About The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI)
The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), established in 1985, is committed to the cause of self- regulation in advertising ensuring the protection of the interest of consumers. ASCI seeks to ensure that advertisements conform to its Code for Self-Regulation, which requires advertisements to be legal, decent, honest and truthful and not hazardous or harmful while observing fairness in competition. ASCI looks into complaints across ALL MEDIA such as Print, TV, Radio, hoardings, SMS, Emailers, Internet / web-site, product packaging, brochures, promotional material and point of sale material etc. ASCI’s role has been acclaimed by various Government bodies including The Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA), Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), Ministry of AYUSH as well as the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The association with these Government bodies is to co-regulate and curb misleading and objectionable advertisements in the respective sectors. In January 2017, the Supreme Court of India in its judgement has also affirmed and recognized the self-regulatory mechanism as an effective pre-emptive step to statutory provisions in the sphere of advertising content regulation for TV and Radio in India. ASCI is a part of the Executive Committee of International Council on Ad Self-Regulation (ICAS). Among several awards bestowed by the European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA), ASCI bagged two Gold Global Best Practice Awards for the Mobile App “ASCIonline” (2016) and for reducing the time taken to process complaints (2013).
FOOD AND BEVERAGES:-
1. Kamal Kant and Company Llp (Rajshree Pan Masala):
The advertisement’s claim, “India ka favourite pan masala” implies that this product is preferred over other Pan Masala products or it is the most preferred brand in the Pan Masala category for which the advertiser gave only assertions and did not provide any valid substantiation. This claim was not substantiated with verifiable comparative data / market survey data of the advertiser’s product and other competitor products among representative country wide population or through a third party validation, and is misleading by exaggeration.
2. Puro Wellness Pvt Ltd (Puro Healthy Salt):
The advertisement’s claim, “Yeh safed kapde bleach kiye hue haii ….Aur yeh apka khane ka safed namak yeh bhi bleach kiya hua hai… chemical factory mein.. tabhi toh safed hai” is likely to mislead consumers by causing fear in their minds by showing comparison of chemical bleach used for clothes implying that other salts are unfit for human consumption, are of inferior quality, and are tampered with, by using chemicals. The reference to “bleach” in the TVC is misleading by ambiguity and implication that refined salt may be harmful due to bleaching it undergoes.
3. Puro Wellness Pvt Ltd (Puro Healthy Salt):
The advertisement’s claim, “Yeh paint chemical factory mein banta hai, aur yeh aapka safed namak, yeh bhi chemical factory mein banta hai, bleach kiya jaata hai” is unfairly denigrating other salt brands and is likely to mislead consumers by causing fear in their minds implying that other salts are unfit for human consumption, are of inferior quality, and are tampered with, by using chemicals. The subject matter of comparison confers an artificial advantage upon the advertiser or so as to suggest that better bargain is offered than is truly the case. The comparison shown in the advertisement is not factual and the consumer is likely to be misled as a result of comparison whether about the product advertised or that with which it is compared.
4. Puro Wellness Pvt Ltd (Puro Healthy Salt):
The advertisement’s claim, “Chemical factory mein banta hai, bleach hota hai,” is misleading by ambiguity and implication that the refined salt may be harmful due to processing it undergoes. Also the disclaimers in the advertisement were not legible and not in the same language as the voice over of the TVC (Hindi).
5. Rasna International Pvt Ltd (Rasna Native Haat Honey):
The advertisement’s claim, “From the forests of Sunderbans to your Home”, was inadequately substantiated and is misleading by exaggeration.
6. GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Ltd (Horlicks):
The advertisement’s claim, “In a study, 9 out of 10 children’s diet was at risk of being deficient in essential nutrients”, was not substantiated and is misleading by implication and exaggeration.
7. GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Ltd (Horlicks Growth Plus):
The advertisement’s claim, “Naturally enhances growth,” implies natural growth without any artificial inputs. The use of the word “naturally” for an artificially composed drink supplemented in overall food intake is likely to mislead the consumers by ambiguity.
8. Cipla Health Ltd (Choco-bite):
The advertisement’s claim, “Upto 100% immunity nutrients” is misleading by ambiguity, implication and omission to mention that it could be helpful only as a supplement to normal diet.
9. INVENTZ Lifesciences Pvt Ltd (Headz Up tablets):
The advertisement’s claim, “avoid further hair fall and greying,” was not substantiated and was misleading by gross exaggeration.
Suo motu surveillance by ASCI
FOOD & BEVERAGE:-
1. Ruchi Soya Industries (Sunrich Sunflower Oil):
The advertisement’s claims, “Absorbs 15% less oil”, and “Helps in reducing family intake of nine litres Oil” were inadequately substantiated. It was concluded that these claims are misleading by exaggeration.