Complaints against 193 advertisements in February upheld: ad watchdog

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Mumbai, May 10 (IANS) The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) on Thursday said its Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) has upheld complaints against 193 advertisements out of 290 in February for mainly “gross exaggeration of product efficacy” and violation of acts and rules.

“In February 2018, ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against 193 advertisements out of the total of 290 advertisements that were evaluated by the CCC.

“A total of 187 advertisements were picked up by ASCI’s suo moto surveillance and objections against 163 advertisements were upheld. Of the 103 advertisements complained against by the general public or by the industry members, complaints against 30 advertisements were upheld by the CCC,” a statement said.

Out of the total 193 advertisements against which complaints were upheld, 154 belonged to healthcare sector, 18 to education sector, eight to the food and beverages category, two to personal care and 11 were from the others’ category.

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Gross exaggeration of product efficacy was the number one reason for upholding complaints, followed by violation of the Drugs and Magic Remedies Act and the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, the council said.

It also said the other reasons were failure to provide substantial facts and figures to support claims and delivering advertisements which were misleading by ambiguity and by implication.

Among the various complaints, CCC observed that an advertisement was encouraging binging or excessive consumption of a snacking product.

A claim regarding “instant” result post consumption of a fast absorbing product was considered to be misleading, the council said.

“Similarly, claim by a leading food company to enhance IQ, was inadequately substantiated. An advertisement by a mattress company featuring celebrities making a quantitative claim that less than six hours of sleep drains 40 per cent brain energy was considered to be misleading,” it added.

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–IANS

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