Press "Enter" to skip to content

Advertising watchdog upholds complaints against 98 Indian ads

Advertising sector watchdog ASCI upheld complaints against 98 misleading advertisements in October, including those of Flipkart, Air India, Bajaj Corp, AB Inbev India, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, Panasonic, Xiaomi Technology, Vodafone and Bharti Airtel.

The Customer Complaints Council (CCC) of Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) received 162 complaints for the month. It upheld 31 in the education category, 37 in healthcare category, six in food and beverages and five in the personal care segment, among others.

The CCC found an advertisement of e-commerce firm Flipkart putting “false” price of Titan Sonata digital Watch. “The advertisement through website communication claiming the MRP of the product as Rs 599 was false. The advertisement offering a discounted price of Rs 479, when the actual MRP of the product is Rs 399, distorts facts and is therefore misleading the consumers as to actual discount being offered,” it said.

It upheld two complaints against GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare for its products Horlicks and Horlicks Growth for putting “misleading” claims. “The advertisement’s claims: ‘Horlicks now has two times higher immune-nutrients, that helps support your child’s immunity and make him taller, stronger, sharper, Strong inside. Taller, Stronger, Sharper outside’, were inadequately substantiated and are misleading by implication of enhancement of immunity,” it said.

Similarly, public carrier Air India was also pulled up for its ad after it failed to substantiate its claim in an ad of “more leg space, hot meals and more luggage allowance”. “Also, the advertisement hoarding is misleading and by implication unfairly denigrates other competitor airlines,” it added.

The ad regulator upheld that liquor firm Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) India’s ad on the brand’s Twitter page makes reference to Music CDs, through which it was concluded that the advertisement was a surrogate advertisement for the promotion of a liquor product Budweiser Beer. “Thus, the advertisement is misleading by implication and contravened Chapters I.4 and III.6(b) of the ASCI Code… It was also observed that the twitter homepage also shows the beer bottle which is in contravention,” it added.

It also upheld Vodafone’s claim of getting new “iphone7 before the world! as “false and is misleading by exaggeration”.

Leading telecom operator Bharti Airtel was also pulled up for its claim of recharge of Rs 29 advertised as “Mahiney bhar ka internet”. The supers in the advertisement informs the customers that 75 MB of data is offered on a recharge of Rs 29 with validity of 30 days. It was noted that the advertisement visual depicts tabs for Facebook and YouTube implying that data may be used for these Apps, but for the Facebook and YouTube applications, 75 MB is not likely to last for a month,” it said. “The claim Rs29 Mahiney bhar ka internet (Rs.29 Internet for full month) is misleading by ambiguity and implication,” said ASCI.

Panasonic was also pulled up for its ad of ACs Panasonic Life Conditioners, where it has used the word word “Nanoe-G” to describe fine particles consisting of ions and radicals. “While the AC may have the capacity to remove dust and kill bacteria due to Negative ions being emitted, the reference to Nano is misleading by ambiguity and implication as negative ions are not considered as Nano particles,” it said.

Mails sent to Vodafone, Airtel, Flipkart, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer, Panasonic and AB Inbev India seeking their response remained unanswered​