Top FMCG firms put on notice for misleading ads
FMCG firms that make tall claims to embellish their brands will now have to back such promotional assertions with scientific proof or temper the tone.
This is because the government is planning to tighten the noose around firms that have been making exaggerated claims in their ad-campaigns. The food regulator — Food Safety and Standards Authority of India — has sent notices to leading companies such as Hindustan Unilever, Britannia Industries, Marico, GSK Consumer Healthcare, Heinz India, Dabur India, Emami Biotech, Kelloggs India, Cadbury India — accusing them of making inflated claims about their products.
These, the regulator feels, violates law (section 24 of FSS Act). It has also begun prosecution proceedings against select companies in this matter.
For instance, HUL has been pulled up by the government for claiming that its product Kissan creamy spread has ‘three times more essential nutrients than sadharan butter’.
Also under scanner are Britannia Vita Marie for claims such as ‘heart-friendly’ and ‘helps reduce cholesterol’ and Britannia Nutrichoice biscuits for declarations of ‘no added sugar’, ‘complex carbohydrates’ and ‘diabetics- friendly’.
Similarly, GSK Consumer Healthcare, the government has alleged, violates law by a ‘misleading’ claim’ on its product Boost that it ‘provides three times more stamina than ‘sadharan chocolate drink’, adding that the producer (GSK) has not submitted any specific study on this product to substantiate its claims.
Another flagship GSK product, Horlicks, has also been red-marked by the
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