Healthcare and Education led misleading ads; ASCI to take charges against 190 ads out of 334 from various sectors.

During June 2019, the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) investigated the complaints received on 334 ads. As per the council’s info, out of 334 ads; 106 ads got hastily removed by the advertisers immediately after receiving information from ASCI.

The individually filed complaints on Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of ASCI confirmed charges against 190 as, out of 228 ads assessed by them. 

Out of these 190 ads:

  • 112 related to the education sector
  • 40 related to the healthcare sector,  
  • Ten related to personal-care, 
  • Seven related to the food & beverage sector, 
  • Five related to the media or broadcasting sector, 
  • Five related to consumer durables and 
  • 11 related to others category. 

The course of ads starring celebrities out of following guidelines continued. The CCC removed an ‘Antibacterial’ paint brand ad endorsed by a celebrity couple as it claimed as approved by the Indian Medical Association (IMA). 

Other bestselling water-purifier brand featured a Bollywood star claimed to incorporate the goodness of copper instantly in the purified water. This comparison of the product with water stored all night in copper vessels. 

A renowned celebrity allied with cricket as well as with other cricket players promoted detergent claiming it as consumers’ choice for product quality. A statement endorsed by a preeminent cricketer on a gaming app as ‘India’s Favourite Fantasy Cricket Game’ was also not verified. 

People felt disgusted on condom ads during family’ TV watching hours, which violated the report by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. As per conditions, such advertisements should adhere to the watershed hours as they are not suitable being aired hours when children watch TV.

ASCI by its suo motu removed over 100 misleading ads from the educational sector.

Direct complaints

Of the 79 ads charged against, 21 cases on the ads got hastily removed by the advertiser on getting information from ASCI. The rest of 58 ads, charges on 21 ads upheld by the Consumer Complaints Council (CCC); three each of the food and beverages sector, healthcare, five from media/broadcasting sector, personal care, Education sectors and four from the others category. 

Thirty-seven ads did not regard to be offensive or in violation of the ASCI Code. 

Suo Motu inspection by ASCI for lying ads

From the 255 ads that hit, 85 cases got fixed quickly where advertisers verified that the ads removed after receiving the charges. 

Out of the 170 ads reviewed by CCC, complaints on 169 ads got confirmed. Of these 169 ads:

  • 109 related to the education sector, 
  • 37 ads related to healthcare,
  • Seven related to personalcare, 
  • Five related to customer durables, 
  • 4 related to food and beverage, and 
  • Seven related to others category.

Furthermore, the (DoCA) Department of Consumer Affairs in a recent meet restored its MOU with ASCI, for the 5th following year. 

Shweta Purandare, secretary-general of ASCI said, “What ASCI effects is not one expertise in handling with charges on misleading ads. But also ASCI’s suo motu ability to control an immense figure of misleading ads in TV and print. ASCI presents an effective tool for consumers and ensures timely compliance from advertisers. Thus reducing the load on checks to focus only on persistent violators.” 

In a recent judgement, the Delhi court re-affirmed ASCI’s remit over non-members. All these advancements, include the restoration of ASCI’s MoU with DoCA, ensures ‘More governance’. These guidelines build a cohesive and robust ecosystem for free care. ASCI is currently striving strictly with DoCA to guarantee that this collaboration remains with the development of the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA). 

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