Fight Against Misleading Advertisements: 89 False Ads To Go Off Air

If the complaint is upheld then the ad will need to be modified or pulled out as it is applicable to all complaints. Currently, 100% of TV advertisements and over 80% print advertisements against whom a complaint is upheld by ASCI's are modified or withdrawn as confirmation in writing received by ASCI from the Advertiser or it's concerned advertisement Agency.

Fight Against Misleading Advertisements: 89 False Ads To Go Off Air

Lucknow: The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) found 89 Advertisements violating its guidelines for the year 2018. ASCI investigated complaints against 208 advertisements. Ad sector watchdog upheld 89 of them. For 63 advertisements, the advertisers promptly ensured corrective action as soon as the complaints were received.

"Consumers now seem to more aware than before. There's a huge increase in online complaining against false or improper advertisements," ASCI General Secretary, Shweta Purandare told Gaon Connection.

Of the 89 advertisements wherein the complaints were upheld, 27 belonged to the education sector, 25 to the healthcare sector, 15 to the food & beverages category, five to personal care and 17 were from the 'others' category.


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If the complaint is upheld then the ad will need to be modified or pulled out as it is applicable to all complaints. Currently, 100% of TV advertisements and over 80% print advertisements against whom a complaint is upheld by ASCI's are modified or withdrawn as confirmation in writing received by ASCI from the Advertiser or it's concerned advertisement Agency.

Total 102 advertisements picked up through ASCI's Suo Moto surveillance of Print and TV media via the National Advertisement Monitoring Services (NAMS) project. 49 advertisements were considered to be misleading. Of them, 16 advertisements belonged to the Healthcare category, 16 belonged to the Education category, six belonged to the Food & Beverages category, one to Personal care category, and ten belonged to the 'Others' category.

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Upheld Ads

PepsiCo India Holding P. Ltd (Quaker Oats): In the advertisement, a lady conveys that being a play school teacher is like doing sprints and sit-ups whole day. Celebrity chef Vikas Khanna conveys that Alisha Merchant eats Quaker oats which consist of two times more protein and fibre, immunity supporting micronutrient and nutritious energy that keeps you going.

Claim: "Quaker Oats me hai 2x More Protein and Fibre" was qualified with a disclaimer "*Per serve comparison with cornflakes. Reference: Atlas of Indian Foods", which was not legible and not as per ASCI Guidelines on Disclaimers (font size, contrast, hold duration).

The commercial was considered to be misleading by ambiguity and omission of the direct reference of such comparison in the VoiceOver itself. The advertisement's claim "Two times more protein" was misleading by ambiguity and implication and the commercial under reference contravened ASCI's Guidelines for Celebrities in Advertising.

PepsiCo India Holdings P. Ltd (Quaker Oats): In the advertisement, a doctor is seen operating a small kid at odd hours. Celebrity Chef Vikas Khanna then says that "Dr. Varun works a 24 hours shift. Dr Varun Nair is truly an ambassador of full fitness and is assisted by Quaker Oats".

Claim: "Quaker Oats me hai 2x More Protein and Fibre*" was qualified with a disclaimer "*Per serve comparison with cornflakes. Reference: Atlas of Indian Foods", which was not legible and not as per ASCI Guidelines on Disclaimers (font size, contrast, hold duration).

The commercial was considered to be misleading by ambiguity and omission of the direct reference of such comparison in the VoiceOver itself. The advertisement's claim "Two times more protein" was misleading by ambiguity and implication and the commercial under reference contravened ASCI's Guidelines for Celebrities in Advertising.

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Ambiguity and Exaggeration

The agency takes suo moto action against Rasna Private Limited (Rasna): The advertisements claim, "Natural Fruit Energy", was inadequately substantiated and is misleading by ambiguity and implication about the fruit content in the product. The visual of celebrity Kareena Kapoor, when seen in conjunction with the claim, is likely to mislead consumers regarding the nature of product benefit and contravened the Guidelines for Celebrities in Advertising.

ASCI upheld the claim against Complan for claiming to be the 'Only' product whose 'one cup has protein equivalent to one egg".

"Kraft Heinz India Private Ltd - Complan: The advertisement's claims, ONLY one cup of Complan has protein equivalent to one egg" and "Other Health drinks provide protein equivalent to half egg only." were not substantiated.

"Only Complan" is hyperbolic and the word 'Only' pertains to a comparison with similar products i.e. health food drinks catering to healthy growing children aged between 5 -15 years which are in competition with 'Core Range' of Complan.

The claims were considered to be misleading by ambiguity and exaggeration as well as in contravention of the ASCI Guidelines on Disclaimers," it said.

The Advertising Standards Council of India also found Lotus Herbals Pvt. Ltd (Lotus Professional PhytoRx Sun Protection Range) to be a superlative claim ("Nature's most effective shield against the sun"),which not substantiated with evidence of product efficacy and with technical tests/trial reports and is misleading by gross exaggeration.

ASCI also upheld the RSPL Limited (Venus Crème Bar) advertisement claim that "Venus crème bar made of natural cream that goes to the depth of the skin", was not substantiated and is misleading by ambiguity and implication.


If you come across such misleading advertisements on TV/ magazines/ newspapers you can lodge a complaint on the ASCI website.

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