Complaints against 31 advertisements upheld: ASCI

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Mumbai, March 1 (IANS) The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) on Thursday said its Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) has upheld complaints against 31 advertisements out of 81 in December 2017 for mainly “gross exaggeration of product efficacy” and violation of acts and rules.

Amongst the 31 advertisements, 13 belonged to the healthcare category, seven to the education category, three to the food and beverages category and eight were from the ‘others’ category.

“In December 2017, CCC upheld complaints against 31 advertisements out of the total 81 advertisements evaluated,” ASCI said in a statement.

From the total of 20 advertisements picked by its suo moto surveillance, complaints against 18 advertisements were upheld. Of the 61 advertisements complained against by the general public or by industry members, complaints against 13 advertisements were upheld by the CCC.

“We have effectively strengthened the professional and ethical standards in the advertising industry. Our continuous focus is to deal effectively and accurately with the complaints received against misleading advertisements,” ASCI’s Chairman Abanti Sankaranarayanan said.

According to her, “Independent Review Process” under the chairmanship of Justice Mohit Shah, Former Chief Justice and Justice S. Radhakrishnan, Former Judge, Bombay High Court, was one such step that the watchdog took to further improve transparency for both, the advertiser as well as the complainant, to facilitate fair adjudication of complaints.

Gross exaggeration of product efficacy was the number one reason for upholding complaints, followed by violation of the Drugs and Magic Remedies Act (DMR Act) and the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules (D&C Rules).

The other reasons were failure to provide substantial facts and figures to support claims and the advertisements were considered to be misleading by ambiguity or implication.

Among the various complaints, the council observed that a realty service provider was giving misleading information with gross exaggeration on the discounts and exclusive deals to attract customers.

Similarly, a couple of advertisers were claiming market leadership which was not conclusively proven, it added.



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