During the months of September and October, the Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of ASCI upheld complaints made against 10 advertisements, most of them being products of home shopping networks. During the same period, the CCC also did not uphold complaints against eight advertisements.
TVC Sky Shop’s advertisement for Sandhee Suddham Oil that made claims that using the product could alleviate problems related to pain was one of the advertisements against whom the complaints were adjudged right. It’s claim of providing —‘immediate relief from joint pain (Arthritis) -100% effective; effective ayurvedic treatment to get relief from knee pain, all joint pain and arthritis; increases the flow of joint fluid, repairs and strengthens the damaged tissues to make your joints strong and give quick relief from pain and swelling and Solves all your joint pain problems’ – appeared to be gross exaggerations and portrayed that the product advertised, inclusive of its ingredients, possessed special properties, which were not yet proven scientifically.
The home shopping network advertisements that were most criticised treaded the path of superstitious or magical claims of the products.
GTM Teleshopping’s advertisement of Divyarishi’s Kuber Kunji claimed that ‘Kuber Kunji will protect you if you have not got the fruit of your labour, if you are continuously in debt, if your money is spent as soon as you earn, if you have to struggle for anything in life.’ In another advertisement of Badha Mukti Yantra, the TVC’s copy suggested stated — ‘All of a sudden the happiness of your family disappears, your shop and business goes into a loss, your farm produce is poor in spite of good rainfall and sowing of good grain, in spite of being healthy you are not able to become a mother due to miscarriage, if you come under the spell of black magic, then Badha Mukti Yantra is the cure/solution.’
Similarly, the advertisement of Shani Shubh Yantra, which claimed that ‘Shani Shubh Yantra will protect you from your business failing, from your marriage being on the rocks, from you not getting interview calls for a job, from your family members falling sick in spite of eating well, from marriage proposals for your beautiful daughter breaking down,’ met the same fate. The TVC of AAA Teleshopping’s Maha Dhan Laxmi Yantra, which encourages the use of this product for ‘procuring the blessings of Goddess Lakshmi and better finances and assets.’ The TVC claimed that the Maha Dhan Laxmi Yantra has miraculous powers to provide financial advancement and stability to the consumers.
In a complaint of Skymall/ Global Skyshop’s Sai Darshan Pendant it was stated that the TVC encourages the use of this product for procuring fame, better finances and assets. The TVC professes different stones for different sun signs. The TVC claims that ‘Sai Darshan pendant has miraculous powers to grant everything one wants in life. The product is said to have the blessings of Sai Baba.’
In all the above-mentioned cases, the CCC concluded that, in the absence of any response from the advertiser, the claims made in the advertisements and cited in the complaints, were not substantiated and were likely to cause widespread disappointment in the minds of the consumers. Therefore, each complaint was upheld.
Videocon d2h advertisement which claimed that ‘Videocon d2h is the No.1 DTH service,’ was in found to be in clear contradiction of the fact, since Videocon is neither the oldest nor largest DTH service provider, and nor does it provide largest number of channels. Moreover, ASCI found that no survey or study has ever been conducted in the market, which has given such number-one rating to Videocon to make such claims. The advertisement was seen as being false and misleading.
Shri Lal Mahal Empire Basmati Rice’s recent advertisements also came under the scanner with their claims on ‘fat and sugar free rice.’ The website claims, ‘Empire Basmati rice is India’s first sugar free, fat free rice with no cholesterol content’ while the TVC claimed the product to be ‘Sugar and fat free rice.’ As per the complaint, sugar, cholesterol, and being fat free are general characteristics of rice, and are not limited to a particular brand. In addition to that, rice is produced naturally and not mechanically, so one can’t change its nutritional value without genetically engineering the crop. The CCC concluded that the claim was not substantiated, and is misleading.
TVC Sky Shop’s advertisement of Dr. Slim Tea claimed that ‘Lose weight with a cup of Herbal Tea; Ayurveda offers a comprehensive approach to tackle this Lifestyle Disease; Dr. Slim Tea is a premium blend of therapeutic herbs like Garcinia, Gymnema, Licorice, Ocimum,. Pippali and Marich etc., formulated to boost your metabolism and digestion, Improve your immune system and shed kilos of extra fat, weight and inches and you will feel a noticeable effect from the first cup of Dr. Slim Tea.’ It was stated that these claims needed to be substantiated with technical data based on an independent clinical research.
There was a complaint received against the TVC of Popular Finance – Gold Loan, which is said to have appeared on Asianet TV. As per the complaint, the TVC claimed that Popular Finance is ‘India’s No.1 Gold Loan Company.’ It was stated that this claim is false, as Muthoot Finance is India’s largest Gold Loan company (in terms of Gold Loan Portfolio source: ICRA Management Consulting Service Ltd – IMACS report on Gold Loan Market in India). The CCC concluded that Popular Finance’s claim was not substantiated and complaint was upheld.
In the month of September and October, the CCC received complaints against Idea 3G, Maruti Stepney, Lilliput Kidswear, Rohit Surfactants’ ad of Expert Dishwash Bar, Ceat Tyres, Tata Docomo Mobile Network, Mankind Pharma’s Manforce Condoms and Max New York Life Insurance amongst others. Since, these advertisements did not contravene ASCI’s codes or guidelines they were not upheld.