I am not sure. What should be the reaction? Should one be happy, seeing 10-plus pages of more than 12,000 words in repetitive boring style listing details of the upheld complaints, keeping it transparent and open?
Should one be sad, that after so many initiative, tie-ups, education, there are repeat offender category, brands and companies that still try to be smarter than the industry self-regulatory body?
Don’t they understand that they have to change?
Or do they find ASCI a toothless tiger that barks!
Whatever may be the reason, there has to be a far more stringent penalty for repeat offenders. Otherwise, it becomes waste of time.
So, as per the press release of June 2017, which details with ASCI CCC ( Consumer Complaints Council) upholding complaints against 214 out of 280 advertisements… a good 76%.
It may be a good idea to share the source of complaints. Is it coming from competing brands? Are the complainers past offenders? Are people outside MAdTec making complaints? Or is the ASCI direct complain system working with increased citizen participation?
It may be interesting to see where did these communications appeared. Are there titles that are prone to misuse? Is there geographical concentration? It may help in redefining and addressing the problem.
The Healthcare Category accounted for 81% (175/214) of the upheld complaints, and 10% ( 21/175) were from Education. We need to recheck the argument that complaints mostly refer to small regional healthcare brands operating with small-time creative agencies. In the list, we do find brands with large distribution network and decent advertising budget.
Healthcare communication suffered from either misleading or false or not adequately / scientifically substantiated claims. Many places the copywriter on weeds has been able to create a disjointed copy that when contextually placed or read makes for important discovery.
As per the ASCI release, many brands went against the provisions of the Drug & Magic Remedies Act. What does ASCI do in these cases? In fact ‘are considered to be, prima facie, in violation of the DMR Act and the D&C Act ‘ appears like repeatedly like a broken record. It is a serious concern.
I am aware that when a person is suffering from an ailment, the promises made by the medicine, treatment or hospital seem so inviting. The patient and the close friends and relatives fail to question believability of these exaggerated claims. It happens with people who are known to be literate, rational and logical in their approach. So, you can think how big the problem may be.
Could ASCI do something more?
Could it it share this finding with appropriate bodies and associations?
Could something be done to question the use of Dr prefix that many carry while misleading consumers?
Could media help in exposing and detailed stories to put some sort of a reverse pressure on the brands?
Can we in MAdTec area pick relevant brands and use the power of social media in letting people know of the unsubstantiated claims or promises?
Consider this. Slimming & Beauty is trapped in its own world of promises and claims. “Five kilogram weight loss guarantee and five-inch figure correction.” . It is openly misleading and is a gross exaggeration.
Gross exaggeration is an effective creative device when the reader is fully aware of the exaggeration and knows that the promise cannot be true. The case in healthcare is different. Diabetes, Weight loss, fertility, contraceptive, knee and joint pains seem to dominate objectionable ads.
The sexual powers and stamina could be treated as a separate category. It is notorious for its innovative advertising styles. “Now more power,” “Get Back the Fire,” are the words you find here. They do sound so very motivating.
ASCI is right in interpreting them in conjunction with pack visuals and the other copy. It doesn’t knowledge of any rocket science to notice it is nothing more than a promise of sexual pleasure enhancement.
What would “Effective for Energy, Excitement and Power” or “Massage daily and experience the height of happiness? Only for Men,” “Increase sex time up to 35 minutes” or “Feel the power. Hour – after – hour” mean in such advertisement.
Healthcare like the media industry seems to suffer from ‘No 1′ syndrome. Another is the wrong interpretation and intentional misuse of Trusted Brand, Lakhs of patients cured- all without any third party validation.
Shree Maruti Herbal (Stay On Power Capsules and Oil), Trophic Wellness Pvt. Ltd ( Nutrigain range of products) , Rajnish Hot Deals Pvt. Ltd. (Play Win Capsule), Dindayal Aushadhi Pvt. Ltd. (303 Capsules) and Star Ayurveda (Star Homeopathy) have a series of complaints upheld against them. Maybe ASCI needs to meet the client, and creative agency or the in-house team as the case may be.
I must share the omni-cure ad by Manjeeram Holistic Centre. It claims, “Provides treatment for any kind of diseases without any medicine. Should the management not be tested for mental soundness to conduct business and put behind bars? Want to check specific brand complaints click here..
When names like Complan, Airtel, Aaj Tak and CNN News18 get complaints upheld, you start questioning the industry intent. Do they not understand the ASCI code?. Are they not in competent hands or are they playing a game, consciously punting on getting away with the act?
On the lighter side can someone in sync with ASCI initiate awards for MOST OBJECTIONABLE BRANDS and COMPANIES. Shame them, in public. Maybe this self-regulation will work. The industry brands and individuals may remain vigilant to these issues and help ASCI out, but there has to be a differential treatment for the repeat offenders.
I have listed the brands which have complaints upheld against them in ASCI MARCH 2017 CCC press note released in June 2017. It may not a complete list. In case you want to read the specific complaint upheld click here..
HEALTHCARE: Ab Love Day ( Contraceptive Tablets) , Akashdeep Hospital, Akshar Surgical Hospital , Alfa Hospital (Alfa Wellness) , Ambe Physio Hospital , Angels Advanced Clinic Private Limited , Amrita homeopathy , Ayushakti Ayur Health Centre, Ayurved Amrutam , Ayurved Sumshodhanalaya Pvt. Ltd. (Kailas Jeevan multipurpose Ayurvedic cream) , Ayur Veda Mantra , B K Arogyam & Research Center, Bhola Hospital , Capital Pharmacy (Attari Tel), Cenozoic Remedies Pvt. Ltd. (Diaba Dops Liquid & Capsules), Charak Kayakalp Hospital, Chellaram Diabetes Institute (Chellaram Diabetes Hospital) , Chaturbhuj Pharmaceuticals (Japani Oil) ,Columbia Asia Hospital (Nobesity Centre) , Cosmo Vedant Herbal India (Vedantak Vati) , Devarshi Ayurved & Biotech Pvt Ltd (Devarshi Ayurved Range of Products) ,Dindayal Aushadhi Pvt. Ltd. (303 Capsules), Dr. Batra’s Homopathy, Dr Bhavana Shah Fitness Highway (Vela weight loss, U-Lipo and Tummy tuck and Fitness Highway) Dr. Dassan’s life Care Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment and Research Centre Dr Juneja’s Accumass, Dr. Kamlesh Tandon Hospital and Test Tube Baby Centre , Dr. Mehul’s The Slimming Clinic (The Slimming Clinic) , Dr Mitwar classical Honopath, Dr Rajesh Upadhyay Ksharsutra Clinic, Dr Richas Unique Clinic , Dr Shukla Ayurvedic Sex Clinic , Dr. Tembe Hospital , Eye-Q Vision Ltd., Fit Forte Tablets, Grovel Drugs & Chemicals Pvt. Ltd. (Amrutha Dia Churnam), Hair Mantras , Heart & Health Care , Homeocare International , Jeevan Jyoti Group of Hosp. (Arpit Test Tube Baby Center) , G M Ayurved , Gaudium IVF Centre (Gaudium Kare IVF), GCB 70, , GBR Clinic-Fertility Centre, Hcg Regency Oncology Healthcare Private Limited, Jagat Pharma (Isotine Ayurvedic Eye Drops) , Janta Clinic , Jolly Pharma (Jolly Fat Go Range of Products) , Juneja Clinic (Juneja Modern Clinic) , Jivak Ayurveda , Kalpayur Ayurvedic Clinic & Panchakarma Center (Diabecare), KOLAR SLIMIMG & BEAUTY, Kudos Laboratories India Limited (V-1 Capsules) , Keya Fertility, Khodiyar Ayurvedic , Khushi Ayurveda Pvt. Ltd. , Life Homeopathy , Lord Pharma Company (Mehanorm Plus) , Mane Medical Foundation, Mithal Cancer Center Enterprise (Meerut Cancer Hospital) ,Nurture Health Care (Ayurex S),Olivet Pharma Pvt. Ltd. (Ayusya Ayurvedic Super Speciality Treatment) ,Olefia Biopharma Ltd. (Votif Syrup) , OPTM Health Care (P) Ltd. (UR Halt) , Perfect Point , Mahaguni Ayurveda Pvt. Ltd. (Mahaguni ,Ayurveda Range of Products), Makewell Pharmaceuticals (Speed Height Capsules) , Medicover Fertility , Meeta Ayurveda , Mohans Medicity Hospital, Muniraj Ayurved Ashram (Muniraj Arsh Hari) , Navchetana Kendra (Navchetana Kendra Products-Debisulin) , Pankajakasth uri Herbals (I) Ltd. (Pankaja Kasthuri Orthoherb), Positive Homeopathy , Prettislim Clinic, R K Hospital , Raj Pharmacy , Raheem Unani Clinic, Rajnish Hot Deals Pvt. Ltd. (Play Win Capsule) , Rejuvenate Hair Transplant Centre , Roop Mantra Skin Care Products, Ruchi Herbals Pvt. Ltd. (Long Dive Range of Products) , S B Ayurvedic Speciality Hospital , Saaol Heart Centre , Sablok , Sanjivani Ayurved Ashram , Sanjeevani Welfare Foundation (Sanjeevani Foundation) , Sardar Ji Skin Cure , Sex Samadhan Clinic, Sneha Counseling Centre (Sneha Clinic & Counseling Centre) , SksAyurveda Impex Pvt. Ltd. (SKS Height Plus), Shivansh Ayurveda (Shivansh Ayrveda Range of Products), Shree Baidyanath Ayurved Bhawan Pvt. (Baidyanath Arjunamrita Baidyanath Vita Ex Gold Plus), Shree Hari Clinic , Shree Kalyan Ayurvedashram , Shree Laser Hair & Skin Hospital Private Limited , Shree Maruti Herbal (Stay On Power Capsules and oil) , Slim Trim Point , Soliel International Healthcare Products (BT-36 Body toner capsule and cream) , Srikara Hospital , Star Ayurveda (Star Homeopathy/Star Ayurveda) , Sun Laboratories (P) Ltd. (Titanic-K2 Capsules) ,Sugar Control Clinic , Super Speciality Hospital , Tasmiya Retail Private Limited (Beauty 4ever Permanent Hair Removal Cream) , Technopharm (Horse Power Capsules), Testo Ultra , Trophic Wellness Pvt. Ltd ( Nutrigain plus Powder & Capsules, Nutricharge Prodiet , Nutricharge Kids , Nutricharge Health Drink , Nutricharge – Man Tablet) , Vaidya Revati Prasad (112 salki burhia ki ghuti) , Vansh Clinic & Test Tube Baby center , Vardhan Ayurveda Hospital , Vijaya Diagnostic Centre, Yashna Enterprises (No Blu Glasses), Yesaka Sugar Free Liquid, Zee Laboratories Limited (Zee Myfair Cream).
EDUCATION – following were the names with objectionable communication mostly with promises of Guaranteed seats, 100% placement or claiming No 1 without substantiation. An IGP Pvt. Ltd. (CA Ashish Kalra’s IGP e-learning Classes), Excellence Knowledge City-VC, Frankfinn Aviation Services Pvt. Ltd. (Frankfinn Institute of Air Hostess Training) , Hindustan Air Academy, IAM Business School, Indo German Tool Room-Gv, Jupiter ( Patna ) , Mentors Eduserv, National Academy of Event Management & Development, Nehru College of Education and Charitable Trust (Nehru Group of Institutions), NILAYA’S ICATS Institute of Commerce, NRI Academy (HYD), OSK IT Solutions (OSK Consultant), Patel Group of Institutions, PV Media Ventures Private Limited (Roc Talent Junction), Rural Research and Development Agency (Sri Annai Nursing College), S K Educations Pvt. Ltd. Sona School Management, Sri Nanesh Vikas Trust Samta. Swapnil Patni’s Classes and Vision 40 Academy IIT.
FOOD & BEVERAGES: A V Thomas & Co. Ltd. (AVT Premium Tea and AVT Premium Select Tea) , Apurva Organics Ltd. (Chamong Green Tea) , Heinz India Pvt. Ltd. (Complan) , Keshav Industries Pvt. Ltd. (Keshav Edible Oils Range), Mahesh Edible Oil Industries Ltd. (Saloni Mustard Oil) and Sri Family Biznet (P) Ltd. (Udupi Ruchi products)
OTHERS: Asian Paints Ltd. (Smart Care Solutions) , Bharti Airtel Ltd. (Free Data for 12 months, Free Unlimited local + STD calls and “India’s fastest network” ) , Jasper Infotech Pvt. Ltd. (Amway Persona 100% Pure Coconut Oil) , Jewel Souk Marketplace Limited (Sangini Diamond Jewellery) , LG Electronics India Pvt. Ltd. (LG Air Conditioner) , Relaxo Footwears Ltd. (Relaxo Sparx Shoes) , TV 18 Broadcast Ltd. (CNN News18) and TV Today Network Ltd. (Aaj Tak)
ASCI screens many ads; however, if you have a complaint against an advertisement- you can complain here. To know more about ASCI click here.. You can watch a small clip on ASCI here.. For further information, please contact: The Advertising Standards Council of India Shweta Purandare, Secretary General, ASCI Phone: 91 22 2495 5070 / 91 9821162785 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org