Misleading claims – ASCI survey on 16 FBOs

Food and Beverage category

1. Rex (U&A) Remedies Pvt Ltd – Food product (Heartorex Syrup): The advertisement’s claim, “Hum Heartorex pite hai, jo cholesterol ghata ta hai, blood ko patla karta hai, aur blockage bhi ghathi hai.”, Voice over claim, “Heart rate ko normalize karta hai aur high blood pressure ko kam karta hai” implies that by consumption of the product there would be no chance of a heart attack and was not substantiated with supporting clinical evidence of product efficacy, and is misleading.

2. Sri Anagha Refineries Private Limited (Sun Premium Refined Sunflower Oil): The advertisement’s claim, “Prestigious rising brand of India award for the best in quality and fastest rising brand”, was not substantiated with copy of the award certificate, details of the criteria for granting the award, references of the award received such as the year, source and category.

3. Shree Baidyanath Ayurved Bhawan Pvt. Ltd (Baidyanath Premium Cow Ghee): The advertisement displays the FSSAI logo in a nonstandard format implying that it is an endorsement from FSSAI. Hence, the improper use of FSSAI logo was misleading by implication and was also in violation of the FSSAI advisory.

4. Nanophyto Wellness Pvt Ltd (New Jumpstart Nutrition): The advertisement’s claim, “Low on Sugar”, was not substantiated with supporting data for the product being low on sugar, and is misleading by exaggeration.

5. Pankaj Industries (Gulab Groundnut oil): The advertisement’s claim, “Gujarat’s most preferred cooking oil”, was not substantiated with any market survey data, third party validation or any verifiable comparative data to prove that their brand was most preferred, . The claim, “Gulab Groundnut Oil has MUFA content of 54%, which is more than any other oils”, was not substantiated with comparative technical test reports and as such the claim, “It is considered healthy owing to its high content of MUFA (mono unsaturated fatty acids) 56%”, was not substantiated and was contradictory to the MUFA content stated earlier.

6. Apurva Organics Ltd (Chamong Green Tea): The advertisement’s claim, “100% Organic Tea”, was inadequately substantiated and is misleading by exaggeration.

7. US Spice Industries (Sister Masala): The advertisement shows the FSSAI logo in a non-standard format implying that it is an endorsement from FSSAI. The improper use of FSSAI logo was misleading by implication and was also in violation of the FSSAI advisory.

8. SKM Egg Products Exports (Best Egg White Cubes) Ltd: The advertisement’s claim (in Tamil) as translated in English, “India’s No.1 Egg Processor”, was inadequately substantiated to prove that it is in leadership position (No.1) through a third party validation such as that from an Industry association. The claim is misleading by exaggeration.

9. Cothas Coffee Company: The advertisement’s claims, “South India’s Favourite Filter Coffee”, and “No.1 choice of Karnataka”, were not substantiated with a third party validation or verifiable comparative data or market survey data, of the advertiser’s product and other coffee brands in South India and Karnataka. The claim, “Unbeatable taste since seven decades”, was not substantiated with a third party validation or verifiable comparative data / consumer research data, on year on year basis over 70 years, to prove their product’s taste is the best.

10. Dama Maharaj Sweets (Dama’s Range of Products): The advertisement’s claim, “No.1 in Odisha”, was not substantiated with a third party validation or any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s products and similar range of sweets products in Odisha, to prove that they are in leadership position (No.1) than the rest.

11. Sanjeevani Dairy Farms LLP (Doodhvale.com): The advertisement’s claim, “Organically produced 100% pure cow milk”, was not substantiated and is misleading by exaggeration.  

12. Portim International (Gruner Green Coffee): The advertisement’s claims, “Weight loss without dieting”, “Control Diabetes & Cholesterol”, and “Healthy Blood Pressure level”, were not substantiated with clinical evidence of product efficacy, and are misleading by exaggeration.

13. Modern Food Enterprises Private Limited: The advertisement’s claim, “India’s No.1 Trusted Bread Brand”, was inadequately substantiated, and is misleading by ambiguity.

14. Navjeevan Gramodyog Seva Sansthan (Navjeevan Herbal Eggs): The advertisement’s claim, “Herbal organic egg”, was not substantiated and is misleading by exaggeration.

15. Trevo India Private Limited (Trevo Wellness): The advertisement’s claims (in Hindi), “For any kind of disease the only solution.” and “Made of micronization formula of 174 ingredients”, were not substantiated with evidence of product composition details or product efficacy data and are misleading by exaggeration.

16. Parag Milk Foods (Gowardhan Paneer): The scenes in the advertisement showing “girl pushing a glass of milk”, “boy throwing a glass of milk on a cactus plant”, and “boy throwing a glass of milk in a kitchen sink”, with a voice over saying “cow’s milk taakat ka poora poshan, par usko mila sirf rejection”, unfairly denigrated milk directly. It also shows milk being replaced by paneer with a voice over saying “Ban gaya bachchon ka superstar” and the children are shown eating paneer. Such depiction disparages good dietary practices and selection of options that accepted dietary opinion recommends should form part of the normal diet.

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Misleading advertisements : Likely to lead grave disappointment for consumers

The following advertisements were considered to be misleading and likely to lead to grave or widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers.

1. ITC Limited (Sunfeast Yippee Powerup Masala Noodles): The advertisement’s claim “Atta Noodles” is misleading by omission and exploits consumers’ lack of knowledge as the product also contains “Refined Wheat Flour” (Maida) quantity of which has not been declared in the ingredient list on the product pack.

2. Pernod Ricard India (Blenders Pride Music CDs): The advertisement features a man wearing a suit, holding a cricket ball while the tagline reads: “It’s Never Too Early to create a legacy. Be Ages Ahead.” The advertisement is a surrogate advertisement for promotion of a liquor product – Seagram’s Blenders Pride and is misleading by implication.

3. Allied Blenders and Distillers Pvt. Ltd (Officers Choice Wafers): The brand’s website shows various flavours of potato wafers claiming “30 years of Officer’s choice promise”. The advertisement is a surrogate advertisement for promotion of a liquor product – Officers Choice and is misleading by implication.

4. Allied Blenders and Distillers Pvt. Ltd (Officers Choice Stixx): Officer’s choice website shows various flavours of Stixx. Officer’s Choice blue is a popular brand of alcoholic beverage and the advertisement is a surrogate advertisement for promotion of liquor product – Officers Choice and is misleading by implication.

5. N K Proteins (Tirupati Sunpride Sunflower oil): The advertisement’s claims, “Tirupati Sunpride (Refined Sunflower Oil) helps in reducing bad cholesterol levels, increasing immunity, anti-aging process, reducing cancer risk, reducing risk of heart ailments”, were not substantiated with clinical evidence of product efficacy and are misleading by exaggeration.

6. Adani Wilmar Ltd (Fortune Ground nut Active Oil): The advertisement’s claim (in Gujarati) in the print advertisement, as translated in English, “So leave your worries (chinta) about health, fry the dal vada in healthy groundnut oil”, seen in conjunction with visual of the food item (fried dal vada) shown in the print advertisement was misleading. The claim “So relish your favourite Dhoklas, Handwo, Dalwada etc., without worrying about your health” does not show disclaimers that encourage moderation in eating, promotes over consumption of fried food, and undermines the importance of healthy lifestyle.

7. Adani Wilmar Ltd (Fortune Ground Nut Active Oil): In the advertisement, name “Ground Nut Active” is a coined term. However, when seen in context of the overall print advertisement saying “Singh Tel” (Groundnut oil) and showing images of ‘ground nuts’, is misleading by ambiguity and implication, and is likely to lead to grave or widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers. The reference to the advertised product as “healthy groundnut oil” is also misleading by ambiguity since it is actually blended oil with 70% refined
sunflower oil. The claim also implies that other groundnut oils in the market are “unhealthy” and such reference also denigrates the entire category of groundnut oil.

8. Jain Farm Fresh Foods Ltd. (Fru2Go): The advertisement’s claim, “Mere paas ab mango ke liye samay nahi toh fruits ke liye kitne minutes bache? zero”, disparages good dietary practices and selection of options, such as fresh fruits, that accepted dietary opinion recommends should form part of the normal diet.

9. Nutrisattva Foods Pvt Ltd. (Proliva Light and Lean): The advertisement’s claim, “India’s first high protein, high fibre supplement with metabolism boosters for weight loss”, was not substantiated with any third party certification or comparative market research data , to prove that their product is the first supplement of its kind in India, which is beneficial for weight loss. The claims, “The whey-soy protein mix adds energy to keep you going”, and “Proliva brings strength and endurance with unmatched holistic nutrition for sports and fitness enthusiasts” were not substantiated with any scientific rationale or evidence of product efficacy.

10. Vinayak Oils & Fats Pvt Ltd (Doctor’s Choice Good Heart): The brand name “DOCTORS’ CHOICE” is misleading by ambiguity and implication, and is likely to lead to grave or widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers and leads them into believing that product is recommended by doctors or is a Doctor’s preferred choice. The advertisement’s claims, “Possesses cholesterol lowering effect”, “And conforms to the ICMR/WHO recommended dietary allowance to control CHD”, and “Consumes significantly less oil while frying”, were inadequately substantiated.

11. Vinayak Oils & Fats Pvt Ltd (Doctor’s Choice Pure Refined Rice Bran Oil): The brand name “DOCTORS’ CHOICE” is misleading by ambiguity and implication, and is likely to lead to grave or widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers and leads them into believing that product is recommended by doctors or is a Doctor’s preferred choice. The advertisement’s claims, “Helps reduce cholesterol absorption and enhances cholesterol elimination”, “Improves natural skin tone and keeps it soft, supple and smooth”, and “Consumes significantly less oil while cooking and makes food tastier”, were inadequately substantiated.

12. TBJ Impex Pvt Ltd. (Jewel Farmer Roasted Flax Seeds): The advertisement’s claims, “Helps improve heart health”, and “Helps improve blood sugar levels”, were not substantiated with clinical evidence of product efficacy, and are misleading by exaggeration.

13. TBJ Impex Pvt Ltd. (Jewel Farmer Roasted Flax Seeds): The advertisement’s claims, “Prevents cancer”, “Boosts immune system”, and “Helps reduce high BP”, were not substantiated with clinical evidence of product efficacy, and are misleading by exaggeration.

14. TBJ Impex Pvt Ltd. (Jewel Farmer Roasted and Salted Pumpkin seeds): The advertisement’s claims, “Supports prostate health”, “Eases constipation”, and “Boosts immunity and benefits liver”, were not substantiated with clinical evidence of product efficacy, and are misleading by exaggeration.

15. TBJ Impex Pvt Ltd. (Jewel Farmer Chia Seeds): The advertisement’s claims, “Helps lower risk of heart disease”, “Can make major improvements in type-2 diabetes”, and “Promotes mind, body and heart health”, were not substantiated with clinical evidence of product efficacy, and are misleading by exaggeration.

16. TBJ Impex Pvt Ltd. (Jewel Farmer Roasted Seedmix): The advertisement’s claims, “Helps lower bad cholesterol”, “Helps improve heart health”, and “Eases constipation”, were not substantiated with clinical evidence of product efficacy, and are misleading by exaggeration.

17. Nanophyto Wellness Pvt Ltd (Jumpstart Nutrition): The advertisement’s claims, “For children five-fifteen years”, “Important for immune function”, and “Promotes growth”, were inadequately substantiated and are misleading by ambiguity. The picture shown of Nikhil Soares, Guinness World Cubing Champion, when seen in conjunction with the copy text stating, “Nikhil Soares drinks Jumpstart Chocolate milk” was misleading by implication that his success was due to the consumption of the product – Jumpstart. The claim of “Low on Sugar” was not substantiated and is misleading by exaggeration.

18. Saj Food Products (P) Ltd (Bisk Farm Cream Cracker- Sugar Free): The advertisement’s claims, “Sugar Free”, “Free of Sugar”, and “Sugar nahi”, were not proven with evidence of the product being sugar free. The claims contradicted the text mentioned on the back of pack “contains naturally occurring sugars”.

19. Herbalife International India Pvt Ltd (Herbalife Formula 1 Shake Mango Flavor): The advertisement’s claims, “A healthy meal replacement that fulfils nutritional needs of the body”, “Aids in weight management by reducing daily calorie intake”, and “Enhances immunity of the body and maintains healthy digestion”, were not substantiated with evidence of product efficacy, and are misleading by exaggeration.

Misleading Advt – Zydus Ltd Wellness – Nutralite – Misleading By Ambiguity , Exaggeration, Omission

Zydus Limited Wellness ( Nutralite ) :
Image result for Zydus Ltd Wellness - Nutralite
Image : Representational
The advertisement’s claim, “ Nutralite is a Healthy Alternative to Butter”, implying the advertised product to be a better substitute for butter was inadequately substantiated with comparative technical data regarding the overall nutritional profile of the two compared products such as saturated fats, trans fats ,total fats, calories etc .
The claim is misleading by ambiguity, exaggeration, and omission likely to lead to grave or widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers .
ASCI Press Release

Misleading Advt. – Marico Ltd. – Saffola Active , Saffola Gold – Claim Misleading By Omission

Marico Ltd (Saffola Active) :
Image result for saffola active
The product description on amazon website claiming, “ Saffola Active absorbs 28 % lesser fat as compared to other oils”, YouTube advertisement claim, “ Upto 28 % less fat absorption” (Original Hindi claim, “ iska low abosorb khane me tel ka absorption kare 28 % tak kam”), and advertiser’s website claim, “ Saffola Active – Absorbs upto 28 %lesser fat as compared to other single seed oils”, was inadequately substantiated and is misleading by omission.
The advertiser is making specific quantitative claim for test done only on one food item, and not for variety of fried foods that are commonly cooked at home,
Marico Ltd. ( Saffola Gold) :
Image result for saffola gold
The advertisement’s claim, “ Saffola Gold has Losorb Technology which ensures upto 20% less oil absorption in food, as compared to other leading cooking oils” was inadequately substantiated as the advertiser is making a specific quantitative claim for test done only on one food item, and not for variety of fried foods that are commonly cooked at home.
The claim is misleading by omission
ASCI Press release
Representational Images

FSSAI decries irresponsible reporting

Consumer alert : Misleading Advts : Five F & B Companies Contravenes ASCI Guidelines

Complaints against advertisements of five food and beverages companies
1.Organic India Pvt Ltd (Organic Honey and Organic Ghee) :
Image result for organic ghee
The advertisement’s claim, “Organic Ghee”, was not substantiated for its organic claim for marketing status and is misleading by ambiguity and implication. The claim, “Organic Honey Wild Forest – Boosts immunity and is a source of good bacteria”, was not substantiated and is misleading by ambiguity and implication.
2. Jhandewalas Food Limited (Polki Refined Groundnut Oil) :
Image result for polki refined groundnut oil
The advertisement’s claim, “Improves memory”, “Lowers cholesterol”, “ Fights depression”, was not substantiated with any data ; as the advertiser did not respond to the request for substantiation in terms of
technical data, scientific rationale or clinical evidence of product efficacy, to prove the product’s ability to provide the health benefits claimed in the advertisement.
The advertisement promoting a food product claiming benefits of therapeutic nature, was misleading and exploit’s consumers’ lack of knowledge.
3. Aishwarya Tea Industries – (Aishwarya Tea Range) :
Image result for Aishwariya Tea Range
The advertisement’s claim, “A product by Karnataka’s Most Adorable No 1 Brand”, was not substantiated with any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s brand and other leading tea brands in Karnataka, to prove that it is in leadership position (No.1) brand than the rest or through a third party validation. The source for the claim was not indicated in the advertisement. The claim is misleading by exaggeration and implication.
4.Premium Foods India (Premium Foods Range) :
The advertisement’s claim, “No.1 brand of Kerala”, was not substantiated with any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s product and other brands of instant food products, to prove that it is in leadership position,(No.1 Brand) in Kerala, or through a third party validation. The claim is misleading by exaggeration and implication.
5. MBS Beverage Pvt Ltd (MBS Cola) :
Image result for MBS Cola Odisha
The advertisement’s claim, “Odisha’s No.1 Beverage Company”, was not substantiated with any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s firm and other beverage companies, to prove that it is in leadership position (No.1) in Odisha or through a third party validation. The claim is misleading by exaggeration and implication.
ASCI Press Release

Misleading Advts. – Pepsico contravenes ASCI guidelines

1. PepsiCo India Holding P. Ltd (Quaker Oats):
In the advertisement, a lady conveys that being a play school teacher is like doing sprints and sit ups whole day. Celebrity
chef Vikas Khanna conveys that Alisha Merchant eats Quaker oats which consists of two times more protein and fibre, immunity supporting micronutrient and nutritious energy that keeps you going. Claim “Quaker Oats me hai 2x More Protein and Fibre ” was qualified with a disclaimer “*Per serve comparison with cornflakes. Reference: Atlas of Indian Foods”, which was not legible and not as per ASCI
Guidelines on Disclaimers (font size, contrast, hold duration). The TVCwas considered to be misleading by ambiguity and omission of the direct reference of such comparison in the Voice Over itself. The advertisement’s claim “Two times more protein” was misleading by ambiguity and implication and the TVC under reference contravened ASC’s Guidelines for Celebrities in Advertising.
2. PepsiCo India Holdings P. Ltd (Quaker Oats) :
In the advertisement, a doctor is seen operating a small kid at odd hours. Celebrity Chef Vikas Khanna then says that “Dr. Varun works a 24 hours shift. Dr Varun Nair is truly an ambassador of full fitness and is assisted by Quaker Oats”. Claim “Quaker Oats me hai 2x More Protein and Fibre*” was qualified with a disclaimer “*Per serve comparison with cornflakes. Reference: Atlas of Indian Foods”, which was not legible and not as per ASCI Guidelines on Disclaimers (font size, contrast, hold duration). The TVC was considered to be misleading by ambiguity and omission of the direct reference of such comparison in the Voice Over itself. The advertisement’s claim “Two times more protein” was misleading by ambiguity and implication and the TVC under reference contravened ASCI’s Guidelines for Celebrities in Advertising.
3. .PepsiCo India Holding P. Ltd (New Tropicana Essentials – Fruits and Veggies) :
The advertisement’s claim, “New Tropicana Essentials” did not provide any supporting evidence to show that Tropicana Essentials was a “New”
product at the time of publishing the advertisement. The claim was misleading. Moreover, the claim “Why would I eat something which has hair?” read in conjunction with a picture showing “drawing of a carrot” and reference to“all goodness, no excuses”, disparaged good dietary practice and selection of options, such as fresh vegetables that accepted dietary opinion recommends should form part of the normal diet.
The advertisement contravened ASCI Guidelines on Advertising of Foods & Beverages.
ASCI Press release