Advertising watchdog ASCI has pulled up several companies, including LG, Renault, Lenovo, Patanjali Ayurved and Godrej Consumer Products, for misleading advertisements in June.
During the month, the Customer Complaints Council (CCC) of Advertising Standard Council of India (ASCI) upheld complaints against 98 misleading advertisements, which also included those of e-commerce firms ibibo, Paytm, Policybazaar, Naaptol Online Shopping and taxi aggregator Uber India.
The regulator had received 159 complaints of misleading ads during the month, of which 25 were upheld in the healthcare category, 20 in education, 11 in food and beverages and 6 in the e-commerce sector.
According to ASCI, claim by Renault India that its multi purpose vehicle Lodgy is the number one multi-purpose vehicle in India was found to be misleading after it failed to substantiate its claim.
“The advertisement’s claim as Renault Lodgy — India’s No. 1 MPV was not substantiated with market share sales data, and is misleading,” ASCI said.
Reacting to the ASCI order, Renault India said ASCI had approached the company two months ago and the advertisement at that point was based on the results published by a leading trade magazine.
“Once this issue was brought to the notice of Renault, the company immediately changed the advert, which was in line with the standards set by ASCI. We would like to reiterate that we have no intention to mislead the public by our advertisement and the same was changed immediately,” the company said in a statement.
ASCI also pulled up Haridwar-based Patanjali for its two products — Patanjali Juices and Patanjali Energy Bar — as the ad regulator found that claims were “not substantiated” and “grossly misleading”.
It said that in the ad of Energy Bar, Patanjali had “unfairly denigrated the entire class/category of chocolates” and claimed that Patanjali fruit juices were cheaper with more fruit pulp.
When contacted, a Patanjali spokesman said: “We have already challenged ASCI’s power in this regard. The matter is now before the Bombay High Court.”
For May, ASCI had upheld 10 complaints against yoga guru Baba Ramdev-promoted Patanjali Ayurved for products such as Jeera Biscuit, Kacchi Ghani mustard oil, Kesh Kanti and Dant Kanti, among others.
FMCG major Godrej Consumer Products Ltd also failed to substantiate its claim of three times longer stay for its Cinthol Deo Stick.
“The advertisement’s claim “3X longer” is not substantiated and is misleading by ambiguity and exaggeration as the advertisement indicates the product to be 3X better than all deodorants while it has been tested against only two marketed products,” said ASCI.