Mumbai, June 4:
The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has upheld complaints against 171 misleading and exaggerated ads(print and TV commercials), including 77 educational, 59 healthcare, six real estate, , five visa/immigration services, five personal care, four food and beverages and 15 advertisements to other categories.
ASCI investigated complaints against 279 advertisements, of which 101 advertisements were withdrawn by the advertisers on receipt of communication from ASCI.
ASCI’s role has been acclaimed by Government bodies including the Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA), Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), Union Ministry of AYUSH and the Union I & B Ministry.
ASCI Secretary General Shweta Purandare,said “Our guidelines for usage of awards/ rankings in ads, introduced in January 2020, are proving to be a timely step in the right direction. We are educating the advertisers that self-sponsored awards will not hold any more:.
Out of the 25 ads against which ASCI received public complaints, 12 ads were withdrawn by the advertisers. Of the remaining 13 ads, the complaints against six ads were upheld by the ASCI and 7 ads were not considered to be objectionable.
Some of the objectionable ads were: Times Network Ltd (ET Now) (use of rating percentage to claim viewership), Malayalam Manorama Company Ltd (Manoramaonline) (the claim “No. 1 Malayalam News site”), Bajaj Auto Ltd (Bajaj Platina 110 H Gear) (visual of the pillion rider shaving the beard of a police officer riding the bike) (the ad violates traffic safety norms), Ultratech Cement Ltd. (Ultra Tech Cement) (“Desh ka No.1 Cement”) and Lakshmi Ganapathi Group (exaggerated offers to flat seekers),
Suo Motu surveillance by ASCI
Under Suo Motu surveillance, ASCI picked up 254 ads. Of these 89 advertisers agreed to withdraw their ads. Other 165 ads were found to be misleading. They included 77 educational, 59 healthcare, six real estate, five Visa/Immigration services, five personal care, four Food and Beverages and nine advertisements of other categories.
Complaints against the ads of educational institutes were upheld since they claimed to provide 100% placement and claimed “No.1” in their field. Many ads also contravened ASCI Guidelines for usage of awards/rankings. Some of the institutes were: Spoorthi Coaching Center ( Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh), Koshi Paramedical Institute, Saharsa( Bihar), Hindustan Soft Education Ltd(New Delhi) and Pragna Coaching Centre( Anantpur, Andhra Pradesh).
The healthcare category included: Indira IVF Hospital Pvt Ltd,( Rajasthan, UP, Maharashtra) (the claim in TVC featuring celebrities “ India’s largest and most successful IVF and fertility Chain”), Bavishi Fertility Institute (Gujarat and Maharashtra) (“No.1 in India for Childbirth”), Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Limited (Apollo BGS Hospitals) (Hyderabad) (the claim-”Most experienced doctors”, was not supported through third party validation), Gayatri Health Clinic (Maharashtra) (“Cure Diseases within 36 hours”), Care Us Pharmaceutical Private Limited ( Uttarakhand) (Otena Ear Drop) ( print ad “No.1 Ear Drop as per Operation Crime 2019”), Global Health Aesthetics Laser Hospital( Uttarakhand) (“Remove Fat Forever” and “Reduce 2” to 6" without Surgery”), Dhanvantri Super Specialty Hospital, Kanpur(Uttar Pradesh) (“Win Over Cancer, Now”), Arul Siddha Clinic, Erode, Tamil Nadu (“Assured blessing of child, if conception does not occur”).
Samir Patel’s Mascot Groups Education & Migration (Ahmedabad, Gujarat), Amigos Overseas (Bhavnagar, Gujarat), T.K. Immigration Services Pvt. Ltd (Mumbai, Maharashtra) (“100% Visa guarantee).
AMR Infrastructures (AMR Future City) (Most trusted in Hyderabad ), Bahri Estates Pvt Ltd (Delhi, Tamil Nadu) (superlative claim-”Named the World’s Best Retirement Community”),
Kolte-Patil Developers Ltd (Pune, Maharashtra) (“The Most Trusted Brand in Pune” and “The Best Township in Pune”), M3M India Pvt. Ltd ( Gurgaon, Haryana)( 100+ Awards in Luxury Residential Project Segment”..no copy of award certificates ).
Food and Beverages
Rasna Private Limited (Rasna Native Haat Honey Vita) ( Print ad- “Makes mentally and physically active”, Strengthen bones and Muscle redevelopment”, endorsed by sportswoman, Saina Nehwal), Manikchand (7 Hills Manikchand Pan Masala) ) ( No statutory warning “ Chewing of Pan Masala is injurious to health” which violates FSSAI guidelines) and Jivo Wellness Pvt. Ltd (New Delhi) ( “Control sugar and protects/stops from going fat, and diseases away).
Ads related to other categories
The ASCI found that the claims made in the following ads were misleading: Ixigo.com (Le Travenues Technology Private Limited) (Gurgaon, Haryana) (TVC — “Only Ixigo money lets you use 100 percent cash back”), JMD Water Heater Private Limited (New Delhi) (iLiv Water Purifier)(“Helps Boost Your Immunity”), Feastoo Online Services Pvt Ltd (fooddoo.com) (Velachery, Chennai, Tamil Nadu) (World’s No Homemade Food Delivery Company”), Sirmaur Soaps & Allied Products Pvt. Ltd ) Bareilly (Uttar Pradesh), (Rajhans detergent powder and Gold Soap) (“The Best in Washing”), NRJ Electric Motor Vehicle Pvt. Ltd (NRJ E-Rikckshaw) (Uttar Pradesh) (“Highest Selling Modern-Powerful Motor and Body in UP”).
Raju Vernekar is a Media Professional based in Mumbai and is a regular contributor of Imphal Times. He had served as Chief Reporter at Free Press Journal (1996 – 2015 ). His Activities includes writing for different news papers, script writing/production for TV channels, Films Division. Writing poems in Marathi, Hindi, English, Guiding mass media students and helping people to solve their problems. Raju may be contacted at [email protected]