Print Ads contravene more codes than TV ads: ASCI

Mumbai: During March and April 2012, the Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of ASCI, upheld complaints against 12 advertisements, most of them part of the healthcare and/or personal hygiene sector. During the same time, the CCC did not uphold complaints made against 12 advertisements.

Euro Fashion Inners received complaints against its print advertisement published across newspapers across the country. As per the complaint, the advertisement shows ‘naked men holding cockerels against their pelvic region while asking ‘what’s your size’?’ This advertisement was seen as one that is obscene and seriously offensive to public decency. The CCC concluded that the advertisement was indecent, vulgar and repulsive, which is likely to cause grave or wide spread offence. The complaint against the advertisement was UPHELD and the advertiser was asked to stop the campaign.

Sareen Hair Clinic’s advertisement stated that “Hair re-growth – also treatment for hair falling, baldness, alopecia, and thinning of hair. Non surgical hair replacement – painless, totally natural, completely undetectable, look younger in just 120 days, surgical hair replacement – get your hair back naturally in just 1 day procedure.” The advertiser did not provide any proof or supporting clinical information, neither were any details provided on reports of tests/trails conducted from an independent recognized testing institution. In the absence of supporting clinical information from the advertiser, the CCC concluded that the advertisement is likely to mislead consumers. Hence, the complaint against this advertisement was UPHELD.

Fit and Fine Slimming Centre and Beauty Clinic was under the scanner for their advertisement which claimed that “Reduce upto 5 kg, Lose up to 15 inches with Ultra Lypolysis Program, Advanced treatment free.” The advertiser failed to provide data or supporting technical information with details of reports of tests/ trails conducted by an independent recognized testing institution, in substantiation of these claims. In the absence of supporting clinical information, the CCC concluded that all claims mentioned in the advertisement were not substantiated and the complaint was UPHELD.

Fair Pharma, was pulled up for their advertisement that states “Cancer – We open for you the door back to life.” The treatment given by Fair PHarma for curing Cancer is not provided and the claim implies assuring consumers of curing cancer, which is a false claim. The claim needs to be substantiated with data based on independent scientific research. Since the advertiser failed to respond to ASCI’s letter and in the absence of supporting clinical information, it was concluded that the advertisement could be misleading and could cause wide spread grievance. Hence the complaint was UPHELD.

The advertisement of Smart Careers (BBS/BBA), claims “guaranteed College Admission.” This claim was not backed or substantiated with data or evidence. Also, there was no validation provided by an independent agency to confirm the claim. In the absence of any proof, it was concluded that the advertisement contravened Clause 3 of the aSCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions and Programs and hence this complaint was UPHELD.

Similarly, the advertisement of Career Launcher (IIM Calls) was pulled up for their claim “24 YLP admits in ISB.” In the absence of any verification of claims from an independent body, the CCC concluded that the advertisement contravened chapter 1.1 of the code and the complaint was UPHELD.

Stoss Welle Healthcare was under the radar for their advertisement which states “Many suffer from erection related problems/ pre-mature ejaculation/ leakage of urine/ difficulty in urination. Are you one of them? Obtain desired results with the help of latest proven state-of-the-art non surgical Swiss Technology.” Advertiser must provide proof, supporting clinical information, with details of report of tests and trials conducted from independent recognized testing institutions. In the absence of supporting clinical information, the CCC concluded that the claims mentioned in the advertisement and cited in the complaint, were not substantiated. Hence, this complaint was UPHELD.

Shree Baidyanath Ayurved Bhavan P Ltd’s advertisement on Rheumartho Gold Capsules states that “Enriched with most effective swarna bhasma and salal guggul; Offer lasting relief from backache, joint pain, muscular pain etc; Helps to treat the root cause of pain and Helps to regain the flexibility of joints”. Advertiser should provide proof, supporting clinical information, with details of test/trials reports conducted from an independent recognized testing body in order to substantiate these claims. However, in the absence of adequate clinical information, the CCC concluded that the claims mentioned in the advertisement and cited in the complaint were not substantiated and therefore this complaint was UPHELD.

In April, media house Dainik Jagran’s 2 advertisements were pulled up for being false and misleading. For their claim, “Haryana mein Dainik Jagran 2 guna Dainik Bhaskar se” Dainik Jagran has used the data of readership in the city of Faridabad and implied all state leadership. As a standard practice while comparing two publications, city data cannot and must not be referred to as state’s data. The CCC noted that the claim, ‘Haryana mein Dainik Jagran 2 guna Dainik Bhaskar se’ was not made on the basis Average Issue Readership (AIR), which was considered misleading. On another occasion, their advertisement which stated that Dainik Jagran is “Haryana’s No.1 newspaper,” was also pulled up for misleading the readers by using visual aids to create the illusion of its leadership and gap between the newspaper brands. Complaints against both these print advertisements were UPHELD for being false and misleading.

Vodafone, which is usually known for their excellent taste in advertising, was under the radar in April, for their TVC which depicted school going kids getting attracted towards each other and fall in love. The CCC concluded that the sexualized subtext of young teens being attracted to one another was likely to cause grave and widespread offence. Hence, the complaint was UPHELD.

PErnod Ricard’s print advertisement on Absolut Kher, shows the visual depiction of a &#8
216;bottle’ which is suggestive of a well known brand of liquor product – Absolut. The CCC concluded that the depiction of the bottle with the titles ‘Absolut’ was in violation of the ASCI Code as it propagated a product, the use of which is banned under the law. The complaint was UPHELD.


During the month of March, the CCC also received complaints against 2 advertisements of Perfetti Van Melle, and one each against Gulf Oil India, HUL’s VIM Detergent Bar, and Cadbury India’s Perk Chocolate, Johnson’s Baby Top-To-Toe Wash, HUL’s Close Up toothpaste, Parle Mango Bite, Uninor, HUL’s Axe Shower Gel, and Tata Chemical Ltd’s Tata Swach Water Purifier. As these advertisements did not contravene ASCI’s codes or guidelines, the complaints were NOT UPHELD.

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