The Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) upheld consumer complaints against three TV commercials recently. One of them for Bajaj Allianz has been barred from being aired on Indian television channels and modifications have been asked for in the other two, which were for Aswini Homeo Arnica Hair Oil and Good Knight aerosol. These advertisements were found to be in violation of Chapter 4.1(d), 4.1 (e) and 3.2 (b) of the ASCI Advertising Code.
ASCI observed that the Bajaj Allianz Shield Plus TVC compares the advantages of insurance products with fixed deposit schemes of banks, and hence, there is a likelihood of the consumer being misled as a result of the comparison. Also, the advertisement is said to unfairly denigrate bank fixed deposits directly. Subsequently, the advertisement was withdrawn by the advertiser as instructed by the CCC. The claims of the TVC of Aswini Homeo & Ayurvedic Products Ltd of “hair fall control in 4 months” and “dandruff control in 6 months”, were not substantiated with clinical tests and trial reports, and therefore, CCC instructed the TVC to be modified. The other TVC which received the same order was the Good Knight Aerosol TVC which shows a girl inhaling the mosquito repellent spray. This was said to be a dangerous act, and since the advertisement is shown on kids' channels, called for a more stringent modification.
According to ASCI secretary-general Alan Collaco, “The number of complaints against misleading, dishonest and indecent ads have substantially increased over the months. Consumers are becoming more vigilant and aware about their rights and duties. On the other hand, advertisers have started complying voluntarily with CCC decisions so today; there is almost 98 percent compliance by advertisers on the CCC’s decisions upholding complaints.”
In reaction to this post, Bajaj Allianz sent Campaign India the following statement, "Bajaj Allianz had withdrawn the Shield Plus commercials 15th May 2010 onwards and released a modified commercial that addressed the objections raised by ASCI. However we feel that the Bajaj Allianz Shield Plus commercial took the creative freedom to highlight the importance of the product vis-à-vis fixed deposits."