In Jan, 110 ads withdrawn on ASCI intervention; 208 of remaining 232 ads were misleading

110 OBJECTIONABLE ADVERTISEMENTS PROMPTLY WITHDRAWN POST ASCI INTERVENTION COMPLAINTS UPHELD AGAINST REMAINING 208 OUT OF 232 ADVERTISEMENTS

The list of brands and entities that issued misleading advertisements in January 2020 is out. During the month, ASCI investigated complaints against 342 advertisements, of which 110 advertisements were promptly withdrawn by the advertisers on receipt of communication from ASCI, so clearly, those marketers had either known they were misleading their consumers in the first place, or had been careless enough to allow an ad to be approved by someone junior and ill informed, which is a common excuse and also, sometimes, a fact. But what’s unacceptable is —  their misleading or dangerous (as with a 2-wheeler ad showing dangerous stunts) ads had enjoyed exposure per media plans; yet, on being found or pointed out, all that they had to do was just quietly, promptly withdraw the misleading ads… they didn’t have to issue corrections and apologies, not one, and certainly not per the same media plan and ad positions that the misleading ads had milked to get huge exposure with. 

That, unfortunately because, as the past Chairman of ASCI D Sivakumar had told us,  ‘ASCI is about persuasion and compliance, never naming and shaming’. So, yet again, dear old ASCI, as has been its wont, just gently shut the stable doors after the rogue horses had bolted. Another month, another report.

ASCI’s CCC does solid work. There are industry people who volunteer their time to the CCC deliberations, and they do work hard. Read this report fully. Check out each and every misleading ad, the details, and see how deep the CCC has to go to ensure that it emerges with facts that no clever/ignorant marketer can challenge, and then they put things in writing too. Every month an 18, 20 or 21 page release.

And yet, despite so much hard work, such advertising continues. Why doesn’t ASCI’s reports have teeth? Can ASCI tell us how many brands have been repeat offenders over the past six months? And don’t the creative agencies and in-house teams and the brand custodians and marketing heads who, respectively, design and write, examine and approve of the misleading ads, balk at the claims?

Right.

ASCI was created, a dear friend and senior member of the team that actually created it, told us, to keep at bay government censorship/regulation of advertising. But the that’s been persistently churning out misleading pieces of paid communication seem determined to bring advertising under censorship/regulation.

End of aside.

So here’s the ASCI CCC report for January 2020.

It had investigated complaints against 342 advertisements, 110 of those were promptly withdrawn by the errant marketers. That left the independent Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of ASCI with 232 advertisements to investigate, and of those, it upheld complaints against, hold your breath,  208 advertisements!

The worst sectors, in that order, were: Education (83), Healthcare (64), Others (41), Personal Care (8), Real Estate (7) and Food & Beverages (5).

Are any of the brands you like, follow or use, on the list? Which are the ones that keep doing this again and again, nearly every single month, without contrition? Go to ascionline.org and check out the lists for each month. But that’s another story which we’ll do in a little bit. 

Also read D Shivakumar: ASCI is about persuasion, compliance; never naming and shaming

The worst of the worst: It was good that ASCI  exercised the “Suspension Pending Investigation(SPI) option to fast track a complaint against an extremely offensive advertisement of an online content app. The advertisement involved the use of expletive and swear words as well as obscene language. The advertiser was instructed to pull down the objectionable advertisement within 48 hours.  

ASCI also processed an intra-industry complaint against an advertisement by a pipes and fittings company featuring a famous Bollywood celebrity that misled consumers by implying that they are selling zero defect pipes. The advertisement also violated ASCI’s Guidelines for Celebrities in Advertising.

An FMCG Giant, while presenting their ketchup as an accompaniment to meals was seen discrediting home cooked food and disparaging good food practices by calling it to be “boring” roti-sabji.

Two popular alcohol brands were seen using surrogate advertising by promoting a music CD and travel experience, respectively. 

In the cosmetic and personal care category, one large FMCG Company was found to fall foul by contravening the ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Skin Lightening or Fairness Improvement products. These were two separate advertisements of their cosmetic bleach brands.

Another FMCG company misled consumers by claiming that its soap was recommended by Doctors and is capable of reducing risk of skin problems by up to 95%.

A legacy brand with their sports motorcycle portrayed dangerous acts and manifested a disregard for safety as the visuals were likely to encourage minors to emulate such acts which could cause harm or injury

For the month of January, the CCC saw misleading advertisements of several IVF hospitals and Fertility clinics guaranteeing success and claiming to be the best.

There were also a number of real estate advertisements making leadership claims which were unsubstantiated

EDUCATION: – 83 advertisements complained against

  • Direct Complaints (three advertisement)
  • Suo Motu Surveillance by ASCI (80 advertisements)

HEALTHCARE: – 64 advertisements complained against

  • Suo Motu Surveillance by ASCI (64 advertisements)

PERSONAL CARE: – Eight advertisement complained against

  • Suo Motu Surveillance by ASCI (Eight advertisements)

REAL ESTATE: – Seven advertisement complained against

  • Suo Motu Surveillance by ASCI (Seven advertisements)

FOOD AND BEVERAGES: – Six advertisements complained against

  • Direct Complaints (one advertisement)
  • Suo Motu Surveillance by ASCI (four advertisements)

OTHERS: – 41 advertisements complained against

  • Direct Complaints (14 advertisements)
  • Suo Motu Surveillance by ASCI (27 advertisements)

DIRECT COMPLAINTS

The advertisements given below were complained against by the general public or by industry members. Of the 57 advertisements complained against, 16 advertisements were promptly withdrawn by the advertiser on receiving communication from ASCI. For the remaining 41 advertisements, complaints against 18 advertisements were upheld by the CCC. Three advertisement belonged to the Education sector, one from the F&B, and 14 from the others category. 23 advertisements were not considered to be objectionable or in contravention of the ASCI code. 

Education

Complaints against advertisements of the educational institutes listed below are UPHELD mainly because of misleading, unsubstantiated claims /AND violation of ASCI’s Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions and Programs

  1. St. Wilfred’s Group of Colleges: The advertising hoarding claim translated from Hindi “The only college to provide government job” was not substantiated. 
  2. CL Educate Ltd (CLAT Test Series): The facebook advertisement’s claim, “Legal has Lost its Edge, CLAT is possible only with CL-LST” was false and misleading by exaggeration and implication. The claim is likely to lead to widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers including students.
  3. CL Educate Ltd (CLAT 2019): The website advertisement’s claim, “Test Series Feedback by CAT 2019 students” and “Rating is based on the Feedback submitted by CAT 2019 students of CL, TIME and IMS” were not substantiated and unfairly denigrated other institutes directly. The advertiser did not provide the details of the process or the methodology followed on ratings from the students, criteria used for evaluation, questionnaires used, names of other similar institutes that were part of the survey and the outcome of the survey. 

Food & Beverage

  1. Hindustan Unilever Limited- Kissan Ketchup: The advertisement’s claim “boring roti-sabji ko banaiye yummy kissan roll” is misleading. It was observed that while the CCC agreed with the advertiser’s submission that Ketchup, like a condiment, enhances the specific tastes of the dish, thereby making it appealing to the children. However, calling out regular “roti-subji” as boring was considered to be discrediting home cooked food and also disparaging good food practises. The advertisement also contravened the ASCI Guidelines on Advertising of Food & Beverages. 

Others – Suspension Pending Investigation (SPI) 

ASCI as per  its  Articles of Association requires that “In exceptional circumstances when it appears, prima facie that an advertisement is in serious breach of the Code and its continued transmission on / through / by any medium causes or has the effect of causing public harm and / or injury or its continuation is against public interest, then the company would, pending investigation forthwith direct the advertiser / the advertising agency / the media buying agency and the media concerned to suspend the advertisement. ”  The following digital advertisement by Kwai Technology for UVideo app was taken up on SPI basis. 

  1. Kwai Technology India Private Limited (Uvideo): The YouTube internet promo scenes were found objectionable, – especially as these were accessible to all regardless of age. Several scenes from the advertisement involved use expletive and swear words as well as use of obscene language. The advertisement was considered vulgar and repulsive, which, in the light of generally prevailing standards of decency and proprietary, would have caused grave and widespread offence to general public. 

Others 

  1. Bajaj Auto Ltd (Bajaj Pulsar): The television and YouTube advertisement’s showing the following visuals were found to be objectionable 1) boy seated on a trolley and speeding in it in a supermarket store, 2) boy dressed in superman costume jumping off a diving platform into an isolated swimming pool with no lifeguard shown, 3) boys shown to be standing on a water slide and as a result slipping and tumbling in a water resort.   The CCC concluded that these actions portray dangerous acts and manifest a disregard for safety.  The visuals are also likely to encourage minors to emulate such acts which could cause harm or injury.
  2. Sachar Gaming Pvt. Ltd. (Khelplay Rummy): The television advertisement’s claim as translated from Marathi, “The more you play, the more you win” was found to be misleading. The CCC noted that in a game, if there is a possibility of winning then there is also a possibility of losing, which is not mentioned by the advertiser. The CCC was of the view that advertisements that invite the public to take part in the game which hold out the prospect of winning money, should also provide clearly all material conditions as to enable the consumer to obtain a true and fair view of their prospects in such activities. It was further observed that advertisement clearly links playing rummy to enhancement of memory. However, the advertiser did not provide any technical or scientific rationale to substantiate memory improvement benefit associated with playing rummy.
  3. Xiaomi Technology India Private Limited (Redmi Note 7 Pro): The mobile app advertisement’s claim “P2i’s patented pulsed plasma deposition…This will protect the phone against humidity, everyday splashes and spills”, was not substantiated. The advertiser briefly explained the technology, however did not provide any evidence to this effect such as any technical test reports, the protocol used for the tests to demonstrate the phone being splash proof and spill proof. The claim was not qualified in the advertisement to indicate the test method / protocol reference. 
  4. PayPal Payments Pvt. Ltd – Ease MyTrip: The WhatsApp advertisement’s claim “Get 100% cashback voucher” was not substantiated. It was observed that the advertiser is providing a 100% cashback voucher with the coupon code – EMTPAY, and that a customer will get Rs. 1150 off on their very first transaction at Ease My Trip through PayPal subject to on a minimum booking value of Rs. 2500 and above. The advertiser did not explain the modalities of the 100% cashback offer. Furthermore, neither the discount offered to the complainant was equal in value of his purchase nor it was not clear how the “100% Cashback Voucher” would be made available to the customer. The advertiser tried to place the onus of the voucher on PayPal. However, the CCC did not agree with the advertiser’s arguments as the advertiser itself was advertising the 100% cashback voucher and the advertisement did not have any reference to PayPal offering such cashback voucher.
  5. Future Lifestyle Fashions Limited (Brand Factory): The print advertisements claim, “Brand Factory Free Shopping Weekend” was misleading by ambiguity and omission. The advertiser was promoting a “Free Shopping Weekend” wherein the advertiser first indicated that the claim “Brand Factory Free Shopping Weekend” was a registered trademark. However, in the advertisement there was no symbol (®) to associate this headline as a trademark. For a consumer, this would appear like a claim. Further, to avail of this offer/festival, a premium pass of Rs. 250 or a classic pass of Rs. 100 must be bought. Therefore the CCC concluded that “Free shopping weekend” was not a correct terminology, unless the entry was free. 
  6. Zee Media Corporation Limited (Zee Hindustan Tamil): The print advertisement showcased three well known anchors of other competitive news channels without mentioning the name of the news channels. Though the advertiser does not indicate any channel, the advertiser does refer to “anchors” and by such reference it provides a clear association to professionals working as anchors. Based on this assessment, the CCC concluded that the advertisement unfairly denigrates the anchors by referring to their names in the advertisement.
  7. Malayala Manorama Company Ltd (Manoramaonlin): The emailer advertisement’s claims (in Ad – Emailer) – “30.2 million Malayalis on Manoramaonline are ready for their big X’mas party!” claim (in Magazine) – “Be on the claim Manoramaonline.com, a place that’s home for 30.2 million unique visitors”, and claim (on Website) – “Strength in Numbers that made us No.1 Regional Language News Portal”, were inadequately substantiated.  The CCC observed that the complainant objects to the use of the claim “No. 1 Regional Language News Portal” as the mailer provides no comparative data to substantiate the claim. Furthermore, the advertiser has kept the definition of ‘Regional’ ambiguous. The advertiser acknowledges that the 30.2 million Malayalis claimed is the global Unique Visitors (UV). Even the disclaimer in the magazine advertisement just says, `Source: Google Analytics_Audience Report, October 2019’, which is silent on the fact that 30.2 million is the Global UA. Neither has the advertiser provided substantiation for the “No. 1 Regional Portal” claim, nor are any comparative/figures available. For the claim,  “30.2 million Malayalis on Manoramaonline are ready for their big X’mas party”, the advertiser did not mention the source of the claim nor there was any substantiation of any independent research.
  8. Associated Broadcasting Company Pvt Ltd (TV9 Network): The ad-mailer’s showing incorrect GVM figures for News18 Network was considered misleading. The actual GVM figures in the BARC data are 216, whereas the Ad – mailer shows the GVM figures for News 18 Network as 221. In addition, the vertical position of the disclaimer in the Ad – mailer contravened ASCI Guidelines for Disclaimers in Advertising.
  9. Lux Industries Limited (Lux Inferno Quilted Thermals): The print advertisements claim, “India’s No. 1 Selling Brand” was not substantiated with market research data or with verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s brand and other manufacturers of quilted thermal brands in India, or through a third-party validation. The advertiser failed to provide any data or source to prove that their brand is in leadership position (No.1). 
  10. Purp Salon: The Facebook advertisement’s claim “Extra 10% OFF valid on UPI payments” was not substantiated and considered misleading. The Complainant had availed of a hair treatment service and had paid through UPI, however, the complainant was not given an extra 10% discount on payment for the services through UPI. The advertiser did not submit any evidence that the claimed offer of 10% discount on payment through UPI was availed by any other customers.
  11. Raheja Developers Ltd (Scoplots): The print advertisement’s claim “Haryana Government’s New Commercial Plot Scheme of Shop Cum Office (SCOs)” is misleading by ambiguity and implication. The disclaimer of the advertisement indicates that “SCO Market is being developed by Sh. Bhoop Singh & others in collaborations with collaborator company…” Prima facie, the advertisement indicates that the said property was developed by the Haryana Government. However, the said property was only guided by the Haryana Government’s New Commercial Plotted Colony Policy.
  12. Bennett Coleman & Co Ltd (The Times of India): The website advertisement’s claim on the subscription offer “Click below to subscribe to The Times of India and get your copies delivered at your doorstep now” was misleading by omission to mention the location where the delivery service is unavailable. On non-delivery  of the newspaper, the complainant sent reminders (in November and December) to the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) team of the advertiser (Times Group, Chennai), who reverted that they do not provide service in the complainant’s locality.
  13. Maple Digital Technology International Pvt. Ltd. (Apple 12.9″ iPad Pro): The print advertisement’s claim “…Sealed/Unsealed products Up to 60% off”, was misleading by ambiguity, exaggeration and omission of the mention of number of units per store for the advertised product. As claim substantiation, the advertiser provided a table showing sales data of 10 Nos. of Apple iPad Pro. This table comprised of details such as – stock in hand (unit), actual MRP, offer price of sealed/unsealed products, discount amount, discount offered, and booked store.  The CCC observed certain discrepancies in this data which showed that the stock in hand was only one piece and they have only one product per shop. Whereas the advertiser is advertising range of products and inviting consumers to visit their Maple Store for discount offer. The advertiser is offering 500+ sealed/unsealed apple products and accessories for sale, whereas the advertiser has given data for sale of only 10 Nos. of Apple iPads.  There was also no supporting data such as evidence of their products that were actually sold from each of their stores cited in the advertisement, and verifiable evidence of their customers who had availed the discounted offer on the products displayed.  

SUO MOTU Surveillance by ASCI for misleading advertisements

The advertisements listed below were picked up through ASCI’s Suo Motu surveillance of Print and TV media through the National Advertisement Monitoring Services (NAMS) project. Out of 285 advertisements that were picked, in 94 cases the advertisers promptly confirmed that the advertisements were being withdrawn post receiving the ASCI communication. Of the 191 advertisements examined by the CCC, 190 were considered to be misleading. Of these 190 advertisements, 80 belonged to the Education sector, 64 advertisements belonged to the Healthcare sector, eight belonged to the Personal Care category, seven were from Real Estate, four belonged to the F&B category, and 27 fell in the “Others” category. 

Education

Complaints against advertisements of 77 educational institutes listed below are UPHELD mainly because of unsubstantiated claims AND/OR misleading claims that they provide 100% placement/100% placement assistance AND/OR they claim to be the No.1 in their respective fields/ best in their respective fields.

The advertisements also violated ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions and Programs. Some of the advertisements also contravened ASCI Guidelines for Disclaimers. 

International Institute of Fashion Technology (IIFT)Balasore Institute Hotel Management  & TourismKrishna Institute of Nursing Science and Research
Aims AcademySri Vikas AcademyGlobal Reach
AP IELTS SchoolCrackIAS.comARMS Academy
Krishna Keshav Secondary SchoolPragyna Coaching Centre Jhulka College of Nursing
Sky Coaching CentreDelhi Public SchoolAroma College of Nursing
EVA ClassesToppers InstituteTeachers Academy
Surya Ksheerapuri Coaching InstituteMount Hill International School Capri Overseas
My Mission Institute of Professional DevelopmentPresidency University (Presidency School of Law)Aryabhatta Tutorials Pvt Ltd – Spring Dale Public School 
Soldiers Defence AcademyVishwas AcademyChanakya Classes
Lakshya Career AcademyShourya Sainik AcademyAditya Coaching Centre
Reach Academy Educational Services Pvt Ltd – Reach Academy Guru Dronacharya College of Nursing T.A. Pai Management Institute (TAPMI)
A B FoundationVibrant Academy Pvt. LtdALLEN Institute Career
Gramin Defence AcademyICON Career EducationGanapathi Coaching Centre
Skyway Career HubApex Institute Pvt. LtdCAT Degree & PG College
Symbiosis Centre for Distance LearningVikas Bharti Trust & Society- Vikas Bharti SchoolNucleon Coaching Classes – Nucleon IIT-JEE/NEET
Amex Visa Point ConsultancyMCC9 Ashok FundamentalsParamount IAS Academy
Chandra Institute & Welfare Society-Chandra InstituteApex Computer & Technical Education Pvt. LtdPresidency University (School Of Management)
Rahul Classes Pvt LtdYashshree Competition ZoneThe Eye Foundation
International Business CollegeChaurasia Paramedical CollegeSai Pragna Institute
Symbiosis Institute of Health Sciences (SIHS)Wellcare College of Higher StudiesBitTRACK Foreign Education & Visa Consultants
Success Mirror InstituteB. L. Kasturi ClassesVijetha Study Circle
Osone AcademyRajkrishna ClassesY.S. Jadon Classes
Akshar International SchoolAbhiprerna Career InstituteVijetha Study Circle
Hariprasad Institute for Competitive Exams – Hariprasad’s IAS AcademyInstitute of Taxation & Accounting Professionals (ITAP) Singapore International Preparatory School  SIS PREP
Dr. Ambedkar Memorial Institute of Information Technology & Management Science Presidency University – (Presidency University of Engineering)Vinayaka Mission’s Research Foundation – Faculty of Allied Health Sciences
Hopes Institute of Career GuidanceH.P. Model Senior School Sangowal

 

The following advertisements violated ASCI’s Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions and Programs

  1. Central Academy Senior Secondary School: The print advertisement’s claim “The Largest Chain of Schools in India” was not substantiated with any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s chain of schools and other institutes having a chain of schools in India, to prove that their chain of schools is larger than all the rest, or through an audited report or third-party validation. 
  2. Pariksha Guru Career Academy: The print advertisement’s claim “First Choice for Government Job”, was not substantiated with any market survey data, or with verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s institute and other similar institutes, to prove that the advertiser’s institute was considered as the first choice by students for seeking government jobs.  
  3. Apti Plus Academy for Civil Services: the print advertisement’s claim “Eastern India’s Most Successful Institution for Civil Services”, was not substantiated with verifiable comparative data, or through any independent audit or verification certificate. 

Healthcare

IVF Hospitals / Fertility clinics 

  1. Dr. Kavita IVF Centre: The print advertisement’s claim “Get Rid of All Infertility Problem” was not substantiated. The advertiser did not provide any details of the treatment procedure for treating infertility problems, nor any details regarding the medicines and their approval status by the regulatory authorities. The second claim “Dream to Become Parents will Come True”, when seen in conjunction with the visual implied cure for infertility was also misleading.
  2. Mothers Lap IVF Centre: The print advertisement’s claim “Till now, more than 4500 Childless Couples Have Been Blessed With the Happiness of Parenthood” was not substantiated with any supporting evidence or through a third-party validation nor did they provide any market survey or comparative data versus other similar service providers to prove that their network is larger than other similar organizations or through an audited report or third-party validation. The advertiser should have provided an independent audit or a CA certificate supporting these details. The headline “har aangan aaye nanha mehmaan” (let every home have a child) was ambiguous and implied assurance of success.
  3. Mathrushree Fertility Centre: The print advertisement’s claim “Baby Guarantee Else Money Return” was misleading as the advertiser did not provide any details of the treatment procedure, nor any details regarding the medicines used for the treatment and their approval status by the regulatory authorities.  Advertiser also did not provide supporting robust clinical evidence that every patient treated at their centre was able to conceive, and evidence of refund of money for those patients who were not benefitted by their treatment. The second claim “Only One Solution for All Infertility Problems” was also not substantiated as the advertiser did not provide any support data or evidence of comparison with other IVF treatment centres to prove that they are the one and only treatment centre for treating all types of Infertility problems.
  4. GBR Fertility Centre & Hospitals: The print advertisement’s claim “The Most Advanced Fertility Care” was inadequately substantiated with verifiable comparative data. The second claim “Best Pregnancy/Patient Ratio” was not substantiated with market survey data or with verifiable comparative data of their centre/hospital and other similar Fertility centres/hospitals, to prove that they have achieved better pregnancy/patient ratio than all the rest, or through an independent third-party report. The vertical position of the disclaimer was in contravention of Clause IV of ASCI Guidelines for Disclaimers in Advertising.
  5. Nayati Healthcare Pvt. Ltd (Nayati Medcity): The print advertisement’s claim “Best Birthing Centre” was not substantiated with any market survey data or verifiable comparative data of their centre and other similar healthcare centres, to prove that their centre is better for child delivery as compared to other centres/hospital, or through an independent third party validation.
  6. Nobel IVF: The print advertisement’s claim “79.8% Successful Results (The Highest Successful Results in Northern India)” was not substantiated. The advertiser did not submit market survey data, or verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s centre and other IVF treatment centres in Northern India, to prove that with 79.8% successful results, their success results in IVF treatment is higher than all the rest.  While the CCC was in agreement with patient confidentiality, it was of the opinion that a self-certification by the advertiser themselves for their own claim was not acceptable as firstly this data was not independently verified and secondly, the hospital being an advertiser was an “interested party”. The advertiser should have provided an independent audit or a CA certificate supporting their claim of 79.8% success rate.
  7. Sadguru Healthcare Services Pvt Ltd – Oasis Centre for Reproductive Medicine: The print advertisement’s claim “Doctors with Special Experience in Fertility Treatments with Highest IVF Success Rates” was not substantiated with market survey data, or with verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s centre and other IVF treatment centres, to prove that the IVF success rate by their doctors is higher than any other doctors or other similar centres.

Healthcare – Others

  1. 91 Streets Media Technologies Pvt. Ltd – PharmEasy: The television advertisement’s claim “Trusted by 50 Lac + Customers” was not substantiated. The advertiser did not provide any verifiable data or market/consumer survey data to support the claim nor was the claim backed by any audited report or independent third party validation. The advertiser has relied on the fact that their online services are availed their 50 lakhs registered users as the basis for claiming “trusted by…”.  The CCC did not agree with the advertiser’s contentions of referring to this data as the basis of claim substantiation. It was not clear if all the 50 lakh+ customers were one time users or repeat customers. 
  2. HealthCare Global Enterprises Ltd- HCG Eco Cancer Centre: The television advertisement’s claim ” The largest network of Cancer Centres in India” was misleading as the advertiser did not provide any verifiable comparative claim support data to prove the mentioned claim. The CCC was of the opinion that the advertisement talks about the largest network of cancer centres in India and not the largest network of privately owned Cancer centres in India. It was observed that the National Cancer Gird (NCG) – is a union of cancer centres which includes hospitals – Govt Pvt and NGOs, has over 190 centres much larger than the advertiser stated (i.e. 26 cancer centres across India). The advertisement claim also contravened ASCI guidelines on Disclaimers in Advertising.
  3. Saaol Heart Center: The print advertisement’s claim, “Goodbye Bypass Surgery” and “Now No Need for Angioplasty (stent) and Bypass Surgery” were not substantiated with supporting clinical evidence. It was observed that the advertiser did not provide any details of the treatment procedure nor there was no clinical or scientific data provided to prove that treatment of Heart on a permanent basis or with a guarantee can be done without Bypass Surgery or Angioplasty (stent).   
  4. Kudos Ayurveda Health Centre (Dr Gori Gori Gel): The advertisement’s claim “Technology Developed & Licensed by CSIR- NEIST”,  and the reference made to CSIR in the advertisement (“CSIR-NEIST, Ministry of Science and Technology, Bharat Sarkar ki utkrust khoj sirf aap ke liye”) were not substantiated. The advertiser did not submit any product specific details such as composition / licence / pack artwork or samples and AYUSH approval for the claim made in the advertisement. The advertisement is also in violation of the AYUSH advisory which refrains advertisers / advertising agencies from using the name of Government departments and institutions in the advertisements of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani, and Homeopathy Drugs. Further, the reference regarding a contractual agreement of a technology developed by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) was specific to ‘Herbal anti-marks and anti-fungal formulations’. However, the inscription of `CSIR-NEIST KNOW-HOW’ in the prescribed format of the agreement was missing in the advertisement.  Several references and claims in the advertisement were not as per the agreement, and were quoted much beyond the remit of agreement. It was also noted that the use of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) institution in the advertisement poses a potential risk of encouraging consumers to believe that the advertised claims are endorsed by the Government. 
  5. SBS Herbal Pvt. Ltd (Arthodhan Vati): The print advertisement’s claim (in Hindi) “Bharat Sarkar dwara registered” (Registered by Govt. of India) is misleading. The CCC noted that every product is required to be registered with the State licencing authority and there is no need to separately call out the product to be registered by Govt of India. In fact, the use of such reference, poses a potential risk of encouraging consumers to believe that the product promoted by the advertiser is endorsed by the Government for the claims being made in the advertisement. The advertisement is also in violation of the AYUSH advisory which refrains advertisers / advertising agencies from using the names of Government departments and institutions in the advertisements of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homeopathy Drugs.  
  6. Buy Happy Marketi LLP (V I P Snore Care Oil): The television advertisement’s claim “Give Relief from Snoring Issues within 7 Days” was not substantiated with clinical evidence of product efficacy and its effect implying a cure within a seven-day window. The advertiser did not provide any technical and scientific rationale for the product efficacy claimed in the advertisement nor any clinical study report to prove its anti-snoring effect. Furthermore, the product was neither an ayurvedic nor allopathic medicine which is recognized for anti-snoring activity by virtue of its composition.
  7. Dr. Anand Acupuncture Clinic and Institute (Varam Reflexo – Stump Foot Wear): The advertisement’s claim “Reduces & Maintains Blood Sugar Levels” was inadequately substantiated. The CCC observed that the advertiser is promoting reflexo stump footwear for Diabetes patients saying that the footwear is not for walking but only to relax after wearing. The advertiser’s message of “just sit, wear and relax” is completely contrary to universally accepted advice for walk as an established part of treatment for Diabetes. The clinical trial report submitted is not directly relevant to Diabetes. It is about use of an equipment to measure Footprint in a specific manner. Moreover, the study does not provide any conclusive evidence of the efficacy of the product. The clinical research is by the advertiser and is not a third party conducted at any approved institute or hospital. The credibility of the journal in which the paper is published was also considered to be weak. Additionally, the advertiser did not provide official approval for the study and for the design study by an ethics committee. 
  8. M. L. Health Care: The print advertisement’s claim “Wearing this 2-3 Hours a Day, You Will Get Riddance from this Problem” and “No Need to go for Knee Replacement and Bitter Medicines for Your Knee Pain” were not substantiated with any scientific rationale. The advertiser did not provide any details of the product, nor any published literature or report regarding product benefits. There was no authentic and credible evidence of product efficacy to indicate regular 2 -3 hours usage of the product without any medicine or operation will result in cure of all knee problems.
  9. Shalby Limited (Shalby Multispecialty Hospitals): The print advertisement’s claim “The Pioneer & Leader in Joint Replacement (Knee & Hip) With Over 1, 00,000 Joint Replacement Surgeries to Credit” was not substantiated with any verifiable comparative data or through an independent third-party validation. The advertiser did not provide any support data or evidence of comparison with other similar hospitals conducting joint replacement (knee and hip) surgeries, to prove that they are the pioneers and are in the leadership position (No.1) in providing these treatment services to their patients. Further, the advertiser did not provide any evidence of the 1,00,000 joint replacement surgeries conducted by their hospital.
  10. Pranacharya Ayurvedic Clinic: The print advertisement’s claims, “Quit Alcohol Without Bringing and Informing the Patient” and “Complete freedom from smack, goli, bhang, ganja, afim, injection, tobacco and all types of addictions” were not substantiated with robust clinical evidence. The advertiser did not provide any details of the ayurvedic treatment procedure, nor any details regarding the medicines and their approval status by the regulatory authorities as well as relevant extracts of ayurvedic references in support of the claims. 
  11. Star Hospital: The print advertisement’s claims “No.1 Hospital of Dengue” and “Benefit in Just Two Hours” were not substantiated. The advertiser did not provide any details of the treatment procedure for Dengue, nor any details regarding the medicines used and their approval status by the regulatory authorities. There was no basis for making a claim of No. 1 Hospital for Dengue. 
  12. Sant Tukaram Cancer Hospital & Medical Research Center: The print advertisement’s claim in Hindi “Cancer Nivaran” was not substantiated with any scientific / clinical support data. The advertiser did not submit any authentic and verifiable data for any treatment or procedure used for “prevention” of cancer, nor any details regarding the medicines being used, and their approval status by the regulatory authorities. 
  13. Rana Hospital: The print advertisement’s claim “World’s Largest Fistula Operated in Rana Hospital in 2018”, was inadequately substantiated. To support the claim the advertiser provided a copy of a news report of Business Standard of February 2016, however a news article was not considered an authentic and credible reference to consider the achievement of the hospital as a “World record”. There was no exhaustive worldwide literature search report in medical journals of repute to validate the claim. The second claim “Best Hospital with World Class Facilities for Treatment of Piles/Fissure/Fistula” was misleading. The advertiser provided a copy of the award given to them by India Today Group for being the Pioneers in Healthcare and they were the only piles Hospital to get award by Honorable Health Minister, Govt. of India in Piles category and asserted that their claim is based on the award. The CCC observed that the Certificate was awarded to the advertiser for being `Pioneers in Healthcare North’ whereas the advertiser has claimed their hospital to be the best with world class facilities for Treatment of Piles/Fissure/Fistula. This certificate does not support the advertised claim as there was a mismatch of the text used in the certificate versus the claim made in the advertisement. 
  14. MGM Healthcare Pvt Ltd (MGM Healthcare): The print advertisement’s claim “Asia’s Largest Heart and Lung Transplant Team”, “Asia’s Highest number of Pediatric Heart Transplants” “India’s Highest number of Transplants (over 300 Heart & Lung Transplant Surgeries)” and “India’s Highest Number of Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) Implantations”, were not substantiated with verifiable comparative data of the advertiser and other similar hospitals in India to prove the above claims.  These claims were not backed by any audited report or independent third-party validation.
  15. Future Care India (Aaftab Glycerin): The print advertisement’s claim “India’s No.1” was not substantiated with market research data or with verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s brand and other manufacturers of Glycerin brands in India, or through a third-party validation, to prove that their brand is in leadership position (No.1) than the rest in terms of volume and value share data.   
  16. Vision Next Foundation’s (Dattatray Walse Patil Eye Care Hospital): The print advertisement’s claim “India’s First Ultramodern Eye Hospital” was not substantiated. It was observed that the advertisement does not refer to the hospital being Super Specialty hospital from Pune and creates an impression that it is first of its kind in India. The advertiser also did not provide any support data or evidence of comparison with other Eye Hospitals in Pune / in India, to prove that they are the pioneers in providing ultramodern technique/ treatment services for eye diseases. 
  17. Sirisinsta: The print advertisement’s claim, “Upto 8 Cms Weight Loss in Every Session” and “Guaranteed Weight Loss Program by Doctors”, were not substantiated with robust clinical evidence of customers/patients who reduced weight up to 8 cms in every session and have achieved weight loss regardless of their physiological status and lifestyle.
  18. DAV Institute of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation: The print advertisement’s claim, “Jalandhar’s Best Physiotherapy Clinics” was not substantiated with market survey data or with any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s clinic and other similar physiotherapy clinics in Jalandhar.. 
  19. Cosmo Care & Hair Clinic: The print advertisement’s claim “Most Reliable…Most Affordable…Hair Transplant Clinic in Chandigarh” was not substantiated with market survey data or with any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s clinic and other similar hair clinics in Chandigarh, to prove that they are better than all the rest in treating various hair problems, or through an independent third-party report.
  20. Anaahatas Wellness Pvt Ltd (Energia Personal Fitness): The print advertisement’s claim “Bhopal’s Best Physiotherapy Clinic” was not substantiated with market survey data or with any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s clinic and other similar clinics in Bhopal, to prove that they are better than all the rest in providing physiotherapy services and treatment for the ailments claimed, or through an independent third-party report.
  21. Dhanvantari Super Specialty Hospital: The print advertisement’s claim “The Best Cancer Hospital of Kanpur City” was not substantiated with market survey data. The advertiser did not provide any proof to back the claim. The second claim “Record of Performing Highest Number of Successful Cancer Surgeries in One Year” was not substantiated with verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s hospital and other Cancer hospitals, to prove that their hospital is a record holder for performing highest number of successful cancer surgeries in one year, nor the claim was backed with any independent audit or verification certificate.
  22. Gopal Raos Piles and General Hospital: The television advertisement’s claim, “Assured Permanent Treatment is Available for Piles, Fissures, Fistula” was not substantiated with supporting clinical evidence. The advertiser did not provide any details of this treatment procedure, nor any details regarding the medicines used for the claimed diseases, their approval status by the regulatory authorities.  
  23. Ananthapuri Hospitals and Research Institute: The print advertisement’s claim “The Best in Endocrinology & Diabetes” was not substantiated with any market survey data or with any verifiable comparative data of their hospital versus other similar hospitals to prove that they are better than all the rest in providing treatment for Endocrine problems and Diabetes, nor any independent audit or verification certificate.
  24. Sparsh Physio and Laser Center: The print advertisement’s claim “Sparsh Has Country’s First Machine to Remove 750 Diseases” was not substantiated as the advertiser did not provide any details of the machine used in their treatment, and also evidence to prove that their machine is the country’s first machine used for removal of 750 diseases.
  25. Columbia Asia Hospitals Pvt. Ltd (Columbia Asia Hospital): The print advertisement’s claim “The Best and Most Comprehensive Facility” was not substantiated with any market survey data or with verifiable comparative data. The advertiser did not provide any support data or evidence of comparison with other hospitals to prove that their facilities are better and more comprehensive as compared to all other similar hospitals.  
  26. GD Hospital & Diabetes Institute: The print advertisement’s claim “Awarded Nationally for The Best Public Initiative for The Year 2017” was not substantiated. The advertiser did not provide copy of the award certificate, reference of the award received such as the year, source, category, the basis of the a ward or the survey methodology followed to obtain this information for the award claimed such as the details of the process as to how the selection for the award was done, survey methodology, details of survey data, criteria used for evaluation, questionnaires used, names of other hospitals that were part of the survey,  the outcome of the survey, and the details about the awarding body.
  27. Go Slim Fitness & Health Clinic: The print advertisement’s claim “World’s Easiest Fat Loss Program” was not substantiated. It was observed that the advertiser is promoting treatment through Cavilipolysis for fat reduction claiming this treatment to be World’s easiest Fat loss programme without providing any scientific rationale or published scientific journal references to support the claim. 
  28. Meenakshi Mission Hospital & Research Centre: The print advertisement’s claim “Always First and Always Best” was not substantiated with market survey data or with verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s hospital and other similar hospitals, on year on year basis since inception, to prove that they are in leadership position (first) and better than all the rest for treating Diabetes diseases, nor the claim was backed by an independent third party validation.  
  29. SRMS Trust (SRMS Goodlife Multi-Speciality Hospital): The print advertisement’s claim “Provides Successful Treatment for All Types of Uro Cancer” was not substantiated as the advertiser did not provide with the treatment efficacy data or robust clinical study to prove the claim.
  30. Vijaya Diagnostic Centre Private Limited (Vijaya Diagnostic Centre): The print advertisements claim “India’s Largest Comprehensive Diagnostic Network” was misleading. It was observed that the advertiser uses this claim as they have applied for a trademark for “India’s Largest Comprehensive Diagnostic Network”. Additionally, while the advertiser did not provide any evidence of this trademark being registered, the advertiser uses the ® symbol in the advertisement which is considered as misrepresentation and in potential breach of the Trademarks Act. Also, the advertiser did not provide any market survey or comparative data versus other similar service providers to prove that their network is larger than other similar organizations or through an audited report or third-party validation.
  31. Asha Hospital: The print advertisement’s claim “Well-Known for The Best Surgery Since 1997” was not substantiated with market survey data, or with verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s hospital and other hospitals, on year on year basis for the last 23 years as claimed, to prove that the surgery offered at their hospital is better than all the rest, or through an independent third party validation.
  32. Ramkrishna Care Hospitals: The print advertisement’s claim “The Largest and Most Experienced Heart Specialists Team of Central India” was not substantiated as the advertiser failed to provide any efficacy data or with any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s hospital and other similar hospitals in Central India, to prove that the team at their hospital is larger and more experienced in providing treatment for heart problems than any other team. The claim was also not backed by an independent third party validation. 
  33. Master’s Homeopathy: The print advertisement’s claim “HIV Can Be Treated Successfully” was not substantiated with robust clinical evidence of treatment efficacy. The advertisement promoting a treatment for HIV through homeopathic treatment, depicts a testimonial by Subhash who along with his wife were treated at the advertiser’s clinic. He indicated that through the medicines provided by at the clinic he could successfully raise his CDC count. The advertiser did not provide any details of the homeopathic treatment procedure, nor any details regarding the medicines and their approval status by the regulatory authorities nor any published scientific references in support of the claim.
  34. Apple Ayurveda Clinic: The print advertisement’s claim “Stop Alcoholic Person From Drinking by Mixing Ayurveda Medicine in The Vegetarian / Non-Vegetarian Food They Eat” and “All kinds of Drug Addictions Like Beedi, Cigarette, Betelnut Can Be Stopped” were not substantiated with robust clinical evidence of product efficacy. The advertiser did not provide any details of the medicines and their approval status by the regulatory authorities as well as relevant extracts of ayurvedic references in support of the claims. The details of the patients were not considered adequate to serve as claim support data.
  35. Samson Slim Care: The print advertisement’s claim “Reduce 10kg 30 Days”, “No Exercise” and “No Medicine”, were not substantiated. The advertiser did not provide details of their treatment procedure for weight reduction nor any weight loss data based on rigorous clinical trial. There was no data presented regarding efficacy of this treatment regardless of health status of the patients and in a time bound manner. The visual in the advertisement showing a model with a measuring tape implies a significant weight loss around tummy would be feasible, which is also grossly misleading. 
  36. Dr. Sharda Medilife Ayurveda Clinic: The print advertisement’s claim “Honoured by Health Minister Sh. Brahm Mohindra & India’s Health Minister Sh J.P Nadda” was not substantiated with the details of the recognition received by the advertiser. The CCC noted that the use of names of government officials from the Health Ministry in the advertisement, poses a potential risk of encouraging consumers to believe that the treatment promoted by the advertiser’s clinic is approved by the Government. The advertisement is also in violation of the AYUSH advisory which refrains advertisers / advertising agencies from using the names of Government departments and institutions in the advertisements of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homeopathy Drugs. 
  37. Dr. Sharda Medilife Ayurveda Clinic: The print advertisement’s claim, “Sure Shot Medicine to Quit All Kinds of Addictions”, was not substantiated with robust clinical evidence of patients treated and cured of all kinds of drug addiction such as Afeem, Smack, Heroin, Cocaine, and Ganja as claimed in the advertisement. The advertiser did not provide any details of the treatment procedure, nor any details regarding the ayurvedic medicines used for treating addiction, and their approval status by the regulatory authorities.  
  38. CNR Herbal Treatment Centre: The print advertisement’s absolute claims, “Psoriasis Can Be Completely Cured by Our Medicines” and “Psoriasis Will Never Re-Occur”, were not substantiated with robust clinical evidence. The advertiser did not provide any details of their treatment procedure, nor any details regarding the herbal medicines used for the claimed diseases, and their approval status by the regulatory authorities.  There was no scientific rationale submitted nor published literature references to support the claims made. 
  39. Nirvaana Wellness: The print advertisement’s claim, “India’s Most Trending Fitness Regime”, was not substantiated with any market survey data, or with verifiable comparative data of the advertiser and other similar Fitness Wellness centres in India, to prove that they are most trending compared to all the others for treating body fitness through Yoga, nor the claim was backed by an independent third party validation.  

The following advertisements were considered to be, prima facie, in violation of The Drugs & Magic Remedies (DMR) Act when the advertisement was viewed in totality with the texts and visuals:  

SR NoBrand/ProductClaim/s
MLJ Herbal/ Medohari Swaras 
  • Say Bye Bye to Obestiy  
Dr Kumars Homeopathy  
  • For healthy and successful married life 
  • For Low Libido
Sarkar Dispensary  
  • Successful treatment for Sexual Weakness and Childlessness
Dr. Pathak’s Homoeopathic Cure Center
  • Provide permanent treatment and consultation for kidney stone, uterus tumor, prostate enlargement
Surya Homoeo Clinic
  • Permanent treatment of all types of skin diseases (White Spots) with homeopathy
Shri Shyam Prakratik & Yoga Acupressure Chikitsalay
  • Successful treatment of arthritis, stone and asthma
Jaddi Dawakhana
  • Sex Power 
  • For strength and vigour 
  • Pleasure of happy married life 
Kapoor Nursing Home & Clinic
  • Cure Causes of Infertility
Vardaan Infertility & 

Medical Research Center Pvt Ltd.-Vardaan Medical Center

  • Complete and Successful Treatment of Infertility  
  • The Best Test Tube Baby Centre of North India 
Komal Pharmaceuticals/ Komal Eye Drops  
  • A divya aushadi so that the eyesight doesn’t get blur. 
Arogyadham (Aligarh)
  • Provide permanent treatment of various vaat diseases (arthritis, paralysis) and other complex diseases like white spots, high blood pressure, diabetes, stones, kidney diseases, epilepsy, various sexual diseases such as impotence, female problems (sterility)
Arogyadham Ayurvedic 

Chikitsa And Panchkarma (Jodhpur)

  • Provide successful treatment of arthritis, impotence
Dhingra Clinic
  • Provide successful treatment of sugar, BP, stone, obesity,  sex problems and skin diseases
Dr. Edward Health Care Centre
  • Provide quick treatment with success guarantee for masculine weakness, premature ejaculation, weak organ, discharge, nightfall or childless (male infertility)
Gaur Ayurveda/ 

Gaur Ayurvedic Hospital and Research Center

  • Sexual diseases- Sexual impotence in males 
  • Successful treatment of venereal diseases 
  • Female infertility– Successfully treated 
  • Breast Enhancement
Krishna Clinic
  • Increase height  
Rana Dispensary
  • Get back new strength, youthfulness and vigour before or after marriage 
  • Cure venereal disease from roots
Shakti Herbal
  • Freedom from diseases through Ayurveda 
  • Increase desired sex time 
  • Get rid of problems like impotence, childlessness

 

Personal Care

  1. Dabur India Ltd. (Oxylife Natural Radiance 5 Creme Bleach): The television advertisement’s claim in the voiceover as translated from Hindi “With Fairness get Flawless skin” was considered in contravention of ASCI Guidelines for Advertising for Skin Lightening or Fairness Improvement Products. The CCC did not agree with the advertiser’s contentions that their product was not a fairness product. Firstly, the advertisement itself refers to the fairness benefit of using the product. Secondly, the advertisement shows the protagonist to be dark and sad looking who, post product use, is shown to be fair in complexion and happy which was also considered to be misleading. 
  2. Dabur India Ltd. (FEM Fairness Naturals Bleach): The television advertisement’s claim, “Artificial chodo go natural”, “Saffron, Turmeric aur Gold se enriched…Fem Fairness Naturals…jo de naturally glowing skin” were not adequately substantiated. The advertisement is promoting Fem – a bleach product in three variants and the product has a registered trade mark `Fem Fairness Natural’.  The CCC did not agree with the advertiser’s contention that the advertisement is not about “fairness” as the context of the TVC is set in the opening frames itself. The TVC disclaimer further states that “Some creams gives artificial fairness that washes off” implying that the advertised product would give the same (fairness) benefit in a different manner. The advertisement shows the protagonist to be dark and grim face who, post product use, is shown to be fair in complexion and happy. The advertiser did not provide any substantiation as to which products they were referring to by “whitening creams” and more importantly, if these products did not contribute to any skin lightening effect at physiological level. Hence stating this to be the rationale for “Artificial Chhodo” claim was not justified, more so when a chemical bleach was being positioned as “Natural”. The TVC further shows visuals of natural ingredients – Saffron, Turmeric, and Gold, and says that the bleach product is enriched with these ingredients to give natural glow.   The CCC observed that the product is a chemical bleach and its action is not based on the presence of natural ingredients being depicted. Bleaching is considered as an aggressive skin de-pigmentation treatment using strong oxidising effect within a short duration. Indicating that as “Natural” and emphasizing it further with a tagline “Artificial chhodo, Go Natural” and “get glowing naturally” is misleading. The advertisement contravened ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Skin Lightening or Fairness Improvement Products. 
  3. Procter & Gamble Hygiene & Health Care Limited (Head & Shoulders Anti-Dandruff 2 in 1 Cool Menthol Shampoo + Conditioner): The television advertisement’s claim “Make Hair Straight” was not substantiated. The advertiser acknowledges that use of the conditioning shampoo only smoothens the cuticle which enables the hair to pack closely together to give the appearance of being “straighter”. However, the shampoo does not “straighten” the hair per se, as it does not modify the hair structure (as in case of hot iron or chemical relaxers) but only reduces the frizz. 
  4. Hindustan Unilever Ltd (Sunsilk Conditioner): The television advertisement’s claim as translated from Hindi “…keeps hair set… All day” and “Upto 24 HRS Set”, were not substantiated. The CCC observed that the test was done on hair swatches and not on real volunteers / consumers. The CCC did not consider these test results of tresses dried under stagnant condition to be comparable to real life conditions. The visuals in the TVC depicting a woman riding a scooter show much harsher conditions. An airstream will be blowing on the hair while riding whereas this is not true of the test experiments. The visuals in the TVC do convey the impression that the claim is valid under any circumstances. Whereas it is proven by the test report only for stagnant conditions. Hence, the disclaimer of “creative representation” does not hold in this context. 
  5. Godrej Consumer Products Ltd (Cinthol Original Deodorant and Complexion soap): The print advertisement’s claim “Recommended by Doctors” was not substantiated. As per the Nielsen Study submitted, about 105 Doctors from Chennai and Trichy were surveyed with regard to their preference in prescribing Cinthol Soap to their patients for skin protection. lt appears that the Doctors were given the names of around 14 different brands of Soaps, and were asked about their preference in prescribing  Cinthol soap for skin protection. The Study shows 60% of Doctors would recommend Cinthol to their patients for skin protection. The Advertisement nowhere mentions that only 60% Doctors recommend Cinthol for skin protection. The second claim “Reduces Risk of Skin Problems by upto 95%” was inadequately substantiated. There is no dispute that use of every Soap reduces Sebum. Mere removal of / reduction of Sebum by itself and presence of ingredients like TFM and Triclorocarbon cannot prevent Skin problems that to the extent of 95% as claimed in the advertisement. 
  6. Godrej Consumer Products Ltd (Godrej Expert Rich Crème Hair Colour): The television advertisement’s disclaimer “Godrej Expert Rich Crème Hair Colour ki tulna mein” violated ASCI Guidelines for Disclaimers in Advertising. As per the guidelines (“In television commercials or videos, a disclaimer shall remain on the screen for more than 4 seconds for every line and additional 2 seconds for every additional line……) which did not hold true in the case of the above mentioned claim. 
  7. Faze Cosmetics  (Faze Calendula Soap): The print advertisement’s claim, “A permanent solution for all skin problems (Pimples, Dark Spots, Dandruff, Psoriasis, Tinea Versicolor, Sun Burn)”, and “Skin becomes fairer with the first use of Faze Soap”, were not substantiated with product efficacy data. The advertiser did not provide any specific information for the product such as copy of Product approval license, product label, and Product composition details nor any scientific any evidence of presence of ingredients responsible for the claimed benefits of providing permanent solution for skin problems and for making the skin complexion fair with single use with a rinse-off category product. 
  8. Pee Cee Cosma Sope Ltd (Doctor Soap): The print advertisement’s claim, “Two Time Winner of National Award” was misleading the awards being referred to by the advertiser are incredibly old and are from year 1995 and 2005. The details of the award, its source and year of receiving the award was not mentioned in the advertisement. 

REAL ESTATE 

  1. Kedia Real Estate LLP (Kedia’s The Oxygen): The print advertisement’s claim “Rajasthan’s Most Trusted Real Estate Brand” was not substantiated with any market survey data or with verifiable comparative data of the advertiser and other real estate companies in Rajasthan or through any independent third party validation. The advertiser did not provide any information to back the claim and to prove that they are more trusted compared to all others for their residential/commercial projects. 
  2. SKYi Star Town: The print advertisement’s claim “Pune’s Best Residential Project” was not substantiated with market survey data, or with verifiable comparative of the advertiser’s residential project and other residential projects in Pune, to prove that their residential project is better than all the rest, or through an independent third party validation. 
  3. SPR Constructions Pvt Ltd- Market of India: The print advertisement’s claim “India’s Largest Wholesale Market” was not substantiated. The CCC observed that the advertiser is currently developing their project “Market of India”. The said marketplace was still in the process of being built and yet to be in existence, let alone qualify to be the India’s largest wholesale market. Moreover, a claim for a future product or services that would benefit a trader cannot hold. The advertiser’s response has only assertions about their wholesale centre and there was no verifiable substantiation regarding the scope of the project or an audited report or third-party validation. 
  4. Confident Group (Confident Willow): The print advertisement’s claim “The Best Housing Brand in Kerala” was not substantiated with market survey data or with any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser and other real estate developers in Kerala, to prove that they are better than all the rest in offering housing projects, or by an independent third-party report. The CCC noted that the advertisement did not mention the RERA number in the advertisement which is mandatory. 
  5. Bajwa Developers Group (Sunny Enclave): The print advertisement’s claim “North India’s Biggest Township” was not substantiated with any market survey data or any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s township and other township projects in North India. The advertiser did not provide with any information data to support the claim.
  6. Radiance Realty Developers India Ltd: The print advertisement’s claim “Chennai’s Most Trusted Builder” was not substantiated with any market survey data, or with verifiable comparative data, of the advertiser and other real estate developers/builders in Chennai, to prove that they are more trusted than the others for their residential/commercial projects, nor the claim was backed with a third party validation.
  7. M/s Agrawal Construction Co: The print advertisement’s claim “Most Trusted Properties in All Prime Locations of Bhopal” was not substantiated with market survey data or verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s projects and other similar real estate projects of other Builders/Construction companies in Bhopal, to prove that their projects are more trusted than all the rest, or through a third party validation.  

Food and Beverages 

  1. Pernod Ricard India Pvt Ltd (Absolut Music CD): The print advertisement depicting the Absolut brand name and reference to Music CDs was considered to be a surrogate advertisement for a liquor brand – Absolut Vodka. The advertisement is misleading by implication, and has reference to the words “A Colourful World is a Colourless One.  Absolut Music CDs.  Born Colourless”. In addition, the advertiser did not provide the annual market sales data of the product advertised, proof of the in-store availability of the product being at least 10% of the leading brand in the category the product competes as measured in metro cities where the product is advertised, and a valid certificate from an independent organization for distribution and sales turnover.  The print advertisement did not meet the requirements as per ASCI’s Guidelines for Qualification of Brand Extension Product or Service and hence was in violation of the said guidelines. 
  2. United Spirits Ltd – Johnnie Walker-The Journey (#The Travelling Billboard): The print advertisement with the caption “Celebrate Responsibly” is misleading and appears to be a surrogate advertisement for Johnnie Walker Scotch Whiskey. It violated ASCI guidelines of brand extension products. It was observed that the advertiser was not able to fulfil the criteria laid down for Brand Extension products as they did not have the required supporting documents. The advertisement has reference to the words “Johnny Walker – Keep Walking” and “Celebrate Responsibly” were considered misleading by implication.
  3. Shree Vishnu Agro Oil Corporation (SVT Gold Refined Vegetable Oil): The television advertisement’s claim “The Healthier Choice” was not substantiated. The advertiser did not submit any product specific details such as composition / license / pack artwork or samples and FSSAI approval for all the claims being made in the TVC. They also did not provide any technical data, scientific rationale, or clinical evidence of product efficacy, to prove the product to be healthier. There was no basis for comparison to indicate as to how the product is healthier and as compared to which commonly used edible oils / oil blends. The TVC implied that one need not compromise over taste and can have unrestricted /consumption of fried items by use of this product.  
  4. Bansal No.1 Tea: The television advertisement claim, “This is the best of Teas” and “This is No.1” to be objectionable. It was observed that the advertiser has obtained a registered trademark in September 1993 for the use of expressions. The advertisement carries the registered trademark logo on the right side, however on the left side of the frame makes a claim of “Bansal No.1 Tea”.  Its presentation was considered to be misleading by omission of a disclaimer to mention that it is a brand name and not a claim (as required as per FSSAI guidance documents for similar trademarks / claims) and more so in presence of another claim “Bansal No.1 Tea” for which the advertiser did not have any trademark registration.  

Others

The CCC found that the claims made in the following advertisements were misleading, exploit consumers’ lack of knowledge and can lead to widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers.

  1. Prince Pipes And Fittings Ltd (Prince Pipes ): The advertisement on multiple platforms claims “Presenting our range of Zero Defect* products”, “Zero Defect”, “Zero Defect wala Prince”  and Akshay Kumar endorsing Zero Defect symbol  were not substantiated. It was observed that the claim of ‘Zero Defect’ carries an asterisk (*) and is indicated with the symbol™. The asterisk (*) is further qualified to mention`* Zero Defect Manufacturing Process’. However, the Zero Defect manufacturing process may not necessarily result in zero defect product because there are many variables in the entire manufacturing process. Furthermore, the advertiser did not provide a copy of the application applied with trademark registry. As proof of their product being zero defect, the advertiser provided customer complaint data of two years which showed the calls made by their customers were only enquiry, dealership based calls, and not for the product quality; the same was not adequate to conclusively prove the product being `Zero Defect’. Additionally, the advertiser did not provide any evidence to show that the celebrity had done due diligence prior to endorsement, to ensure that all description, claims and comparisons made in the TVC are capable of substantiation.  The advertisement contravened ASCI’s Guidelines for Celebrities in Advertising and ASCI Guidelines for Disclaimers.
  2. ACC Limited Water (ACC Gold Shield): The YouTube advertisement’s claim “Paani Ki No Entry” (“No entry for water”) also said in a voiceover and seen in conjunction with the visual is not substantiated and is misleading. The claim is qualified via disclaimer to mention “Based on tests for water repellency carried out at ACC’s NABL accredited laboratory”. The data presented by the advertiser only indicated that Gold Shield water shield is better that their base product in preventing water permeation. However, it does not support the claim “No entry for water” as in fact, there is a certain level of water permeation exhibited; whereas the visual in the advertisement depicts water droplets falling off the cement surface with zero permeation. This is contradictory to the test report submitted by the advertiser. The disclaimer in the YouTube advertisement was not in the same language as the audio of the advertisement hence contravened ASCI Guidelines for Disclaimers in Advertising, as well.
  3. Hero Electric Scooters: The print advertisement’s claim “India’s No.1 Electric Vehicles Brand” was misleading. The CCC noted that the certificate referred to by the advertiser was only specific to the sale of “E2W” vehicles (Electric 2 Wheelers) whereas this important mention was missing in the claim statement. The CCC stated that data for “electric two wheelers” cannot be extrapolated to make claims for “electric vehicles” in general. The advertisement does not indicate the source of the claim. The advertisement also contravened ASCI Guidelines for Disclaimers in Advertising.
  4. Pubang Etron Electric Motor Private Limited- Etron Automobile Range: The print advertisement’s claim “The Best in Mileage” was not substantiated with any technical evaluation or verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s vehicles as compared to other similar three-wheeler vehicles to prove that they are the best in terms of mileage or through an independent third party validation. The advertisement contravened ASCI Guidelines for Disclaimers in Advertising.
  5. Electrotherm (India) Ltd (YObykes): The print advertisement’s claim “India’s Largest Selling E-Scooters” was not substantiated. The advertiser did not provide any verifiable comparative data or market research data to prove that their E-Scooters are selling more than all other similar E-Scooter brands in India in terms of value or volume share, or through an independent third-party validation.
  6. Fena (P) Ltd (Nip Nature & Shakti Dishwash Bar): The television advertisement’s claim “Not Only Cleans but Purifies Utensils” was not substantiated and is misleading by ambiguity and implication. The CCC did not agree with the advertiser’s contention that ‘Shuddhikaran‘ showcases their product’s cleaning prowess and should be seen in that context only. The  TVC shows a hand cleaning of a kadhai thoroughly clean, accompanied by a voice over which refers to “ab sirf safai nahin, karein bartanon ka shuddhikaran, nimbu, neem, chandan yukt NIP se, jo kare gehri safai aur kare shuddhikaran” , thus implying that the product goes beyond deep cleaning. As per the CCC, `Shuddhikaran’ is a term used for purification and in the context of steel utensils, reference to “deep cleansing” is not relevant. Use of the term “purification” was incorrect. 
  7. Sirmaur Soaps and Allied Products Pvt. Ltd – Sirmaur Range of Products: The print advertisement’s claim “The Best in Wash” ” was not substantiated with any technical evaluation or with verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s detergent/soap product and other similar detergent/soap products, to prove that their product provides a better wash than all the rest, or through an independent third party validation. 
  8. Simrise Trading (Moar Detergent Cake): The print advertisement’s claim “Moar No.1 Since 30 Years” was not substantiated with verifiable comparative data on year on year basis since 30 years as claimed, of the advertiser’s product and other detergents and soaps brands, to prove that their product is in leadership position (No.1) than all the rest, or through an independent third party validation. 
  9. HT Media Ltd (Hindustan): The ad-emailer’s claim “In India, 5.13 crore people wake up to Hindustan” was not substantiated. It was observed that the advertiser claims that 5.13 crore people wake up daily to Hindustan, implying this to be a readership figure and that this estimate is based on TR IRS Q3 2019. Based on the Indian readership Survey (IRS), readership measurement is based on two measures, Average Issue Readership (AIR) and Total Readership (TR). To measure daily readership, the advertiser ought to have provided details based on the AIR whereas the advertiser in the present case has referred to TR, which estimates the number of people who report having read a publication within the last one month. 
  10. HT Media Ltd (HT PALATE Fest 2019): The print advertisement’s claim “India’s Largest Food Festival” was not substantiated with any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s food festival and other food festivals in India, to prove that their food festival is larger than all the rest, or through an audited report or third-party validation. The print advertisement contravened ASCI Guidelines for Disclaimers in Advertising. 
  11. Zomato Entertainment Pvt. Ltd (Zomaland Picnic): The print advertisement’s claim “India’s Biggest Food Carnival” was not substantiated. The advertiser provided a tabulated summary projecting data for Zomaland and data range for other similar food carnivals, The CCC did not agree with the advertiser’s approach to arrive at the advertised claim. The figures quoted pertained to the advertiser’s own estimated data for their own event plan, which the advertiser projected as approximate figures.  The said carnival is yet to take place, let alone qualify to be the India’s biggest. Moreover, a claim for a future product or services that would benefit a trader cannot hold. The advertiser’s response has only assertions about their event there was no verifiable substantiation regarding the scope of the project or an audited report or third-party validation.   
  12. VR Chennai- WOAP Weekender: The print advertisement’s claim “India’s Largest Gourmet Festival” was not substantiated. The advertiser did not provide any market survey data, or any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s food festival and other food festivals organized in India, to prove that their gourmet food festival is larger than all the rest, or through a third-party validation. The advertisement contravened ASCI Guidelines for Disclaimers in Advertising.
  13. Sky Automobiles (P) Ltd: The print advertisement’s claim “Most Trusted Dealer” was not substantiated with any market survey data, or with verifiable comparative data, of the advertiser’s dealer and other similar automobile dealers, to prove that they are more trusted than the others, nor the claim was backed with a third party validation. 
  14. SFW The Gym: The print advertisement’s claim “Gujarat’s Largest Gym Chain” was misleading. The CCC concluded that the claim, was not substantiated with any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s gym chain and other gym chains in Gujarat, to prove that their chain of gyms is larger than all the rest, or through an audited report or third-party validation. The print advertisement contravened ASCI Guidelines for Disclaimers in Advertising.
  15. LA 1 Realty (Black Thunder Water Park): The print advertisement’s claim “India’s Largest Waterfall” was not substantiated with any market survey data, or any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s water park and other water parks in India. The advertiser did not provide any information and source of the claim to prove that the water fall in their water park is larger than all the rest, or through a third-party validation.
  16. Shankus Water Park & Resort: The print advertisement’s claim “India’s Largest International Standard Theme Water Park” was not substantiated with any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s water park and other water parks in India, to prove that they are larger than all the rest, or through an audited report or third-party validation. The advertisement contravened ASCI Guidelines for Disclaimers in Advertising.
  17. Ronic Instant Water Heating System: The print advertisement’s claim as translated from Marathi “Heat Water in 2 Seconds Only” “Aata fakt don secondaat garam paani” was not substantiated. The advertiser did not provide any brochure, user manual of the product, and technical details of the product’s effectiveness for heating water in 2 seconds.
  18. Sudarshan Saur Shakti Private Limited- Sudarshan Saur Solar Water Heater: The print advertisement’s claim “India’s Most Trusted Solar Brand” was not substantiated. The advertiser indicated that the claim was made based on awards received in the year 2012, 2013 and 2014, these certificates were not considered to be relevant for the advertised claims. Additionally, the advertiser did not submit any market survey data, or verifiable comparative data, of the advertiser’s brand and other similar solar water heater manufacturing brands in India, to prove that they are more trusted than the others, or through an independent third-party validation. 
  19. Stellar Renewable’s Pvt Ltd – Stellar Water Heater: The print advertisement’s claim “No.1 Solar Brand (North India)” was not substantiated with efficacy comparative data of the advertiser’s product brand. The advertiser failed to provide any source of the claim to prove that their product is in leadership position (No.1) than the rest in terms of value or volume share, or through a third-party validation.
  20. Texla World: The print advertisement’s claim “The Cheapest and The Best” was false and misleading by exaggeration. The CCC observed that the advertisement is promoting sale of Washing machines, Coolers, and Television under the brand name `Texla’ and claiming these electronic products to be best and cheapest, without providing any evidence to back the claim. 
  21. Shree Krishna Engineering Co – Pranami Domestic Flour Mill: The print advertisement’s claim “India’s No.1 Aatachakki” was not substantiated with verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s product and other flourmill/Aatachakki products in India, to prove that their product is in leadership position (No.1), in terms of value or volume share.  The claim was not backed with an independent third-party validation.
  22. Mohini Knitwears: The print advertisement’s claim “India’s Biggest Woolen Knitwears House” was not substantiated with any market survey data or with any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser and other similar manufacturers of woolen wear in India, to prove that they are bigger than all the rest, or through a third-party validation. 
  23. Valasumani Farm Machines Private Limited (Multicrop Thresher): The print advertisement’s claim “India’s No.1 Multi Crop Thresher” was not substantiated with market research data or with verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s product and other Multi-Crop Thresher products in India, to prove that it is in leadership position than the rest in terms of value or volume share.
  24. Delta Immigration: The print advertisement’s claim “100% Visa + Job”, was not substantiated as the advertiser did not provide a detailed verifiable list of candidates who received work visas for Dubai as claimed, verifiable evidence to support their enrolment including contact details for independent verification, copies of their appointment letters, a CA certification or an independent third-party claim validation. 
  25. Global Immigrations: The print advertisement’s claim “100% Job Setup”, was not substantiated as the advertiser did not provide a detailed verifiable list of all their clients and verifiable evidence that each of them were successful in getting a job, or a CA certification or an independent third-party claim validation.
  26. ACT (Atria Convergence Technologies Ltd.) – Act Fibernet: The print advertisement’s claim “India’s Largest Fiber Broadband Service Provider” did not mention the source and date of research. 
  27. ACT (Atria Convergence Technologies Ltd.) – Act Fibernet: The print advertisement’s claim “Bengaluru’s #1* Fibre Broadband” and “India’s Largest Fibre Broadband* did not mention the source and date of the research. 

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