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In August 2016, ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against 152 out of 209 advertisements. Out of 152 advertisements against which complaints were upheld, 27 belonged to the Healthcare category, 66 to the Education category, followed by 17 in the Food & Beverages category, 10 in Personal Care Category, 5 in clothing and accessories category and  27 advertisements from other categories.




Rajvaidya Shital Prasad & Sons (Hempushpa): The advertisement’s claim (in Hindi), “No. 1 Medicine and Tonic trusted of crores of women since 90 years”, was not substantiated with supporting proof, and is misleading by exaggeration. They also claim, “Women Health Issues? Treat it from the Roots” which was not substantiated with evidence of product efficacy, and is misleading.


Olefia Biopharma Limited (Votif Range of Products): The advertisement’s claims (in Hindi), as translated into English, “The lack of sexual desire”, “Premature ejaculation & nightfall”, “Scanty & thin semen”, “Swelling on nerves & lack of strength”, “Low sperm count & their weakness”, “Incomplete development of organs”, “Inability to complete the act of Fertility”, “Sagging of organ due to old age”, were not substantiated with evidence of product efficacy, and are misleading. In addition, specific to the claims implying treatment for all sexual problems, and the claims, “The lack of sexual desire”, “Premature ejaculation & nightfall”, “Inability to complete the act of Fertility”, “Decrease in Erection”, read in conjunction with the advertisement visual implies that the product is meant for enhancement of sexual pleasure and is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.


Chetanta (Get Diabetes cured by acupressure Spring): The advertisement’s claims (in Gujarati), as translated into English, “Diabetes expert Dr. Chetan Daswani has treated innumerable patients and they have benefited from it. Dr. Daswani cures the disease of diabetes without giving any medicine, injection, and tablet. He has done this successful research”, were not substantiated with data to prove qualifications of Dr. Chetan Daswani as a diabetes expert, clinical evidence to support treatment without medicine and are grossly misleading.  Also, specific to the claims related to treatment for Diabetes, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.



B P Food Products Pvt. Ltd. (Double Trishul Atta): The advertisement’s claim (in Hindi) as translated into English, “The Double Trishul Atta Chakki Fresh Atta is packed with natural food grade packing material so that the entire family can be protected from many serious diseases”, was not substantiated and is misleading.


Eastern Foods Pvt. Ltd. (Eastern Spices): The advertisement’s claim, “India’s No.1 Spice Company”, was not substantiated with comparative data versus other similar brands in the same category, and with market share sales data, and is misleading by exaggeration.


Organic India Pvt. Ltd. (Organic Ghee): The advertisement’s claims, “100% Organic”, “USDA Organic”, “From organically raised mother cows” and pack claim in the advertisement “100% certified organic”, were not adequately substantiated with supporting evidence. Also, these claims are considered to be misleading by ambiguity.


Hindustan Unilever Ltd. (Dove Soap): The advertisement claims that that Dove soap is smoother on skin than all other soaps. They tell people to check soap using litmus paper. The litmus paper turns blue in all cases except Dove soap. The litmus paper turns blue in case of other soaps as other soap is basic in nature. It was noted that showing a litmus test as an indicator for mildness with a voice over “litmus blue ho gaya” is misleading by implication. It was concluded that the reference to a litmus test to support the claim, “Harsh nahi, gentle chuniye” was not substantiated adequately, and is misleading.

Biotique (Biotique bio kelp Shampoo): The advertisement’s claims, “Clinically tested”,  “97 percent reported thicker, fuller, stronger and faster growing hair” and “Thicker, fuller, healthier hair”,  were not substantiated with proof of efficacy for the product, and are misleading.

Nivea India Pvt. Ltd. (Nivea Whitening Cell Repair Body Lotion): The advertisement’s claims (in Hindi) as translated into English, “Tan Free Skin just in 2 weeks”, was not substantiated with proof of efficacy for the product, and is misleading.



Aliya Shoes: The advertisement showcases the protagonist (a minor girl) sitting on the road side mending shoes. Hence it was concluded that the advertisement of Aliya shoes is encouraging / promoting child labour which is in violation of The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986.


Zikimo Trends: The advertisement’s claim, “Full Mirror work Punjabi salwar kameez at Zikimo” and the visual representation of the product is false and misleading. While the product claimed to have mirror work, it appeared to have foil work and not mirror work.


Letv (Leeco) (Lemax2): The advertisement’s claim, “Watch the bezels disappear Bezel-less design enters unchartered territory with Le Max2’s triple anodic oxidation process to form an integrated whole – with no distinction between screen surface and phone exterior for a truly immersive viewing experience” read along with the visual of the product with no bezels is false and misleading as it did not resemble the actual product provided to the complainant that has bezels.


The CCC found following claims in the advertisements by 66 different advertisers were not substantiated and, thus, violated ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions. Hence complaints against these advertisements were UPHELD.


Chennais Amirthas Institute of Hotel Management: The advertisement’s (voice over) claims, “Now what you all will be seeing is our Chennais Amirthas infrastructure”, and the visual showing the infrastructure of the institute are misleading.  Also, the voice over claims of “100” Job”, “Rs.10, 000/- salary during the course of studies” and “overseas employment after graduation”, were not substantiated with supporting evidence.

P.K. University: The advertisement of P.K. University does not show actual image of the advertised institute. The picture portrays a grand structure similar to Mysore Palace, which is false and grossly misleading.  The advertisement contravened Clause 4c of the Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions and Programs (“Visual of Infrastructure of the Institution shown in Advertisement shall be real and existing at the time of ad’s release”)

Parul University: The advertisement’s claim, “10,000 + Placements in 500 + Industries”,   was not substantiated with authentic supporting data such as detailed list of students who have been placed through their Institute, contact details of students for verification, enrolment forms and appointment letters received by the students. Also, the claim is misleading by exaggeration. Further the claim, “Recognized by UGC, New Delhi”, was not substantiated with supporting proof.  Also, this claim is misleading as the UGC website shows that the compliance to UGC visit by UGC expert committee is still pending as substantiated by the complainant.



Trikhaldarshi Masaliya Aghori Bapu  (Icchadari Vashikaran): The advertisement’s claims (in Gujarati), as translated into English, “Solution in 1 hour with 1000% guarantee (He makes impossible, possible)”,  “Established since years and well-known, settled Solution for A TO Z problems”, “Double gold medalist, famous world over, king of tantra-mantra”, “Having many years’ experience”,  “Eliminator of thousands of people’s suffering. Miracle of Girnar’s ascetic”, “Love problem, discord between husband and wife, problem with children, objects related to sorcery, Possibility of going abroad, divorce, one-sided love, getting rid of enemy, NRI problem, profit in business, land-property, debt-recovery, instant solution to all kinds of problems”, “Problem in going abroad, getting green card”, “Result at first attempt”, were not substantiated and are misleading by gross exaggeration.  Also, the advertisement exploits the consumers’ lack of knowledge and is likely to lead to grave or widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers.

Dr. Sneh’s Mind Power (Mind power workshop): The advertisement’s claims (in Gujarati) as translated in English, “attending this program you get freedom from- Depression, body diseases, negative thoughts, anger, stress and misunderstanding”,  “Progress in job/business”,  “sweetness in relationship”,  “’20 Lac Indians benefited’”, were not substantiated with authentic scientific evidence and are misleading by exaggeration.

SpiceJet Ltd.: The complaint was pertaining to the in-flight meal served by SpiceJet Ltd. and the mismatch of the product visual in the advertisement on the website and the actual product served to the complainant. It was concluded that the visual of the product shown on the product packaging and on the website did not resemble the actual product in the box served to the complainant and is misleading.


About Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI)

The Advertising Standards Council of India is a self-regulatory organization for the advertising industry. Established in 1985, ASCI’s role has been acclaimed by various Government agencies. ASCI is recognized under ‘The Cable Television Network Rules, 1994’ which states that ‘No advertisement which violates the Code for self-regulation in advertising, as adopted by the Advertising Standard Council of India (ASCI), Mumbai, for public exhibition in India, from time to time, shall be carried in the cable service’. The Govt. bodies including The Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA) and Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) have partnered with ASCI to address all misleading complaints as well as misleading advertisements in the Food & Beverage sector.

The Role and Functioning of the ASCI  and its Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) is in dealing with Complaints received from Consumers and Industry, against Advertisements which are considered as False, Misleading, Indecent, Illegal, leading to Unsafe practices, or Unfair to competition, and consequently in contravention of the ASCI Code for Self-Regulation in Advertising.