ASCI upholds 171 complaints against misleading ads in January

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MUMBAI: Advertising sector watchdog ASCI upheld complaints against 171 misleading advertisements in January this year, including those of Livon, Dove shampoo, Byju’s, Lotus Herbals, among others.
The Customer Complaints Council (CCC) of Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) received 247 complaints in the month.
Amongst the 171 advertisements which it held misleading, 118 belonged to the healthcare category, 16 to the education category, 10 to the food and beverages category, five to personal care and 22 were from other categories, it said in a statement.
From the total of 148 advertisements picked by ASCI’s suo moto surveillance, complaints against 130 advertisements were upheld. Of the 99 advertisements complained against by the general public or by industry members, 41 advertisements were upheld by the CCC.
Out of 148 advertisements, total of 130 advertisements were considered to be misleading. Of the total 130 advertisements, 101 advertisements belonged to healthcare, 15 to the education category, one to food and beverage category, two to personal care category and 11 to the others category.
It upheld the complaint against Marico’s Livon hair serum as it was not substantiated with verifiable comparative product test data of the advertiser’s product and other competitor products and found it misleading by exaggeration and implication.
“The claim, ‘three times smoother, 50 per cent glossier’, was based on test result compared with untreated hair. When viewed together with the claim of ‘Best Hair Serum’, these numerical claims were considered to be misleading by implication that the claim holds against other competitor products and by omission of mention of the basis of comparison,” it said.
It also pulled up Hindustan Unilever’s Dove environmental defence shampoo advertisement claim was inadequately substantiated and is misleading by implication and exaggeration.
Learning app Byju’s advertisement was also upheld as the claims were not substantiated with supporting data and were misleading by exaggeration.
“The advertisement’s claims, ‘One crore students are learning from Byju’s- the learning app, 600 member strong R&D team is involved in creating the best learning programme for students, 93 per cent parents reported an overall increase in their children’s grades after using Byju’s, 90 per cent students renew their Byju’s course year on year and 51 minutes spent on the app on an average by a student everyday were not substantiated with supporting data and are misleading by exaggeration,” it said.
It pulled up Lotus Herbals Youth Rx advertisement claim of reverse ageing, 10 times more geneplex youth compound, and stop ageing, were not substantiated with evidence of product efficacy and are misleading by gross exaggeration.
“Additionally, the TVC shows endorsement of the claims by a celebrity Shilpa Shetty which, when seen in conjunction with the unsubstantiated claims, is likely to mislead consumers regarding the product efficacy,” it said.
ASCI also found Ruchi Soya’s Sunrich Sunflower Oil advertisement claims to be misleading by exaggeration.
“The advertisement’s claims ‘absorbs 15 per cent less oil, and ‘helps in reducing family intake of nine litres oil’ were inadequately substantiated. It was concluded that these claims are misleading by exaggeration,” it said.

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