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ASCI objects to misleading advertisements

Thursday, January 12, 2017
By Raju Vernekar

A majority of healthcare companies offering remedies for illnesses have been asked to withdraw misleading advertisements they have been carrying for promoting their products by the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), a self-regulatory organisation for the advertising industry.

In its recent report, based on the complaints received from consumers, the ASCI has pointed out that the advertisement by 'Thosh Ion Shower' offering solution by negative ion therapy to the patients suffering from asthma, respiratory diseases, migraine and insomnia, was unsubstantiated. Similarly 'Respi Care' offering 100 per cent relief by “salt room therapy” for asthma, bronchitis, rheumatoid arthritis and sinusitis was misleading.

In food and beverages category, the advertisement of “Nature Fresh Professional Best Fry Premium Frying Oil” by the Cargill India Pvt. Ltd. was inadequately substantiated with comparison data with other blended oils. Similarly its claim that its “Nature Fresh ActiLite Cooking Oil” was “Low fat cooking”, was  not substantiated with any evidence or technical test report.

The advertisement for 'Budweiser' by the AB Inbev India Private Limited proved to be a surrogate advertisement for the promotion of a liquor product – Budweiser Beer. The company’s twitter homepage also showed the beer bottle which was in contravention of Chapter III.4 of the ASCI code.

In all the ASCI upheld complaints against 98 out of 162 advertisements. Of these 37 belonged to the healthcare category, 31 to the education category, followed by six in the food and beverages category, five in personal care category and 19 advertisements from other categories.

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