Mumbai : Advertising sector watchdog ASCI investigated complaints against 208 advertisements in June, of which 179 were regarding misleading claims including those of Reliance Jio, SpiceJet, PepsiCo India, Hindustan Unilever, among others. It noted that out of the 208 advertisements, the advertisers promptly ensured corrective action in 63 of them as soon as the complaints were received. The consumer complaints council (CCC) of Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) upheld 89 advertise-ments from a total of 145 evaluated by them. Amongst the 89 advertise-ments which it held misleading, 25 belonged to the healthcare category,
27 to education, 15 to food and beverages, five to personal care and 17 were from other categories, it said in a statement. ASCI upheld the complaint against PepsiCo India’s Quaker Oats’ two ads finding them misleading by ambiguity and omission of the direct reference of comparison in the voice over itself. It said that the ads said ‘Quaker Oats me hai 2x more protein and fibre’ was qualified with a disclaimer ‘per serve comparison with cornflakes. Reference: Atlas of Indian Foods’, which was not legible and not as per ASCI guidelines on disclaimers (font size, contrast, hold duration).
“The advertisement’s claim ‘two times more protein’ was misleading by ambiguity and implication and the commercial under reference contravened ASCI’s guidelines for celebrities in advertising,” it said. The watchdog pulled up SpiceJet for the visual of a man inserting loose wires into a power socket and getting an electric shock, and also shown repeating this act again, which it termed as an unsafe and a dangerous practice, which manifests a disregard for safety and encourages negligence. ASCI also considered Hindustan Unilever’s Life-buoy soap advertisement to be misleading by ambiguity and implication.
“The television advertisement when seen in totality creates an impression that Lifebuoy is recommended by doctors… In view of the Code of Medical Ethics prohibiting doctors from endorsing any product and in absence of any market research data indicating that medical professionals in general recommend the advertised product, such visual presentation was considered to be misleading by ambiguity and implication,” it said.