The CCC evaluated 233 advertisements, of which complaints against 225 advertisements were upheld
An investigation of 310 advertisements were done by the Advertising Standards Council of India out of which 77 advertisements were withdrawn by the advertisers on receipt of communication from ASCI. The independent Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of ASCI evaluated 233 advertisements, of which complaints against 225 advertisements were upheld. Moreover, out of the 225 advertisements, 124 belonged to the education sector, 66 belonged to the healthcare sector, seven to the food and beverages sector, six to personal care and 22 were from the ‘others’ category.
According to Shweta Purandare, secretary general, ASCI, the current COVID-19 pandemic situation has created widespread anxiety, confusion and fear amongst the public at large following which ASCI is monitoring advertisements that are making unsubstantiated and opportunistic claims. “We have issued notices to advertisers for immediate suspension of such advertisements pending investigation,” she added.
Furthermore, ASCI has upheld several advertisements in order to tackle the growth of misleading claims by brands. For instance, an online shopping website was found misleading consumers by advertising a coupon code offering “discount on all orders.” Moreover, a print advertisement of one of the famous alcohol brands in India was upheld because of surrogate advertising and violating ASCI’s guidelines of brand extension products. Similarly, a widely used toothbrush brand could not substantiate a claim of being India’s No. 1 toothbrush brand recommended by dentists.
Apart from these, several advertisements found to be promoted by celebrities too were found to be misleading. For instance, an advertisement featuring a Bollywood actor endorsing the claim “India’s First Hygienic Gym” was found to be misleading. Another advertisement for women’s health tonic featuring a yesteryear Bollywood celebrity was found to be misleading.
Established in 1985, ASCI looks into complaints across all media such as print, TV, radio, hoardings, SMS, emailers, internet, website, product packaging, brochures, promotional material and point of sale material etc.