Published On : Thu, Apr 7th, 2016

ASCI upholds 51 complaints against misleading ads by Airtel, Amazon, Vodafone and more

Airtel India
New Delhi/Nagpur:
Advertising sector watchdog ASCI upheld complaints against 51 misleading advertisements in January, including those of Airtel, Patanjali, Amazon, Facebook, Vodafone, Shoppers Stop, Coca-Cola, Emami and Dabur. The Customer Complaints Council (CCC) of Advertising Standard Council of India (ASCI) received 102 complaints for the month. It upheld 14 complaints of misleading ads from education category, 12 from food & beverages, 11 from healthcare and 6 from e-commerce segment.

The CCC found Patanjali’s atta noodles advertisement ‘misleading’ as it failed to substantiate its claim to be oil-free.

“The claim in the ad ‘oil free’ was not substantiated and is misleading by implication,” it said.

The Yoga Guru Ramdev-led firm was also pulled up for its Patanjali Pure Cow’s Ghee for wrongly mentioning “Keratin” content in cow’s milk.

“The word Keratin was used instead of ‘Carotene’ and the claim ‘Scientific fact: Cow’s milk contains Keratin’ was incorrect,” the regulator said.

Similarly, Bharti Airtel’s ad for its Airtel Broadband was also found misleading as its website referred broadband plan of Rs 615 “per billing cycle”, but the billing plan was only available under a six months advance rental scheme. Coca-Cola India was also found violating the code for its Coca-Cola Zero by not putting disclaimer as per the size stipulated in the ASCI guidelines.

“It was concluded that disclaimer in the advertisement is not clearly legible. The advertisement contravened the ASCI Guidelines on Supers,” it said.

Social media platform Facebook was found on the wrong side as its ad on ‘benefits of Free Internet’ for Facebook Free Basics was found misleading.

“The claim in the advertisement ‘Free Basics’ is at risk of being banned’ was considered to be misleading by exaggeration” the watchdog added.

E-retailing firm Amazon was also pulled up for discrepancy between specification declared on its portal and as mentioned on the product visual for AdraxxCrosman Roof Prism Binoculars.

ASCI also found claims by Shoppers Stop of being ranked as “25th in The Great Places To Work study 2015″ misleading.

The CCC also termed the ad from Vodafone India for its Superfast Vodafone Network as ‘misleading in the absence of appropriate disclaimers’.

“The claim in the advertisement, ‘superfast Vodafone network’ is a superlative claim that was not substantiated with any technical rationale or comparative data,” ASCI said.

Confectionery and chewing gum maker Perfetti Van Melle India ad for its fruit-flavored gum Center Fruit Endless was found to be sending wrong message.