The Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has upheld complaints against 5 advertisements in the month of September 2010. The advertisements in question were of newspaper brands Prabhat Khabar, DNA and Naidunia; FMCG brand Sprite and liquor brand McDowell’s No.1.
As per the complaint against the daily newspaper Prabhat Khabar, it had claimed the No. 1 position in Jharkhand by citing data from Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) July-December 2009. The Council’s findings showed that the ABC July-Dec’09 results do not reflect Prabhat Khabar as the numero uno newspaper in Jharkhand as the claim is not substantiated by ABC report taking into account the circulation of Jamshedpur. The advertiser has discontinued the advertisement.
Similarly, CCC found that the DNA newspaper’s advertisement claims of being “The No.1 Daily for the independent people”, “The No.1 daily for the new Indian”, “The No.1 daily for the people’s voice”, and “The No.1 daily for tomorrow’s leader” are not substantiated with any data or research from any independent organisation. The advertiser did not did not state any source or explicit study conducted before making these claims. The advertisements have been suspended.
In the case of Nai Dunia newspaper, the advertiser’s assurance of compliance was still awaited by ASCI. The advertisement of Nai Dunia stated, “This remarkable growth rate of Nai Dunia can perhaps be an indication of the future, as much as that of current value”. The advertisement is considered misleading by CCC as per Chapter I.4, since, though the growth rate of Nai Dunia and Dainik Bhaskar may have been correctly depicted, the absence of a base index renders the advertisement misleading.
The Sprite TVC shows “two explorers captured by a tribe who are, apparently, cannibals and appear, quite distinctly, African. One of them manages to get out of it by bribing them with a soft drink bottle”. CCC concluded that the ad projects negative stereotype of Africans and hence violates Chapter III, 1 (b) of ASCI which doesn’t permit derision of race, caste, colour, creed or nationality. This led to the TVC being withdrawn by the advertiser.
The McDowell’s No.1 Platinum CD ad slogan, “Get inspired by the rare and legendary” made the CCC conclude that the advertisement was a surrogate one for a liquor product – McDowell’s No.1 and hence contravened Chapter III.6 of the Code. As the advertisement appears in the middle of a live cricket match, it is not distinguishable from the programme and hence, it also violates The Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994. Subsequently, the TVC was withdrawn.
In the case of Manforce Chocolate Flavoured Condoms, ASCI concurred that the TVC was not likely to cause grave or widespread offence but found that it was not suitable for family viewing and hence, the advertiser has been advised to air the TVC after family viewing hours i.e. between 11pm to 6am.