves arousal and stamina in sexual disorders,' violated provisions of The Drugs & Magic Remedies (DMR) Act.
Food and Beverages
The ad of Hindustan Unilever’s 'Red Label Care' claimed- 'De aam viral infection se zyaada suraksha'. Also the ad of Marico Ltd’s 'Saffola Active' claimed that - 'Saffola active absorbs 28 per cent lesser fat as compared to other oils'. Another ad of Marico’s 'Saffola Gold' claimed - 'Saffola Gold has Losorb Technology which ensures up to 20 per cent less oil absorption in food, as compared to other leading cooking oils'. Also the Nestle India’s claim that 'Nestle Ceregrow ensured 'Poora Poshan' was contradictory.

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