Luring consumers with factually incorrect advertisements is on the rise, with the industry body Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) upholding 51 out of 98 advertisements for misleading content.
Baba Ramdev's Patanjali Ayurved, Times Global Broadcasting (Times Now), Amazon, Lenskart, Reliance Communication (RCom), Bharti Airtel, Byju Classes, Novartis and Apollo Pharmacy are among the companies found to have aired or published misleading advertisements, according to ASCI's December report on decisions taken in October by its Consumer Complaints Council (CCC).
The observations of the CCC for specific complaints are:
Times Global Broadcasting Co.(Times Now)
"The claim No.1 English News Channel' is substantiated for week 38 only. The data period being referred is only of one week and not minimum of four consecutive weeks as required by the BARC Rules of Fair Usage guidelines. The claim did not have any mention of the source of the data as well. Thus, it contravened ASCI's Guidelines."
"The claim in the TVC, 'Lenskart give you first frame for free', is false and misleading."
Amazon.com Inc. (Redragon M613 2.4GHz Wireless Mouse)
"The website communication claiming the MRP of the product as Rs.1400, when actually printed MRP on product pack is Rs.1100, which is being offered at a discounted price of Rs.899, distorts facts and is therefore misleading the consumers as to actual discount being offered."
Reliance Communication Ltd. (Reliance Pro 3)
"The website claims as well as the claims on the packaging of, 'upto 14.7 Mbps and upto 5.7 Mbps', were not substantiated and in the absence of any disclaimer qualifying the conditions under which the claims were tenable, were misleading by exaggeration."
Bharti Airtel (Airtel 4G)
"The claim, 'Airtel Challenge, yehi hai sabse tez network', is misleading by omission that the service referred to Airtel 4G."
Byju Classes (GRE Coaching)
"The claims in the advertisement, 'Why is success guaranteed in GRE with Mumbai's top GRE coaching classes - BYJU'S classes?', '60 sec is what you need to crack any verbal question using our Mathematical Approach', 'Best Teacher & comprehensive course content' and '"70% of our students cross 320 in GRE with our courses', were not substantiated."
Patanjali Ayurved Ltd (Patanjali Kesh Kanti)
"The claims in the advertisement, 'World's No.1 Ayurvedic Brand' and '100% charity from Profits' were not substantiated."
Patanjali Ayurved Ltd (Patanjali Dant Kanti)
"The claims 'World's No.1 Ayurvedic Brand', also the claimed benefits of the ingredients (such as Akarakara, Tumburu, Babool, Vajradanti, Majuphal, Margosa/Neem, Vidang, Turmeric, Clove, Mint, Pippali, Bakul, and Peeloo,) and '100% charity from Profits', were not substantiated and were misleading."
Out of the 51 complaints upheld for misleading ads, 16 belonged to the personal and healthcare category, followed by 19 of education, five of telecommunication and broadband, and 11 advertisements from other categories, said the CCC.
In its decisions in September, the CCC had upheld 54 complaints out of 84 advertisements.