Lakme, Parachute, Amazon, Paytm ads found to be misleading consumers: ASCI

Out of the ads against which complaints were upheld, 43 belonged to the health care category, 11 were for personal care products, seven were from F & B firms


Paytm’s ad has been rapped for not mentioning that the offer of flat 50% discount could only be availed on a minimum purchase of two tickets. Photo: Bloomberg
Paytm’s ad has been rapped for not mentioning that the offer of flat 50% discount could only be availed on a minimum purchase of two tickets. Photo: Bloomberg

New Delhi: The advertising industry watchdog’s Consumer Complaint Council (CCC) has upheld complaints against 100 out of 150 commercials in November 2016. The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) report mentions ads from some big firms across sectors.

Out of the advertisements against which complaints were upheld, 43 belonged to the healthcare category, 11 were for personal care products, seven were from food and beverages firms and six belonged to the e-commerce category. Sixteen ads were in the ‘others’ category.

In the personal care category, Hindustan Unilever Ltd-owned beauty brand Lakme was rapped for a campaign on its Youth Infinity range of products. According to the advertisement, the Youth Infinity range keeps the contoured look of youth, basing the claim on ‘Percentages of women who have experienced the sculpting power of Lakme Youth Infinity Day Crème’, which the council said was not substantiated and was misleading.

“As a responsible marketer and member of ASCI, we have always complied with ASCI guidelines and recommendations. We have suitably modified the advertisement as per ASCI’s recommendation,” an HUL spokesperson said.

The council also found that Marico Ltd-owned coconut hair oil brand Parachute Advanced advertisement’s claim of getting the world’s best hair by using Coconut Advanced was not substantiated, hence misrepresented the product benefit.

It found Emami Ltd’s ad misleading and the claims unsubstantiated on controlling hairfall in its hair care brand Keshking, for both its hair oil and shampoo range.

According to GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Ltd’s brand Horlicks Oats ad, the product ‘Helps Manage Healthy Blood Pressure’, which is different from the approach by international agencies such as US Food and Drug Administration or European Food Safety Authority where the claim itself refers to the low sodium feature and presents the benefit more as a possibility than an assurance. The council concluded that the claim was misleading by ambiguity and implication.

Meanwhile, six e-commerce firms were mentioned in the report for running misleading campaigns.

One 97 Communications Ltd-owned digital payment and e-tailing firm Paytm’s ad has been rapped for not mentioning that the offer of flat 50% discount could only be availed on a minimum purchase of two tickets. The ad also does not mention that the cashback being offered was limited to Rs 150, therefore misleading consumers, the council noted.

Along with Paytm, campaigns of e-commerce marketplace Amazon India, online travel agent Cleartrip, furniture e-tailer Pepperfry.com and real estate portal Magic Bricks and mobile wallet Freecharge were also found to be misleading.

“The compliance rate from the advertisers continues to be high. We have received 80-90% compliance with the codes from the majority of the advertisers. In the November report, there were multiple defaulters from the e-commerce category for their campaigns on promotional offers. This usually happens when there is aggressive marketing push around festive season,” said Shweta Purandare, secretary general, ASCI.

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