During July and August 2011, the Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of ASCI upheld complaints made against 17 advertisements from various sectors like education, health, FMCG and restricted products. Eight other advertisements got away as the council did not uphold complaints against them.
There was a complaint relating to the Bata's "Think Weinbrenner, Think Outdoors" campaign, Maruti Suzuki, CCC also received a complaint against the advertising communication of Hindustan Unilever - Pureit Water Purifier and upheld it. A complaint against the advertisement of Triply Stainless Steel Cookware from Glen Appliances was also upheld.
In the education sector, there were a whole set of advertisement that received complaints. For T.I.M.E. – CAT’ 11/12, the claim “Largest student base: 1,30,000+ students trained for CAT’09 & CAT’10” was rejected as the claim was not validated by any third party nor the advertiser had compared any data of other service providers in the same category. Similarly advertisement of Satyam and Career Launcher's ads, claims were not backed up and substantiated with data or evidence and hence the comlain was upheld for these.
A TVC of Greenlam showed an old man going through the Catholic sacrament of baptism, and thereafter his funeral which shows a coffin made with Greenlam Laminates. The TVC was proved to be extremely offensive and mocks the Roman Catholic faith, by unnecessarily using sacraments to promote its product. The CCC concluded that the TVC appears to trivialise conversion and thus is likely to hurt religious sentiments.
Hindustan Unilever Ltd‘s Dove Damage Therapy TVC claimed that Dove is the most recommended shampoo by Indian women”, is qualified by a super stating “Based on a study conducted amongst 400 women”. It was stated that a base size of 400 is far too small to be used to support this claim and it also does not clarify the parameters for which the Dove shampoo is recommended. This CCC thought this claim needed to be substantiated with independent technical data. complaint was upheld.
Lavanya Ayurvedic Hospital and Research Center stated in its print ad, that, “Cancer can be treated without radiation or chemotherapy.” The CCC, thought such a claim is misleading and that can jeopardise the lives of many people who may opt for this treatment. Without the backing of any scientific data and due to the absence of comments from the advertiser, the CCC upheld the complaint against this advertisement.
One of the Ford Figo advertisements stated that the “Ford Figo leaves its competition far behind”, and has made comparison of Figo Advantage with Hyundai i10 in terms of space and maintenance. The facts used in the advertisement are based on Ford’s internal benchmarking study, and have no independent support. In the absence of comments from the advertiser, the CCC concluded that the claims made in the advertisement were not substantiated on the basis of an independent survey, and were misleading.
The TVC for the Chevrolet Beat diesel adopted the tagline of, 'India’s most fuel efficient car'. This mislead the consumers and General Motors tried to justify the same by relying upon a stray comment in an article published in `Autocar India’ of August 2011 issue. The Beat diesel advertisement uses the tagline which is same as that used by the Tata Indica eV2 in their advertisement of being “India’s most fuel efficient car”.
Titan Industries Ltd’s Fast Track Watches advertisement showed a young woman taking off her innerwear from underneath her t-shirt and holding it out as if to discard it to promote a new offer of 20% off on watches. The advertisement is offensive to women, damaging young minds, and totally unrelated to the subject of the advertisement.
During these two months, the CCC received complaints against Samsung ACs, She Comfort, Hindustan Unilever’s Pureit Marvella eWater Purifier, IMS Learning Resources, McDonald’s, L’Oreal India’s Garneir Fructis, Hindustan Unilver’s Clinic All Clear, Procter & Gamble Home Products Ltd‘s - New Ariel Oxyblu – Deep Clean Technology's ad and Tata Indicom among others too. These advertisements did not contravene ASCI’s codes or guidelines.