The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) is a voluntary, self-regulatory organization for India’s advertising industry. The council and its Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) evaluate complaints from consumers and industry which assert that advertisements are false, misleading, indecent, illegal, leading to unsafe practices, and/or or unfair to competition, and therefore violate the ASCI Code for Self-Regulation in Advertising. In March and April, the complaints that were upheld against health-related claims included:
- Fair Pharma, was pulled up for their advertisement that states “Cancer â€“ We open for you the door back to life.” The treatment given by Fair PHarma for curing Cancer is not provided and the claim implies assuring consumers of curing cancer, which is a false claim. The claim needs to be substantiated with data based on independent scientific research. Since the advertiser failed to respond to ASCI’s letter and in the absence of supporting clinical information, it was concluded that the advertisement could be misleading and could cause wide spread grievance.
- Fit and Fine Slimming Centre and Beauty Clinic was under the scanner for their advertisement which claimed that “Reduce upto 5 kg, Lose up to 15 inches with Ultra Lypolysis Program, Advanced treatment free.” The advertiser failed to provide data or supporting technical information with details of reports of tests/ trails conducted by an independent recognized testing institution, in substantiation of these claims. In the absence of supporting clinical information, the CCC concluded that all claims mentioned in the advertisement were not substantiated.
- Sareen Hair Clinic‘s advertisement stated that “Hair re-growth â€“ also treatment for hair falling, baldness, alopecia, and thinning of hair. Non surgical hair replacement â€“ painless, totally natural, completely undetectable, look younger in just 120 days, surgical hair replacement â€“ get your hair back naturally in just 1 day procedure.” The advertiser did not provide any proof or supporting clinical information, neither were any details provided on reports of tests/trails conducted from an independent recognized testing institution. In the absence of supporting clinical information from the advertiser, the CCC concluded that the advertisement is likely to mislead consumers.
- Shree Baidyanath Ayurved Bhavan P Ltd‘s advertisement on Rheumartho Gold Capsules states that “Enriched with most effective swarna bhasma and salal guggul; Offer lasting relief from backache, joint pain, muscular pain etc; Helps to treat the root cause of pain and Helps to regain the flexibility of joints”. Advertiser should provide proof, supporting clinical information, with details of test/trials reports conducted from an independent recognized testing body in order to substantiate these claims. However, in the absence of adequate clinical information, the CCC concluded that the claims mentioned in the advertisement and cited in the complaint were not substantiated.
- Stoss Welle Healthcare was under the radar for their advertisement which states “Many suffer from erection related problems/ pre-mature ejaculation/ leakage of urine/ difficulty in urination. Are you one of them? Obtain desired results with the help of latest proven state-of-the-art non surgical Swiss Technology.” Advertiser must provide proof, supporting clinical information, with details of report of tests and trials conducted from independent recognized testing institutions. In the absence of supporting clinical information, the CCC concluded that the claims mentioned in the advertisement and cited in the complaint, were not substantiated.