The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) upheld complaints against 98 out of 159 advertisements in the month of June 2016. It is routine for ASCI to act on complaints against advertisers and see if they are violating the laid down norms.
“Out of 98 advertisements against which complaints were upheld, 39 belonged to the Education category, 25 in the Healthcare Personal Care category, followed by 11 in the Food & Beverages category, 6 in e-commerce category and 17 advertisements from other categories,” ASCI said.
The consumers complaints council (CCC) found advertisements of leading companies like Godrej Consumer Products, Athena Life Sciences, Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali, Parle Products Pvt Ltd, among others, to be either unsubstantiated or misleading.
Typically, advertisers are sent a notice by ASCI to amend the advertisement or withdraw it.
“The CCC found claims in health care personal care product or service advertisements of 25 advertisers to be either misleading or false or not adequately / scientifically substantiated and hence violating ASCI’s Code. Some of the health care products or services advertisements also contravened provisions of the Drug and Magic Remedies Act,” the self-regulatory body said.
Critics and industry watchers have often said that ASCI does not have adequate teeth to act against the erring advertisers/ brands.
Some education institutes were also pulled up for making tall claims like guaranteed placements against a certain amount of attendance. A detailed list of such education institutes and other erring advertisers is available on the website of ASCI.
Some brands like Patanjali have moved the Bombay High Court against ASCI.