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Jio, Emami, Dettol and Complan ads found to be misleading: ASCI

ASCI upheld complaints against 95 out of 125 commercials in December


An ad by Reliance Jio Infocomm claiming that it is the ‘Best 4G Network with lowest data rates globally,’ was hauled up. Photo: Mint
An ad by Reliance Jio Infocomm claiming that it is the ‘Best 4G Network with lowest data rates globally,’ was hauled up. Photo: Mint

New Delhi: The advertising industry watchdog’s Consumer Complaint Council (CCC) upheld complaints against 95 out of 125 commercials in December. The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) report mentions ads placed by some big companies across sectors.

Out of the advertisements against which complaints were upheld, 58 belonged to the healthcare category, nine were for personal care products and ten were from food and beverages firms’ category. Fourteen ads were in the ‘others’ category.

In the personal care category, Emami Ltd, a leader in the men’s fairness cream segment with about 60% marketshare, has been rapped for its Fair and Handsome brand campaign.

One of the fairness cream campaigns shows the protagonist with a dark complexion being unattractive to girls, implying that people with darker skin colour are inferior and likely to be ignored by the opposite sex. The advertisement contravened clause 1 of the Guidelines of Advertising for Skin Lightening or Fairness Improvement Products which clearly states that ads should not reinforce negative social stereotyping on the basis of skin colour.

The advertisement has also been hauled up for two claims which were inadequately substantiated which include the product having ‘breakthrough new formulation’ and lasting effect of fairness even after the last application.

“These are old cases of advertising that was done many months back. We are a responsible advertiser and take cognizance of ASCI’s views and interpretation of our brand communication, which has been in divergence to the intent of the brand. Backed by deep scientific research, Fair and Handsome is clinically tested for its efficacy and proven by independent bodies,” said a spokesperson for Emami.

The council also found a Philips electric shaver print ad to be misleading as it shows a visibly stressed model using a shaving razor which is depicted as a cactus. The ad, which claims that ‘Electric Shaver - Cut the hair not the skin’, implies that shaving razors cut the skin, which has not been substantiated, said the council. The council also stated that the ad denigrates the shaving razor category in general.

RB India’s liquid handwash brand Dettol’s new ad claim, “Sabun se saccha hai, sabun se accha hai” (truer than a soap, better than a soap) was also found to be misleading by ambiguity and implication that a liquid handwash is better than bar soaps in providing protection from disease and infection.s.

In the foods and beverages category, an ad for Heinz India’s health drink variant Complan Nutri Grow claims that the product offers 11 immunity builders that increases immunity -- an assertion that was not adequately substantiated, the council said. Campaigns of Hershey India for its spreads and Dabur India Ltd for its juice brand Real Wellnezz were also found to be misleading.

Meanwhile, in the others category, an ad by Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd claiming that it is the ‘Best 4G Network with lowest data rates globally,’ was hauled up. The council concluded that the claim was misleading by ambiguity and implication.

“Reliance is a member of ASCI and they have complied to the CCC recommendations. The compliance rate from the advertisers continues to be healthy for the month of December as well. We have been working with the ministry of ayurveda, yoga and naturopathy, unani, siddha and homoeopathy (AYUSH) to work on the Drug and Magic Remedy violations in the AYUSH sector, that is why the health category has seen a sudden jump in the complaints,” said Shweta Purandare, secretary general, ASCI.

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