Advertising sector watchdog ASCI has upheld complaints against 200 misleading advertisements in October, including those of HUL, Dabur India, Uber India, Hindustan Petroleum, Usha International and Indian Oil Corp. The Customer Complaints Council (CCC) of Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) received 319 complaints during the month. It upheld 82 in healthcare category, 75 in education, 11 in personal care, eight to the food and beverages category and 24 from other categories. The CCC found that the claims of Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) for its lever ayush soap saying ‘based on 5,000 year old ayurved scriptures with 15 ayurvedic herbs’ besides other claims were inadequately substantiated and are misleading. Furthermore, the ASCI said HUL did not submit any evidence that the celebrity is in agreement with the claims being made in the advertisement in general. “The visual of the celebrity (Akshay Kumar) when seen in conjunction with the claims are likely to mislead consumers regarding the product efficacy and contravened ASCI’s guidelines for celebrities in advertising,” ASCI said.
Similarly, Dabur India was pulled up for its advertisement of Dabur lal tel which claimed ‘Dugni tezi se sharirik vikas’. The ad regulator said the claim was valid for babies up to six months of age and there was a discrepancy in the ad as it showed the baby getting up and walking towards the mother indicating the age to be more than six months. Cab aggregator Uber India’s advertisement claim which said ‘save Rs 500 on your next 10 Uber rides and ride Uber and the discount will auto apply’, were found misleading by ASCI. “The advertisement claims were misleading by omission of validity of the promotion period, and that the offer is subject to terms and conditions,” ASCI said.
For Hindustan Petroleum Corp advertisement, the regulator said the visual of a rider and pillion rider on a two wheeler without helmet as depicted in the advertisement shows violation of traffic rules and is an unsafe practice. Indian Oil Corp was also pulled up for its servo oil advertisement claim ‘India’s largest selling trusted lubricants’ ASCI said it was not substantiated with verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s product and other competitive products, or with a market sales data, or through a third party validation. Usha International ad claim for its Usha Honeywell evaporative air cooler which said ‘cools up to 80 square metres’, was found inadequately substantiated under test conditions and misleading by exaggeration.