ASCI upholds complaints against 134 misleading ads

New Delhi: Advertising industry watchdog ASCI upheld complaints against 134 campaigns in July for misleading ads, including those of Hero MotoCorp, Hyundai Motor, TVS Motor Company, Pfizer, LG, Procter & Gamble, ITC,, L'Oreal India, HUL, and Marico.

According to the Customer Complaints Council (CCC) of ASCI (Advertising Standard Council of India), it received 147 complaints during the month and maximum 56 complaints of misleading ads were upheld from personal and healthcare category.

The council concluded that auto maker Hyundai has violated its code by claiming to provide airbags and ABS as standard feature in all variants on its website and brochures. "However, the feature is available only in one variant. The website and the brochure contravened Chapter I.4 of the ASCI Code. The complaint was upheld," said ASCI.

Similarly, it also upheld complaint against two wheeler manufacturer Hero MotoCorp, which in an advertisement of Hero Xtreme shown stunts/bike performance done by a boy in "an irresponsible manner".

According to the advertisement regulator, Hero MotoCorp contravened its code which mandates that ads shall not "show or refer to dangerous practice or manifest a disregard for safety or encourage negligence." It also pulled TVS Motor, which in an ad of 125 cc bike TVS Phoenix shows actor Nazar asking for a lift by standing in the middle of the road. When asked for lift, actor Mahesh stops the bike in the middle of the road.

"The CCC viewed the TVC ad and concluded that the visual promotes unsafe practices," ASCI said.

Complaint against e-retailing firm was also upheld, where in an ad had claimed to 33 per cent extra for shopping above Rs 1,999. However, when one applies that code, it does not offer extra 33 per cent. "Hence, the offer of 'extra 33 per cent' is misleading. The complaint was upheld," the ad regulator said. 

Croma Retail could not substantiate its claims that Amazon Kindle Paperwhite starts from Rs 5,999 onwards and was thus found to be 'misleading'.

South Korean electronics major LG was also pulled for showing a disclaimer in ad in small fonts which was illegible. Similarly disclaimers in Pfizer's ad for its antacid gel and tablets Gelusil was not legible. TVC Sky Shop also failed to substantiate its claims with supporting data that its Shri Lakshmi KuberDhan Varsha Yantra "is for attaining better finances and assets".

Hindustan Unilever's ad of its Pureit Water Purifier contending that customers who do not use Pureit are paying five times more for unsafe water was found violating code. "The ad unfairly denigrated packaged drinking water," ASCI said.

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