Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) Health-Related Decisions and Recommendations, May 2012

January 24, 2017

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 May, the complaints that were upheld against health-related claims included:

  • Brooke Bond Red Label Natural Care Tea. According to the complainant, the advertisement claimed that the product “has a scientifically proven combination of five ayurvedic ingredients like tulsi, ashwagandha, mulethi, ginger and cardamom to strengthen your body’s defence,” “It helps to protect you and your family from cold, cough and flu,” “It is clinically shown that drinking three cups of Brooke Bond Red Label Natural Care daily helps enhance one’s immunity”. The CCC concluded that the claims that Brooke Bond Red Label Natural Care “helps to protect you and your family from cold, cough and flu,” and “drinking three cups daily helps enhance one’s immunity,” were not substantiated adequately. The advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code.
  • SHREE MARUTI HERBAL’s print advertisement on “Maruti Stay-On Capsules & Oil” was complained against for claiming it “helps improve vitality, stamina and energy.” The website also claims “Stay-On guarantees – “Sexual performance of adults in all age groups,” “Rectifying temporary / partial / occasional or permanent erectile dysfunction,” “Increasing the extent of orgasm,” “Augmenting libido,” “Increasing the length & size of penis,” “Mending premature (early & sudden) ejaculation,” “Enhancing vitality, vigor and stamina,” “Stay-On is 100% natural with no side effects. It is a totally secure tested product.” The claims in the print advertisement and on the website are not substantiated. The advertisement and the website do not provide any scientific data related to the safety and efficacy of the product. The CCC concluded that the claim, “helps improve vitality, stamina and energy,” was not substantiated. The advertisement contravened The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act. Also, the advertisement tends to create by implication, a perceived inadequacy of physical attributes, in this case the impotence and infertility, which could be objectionable to both men and women. The advertisement contravened Chapters I.1, III.4 and I.5 (d) of the ASCI Code.