Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) Health-Related Decisions and Recommendations, June 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 June, the complaints that were upheld against health-related claims included:

  • Leads Bariatrics. According to the complainant, in the TVC, the Advertiser claims “to give a scar less weight loss surgery”. The Advertiser needs to substantiate the claim with scientific proof. The CCC concluded that the promotion of weight loss surgery is an oversimplification of the remedy to reduce weight. The claim, “Gives a scar less weight loss surgery,” is misleading. The advertisement contravened Chapter I.4 of the Code.
  • Leonardo Olive Pomace OilAccording to the complainant, the print advertisement claims that Leonardo Olive Pomace Oil, “Fights cholesterol & heart disease,” “Lowers blood pressure,” “Controls and prevents diabetes” and “Fights cancer”. Pomace Olive Oil is produced by solvent extraction and has Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) which is both mutagenic and carcinogenic. This is contradictory to the claim made for Olive Pomace oil in fighting cancer. Additionally, the health benefits of olive oil are from Extra virgin olive oil due to its antioxidant content, which is not present in Pomace Olive oil. Hence misleading claims are portrayed as to the benefits of consuming Pomace Olive oil. In the absence of supporting clinical information from the Advertiser, the CCC concluded that the claims mentioned in the advertisement and cited in the complaint were not substantiated. The advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code.
  • Lotus Mustard Oil. According to the complainant, the TVC claims that Lotus Mustard oil “has natural flavour with omega 3 & 6,” “reduces cholesterol”. Advertiser needs to provide scientific proof in substantiation of these claims. The Advertiser only provided lab reports certifying the composition of the product and not scientific proof of the efficacy of the product. In the absence of scientific substantiation, the CCC concluded that the claims were not substantiated. The advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code.
  • Natural Medicine. According to the complainant, the print ad claims that it is a sure cure for Diabetes (Sugar), Renal Problems (Kidney), Obesity (Over Weight), Psychological Problem. These claims need to be substantiated with scientific proof. In the absence of supporting clinical information from the Advertiser, the CCC concluded that the claims mentioned in the advertisement and cited in the complaint, were not substantiated. The advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code.
  • Om Healthcare Centre’s Good Health. According to the complainant, the print ad claims that the “use of the product will result in relief from joint pains and piles in 7days,” “Underweight persons become healthy in 30 days,” ” treatment for Diabetes with results in 30 days,” and “successful treatment through natural medicines”. These claims need to be substantiated with supporting clinical information and with details of reports of tests/ trials conducted from independent recognised testing institutions. The CCC concluded that the claims were not substantiated, and the advertisement contravened The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act. The advertisement contravened Chapters I.1 and III.4 of the ASCI Code.
  • Parachute Advansed Coconut Hair Oil. According to the complainant, the print ad claims that, “I have the World’s Best Hair and so do you,” “International hair research has found that Parachute Advansed users have the World’s Best Hair”. Claiming that Parachute Advansed users have the world’s best hair is a superlative claim. The quality of hair does not depend only on hair oil. Advertiser should provide scientific evidence in support of the claim on the parameters of thickness, softness, length, damage resistance and strength. The CCC considered the technical data and concluded that the claim that its users have the “World’s Best Hair,” is too superlative and misleading. The advertisement contravened Chapter I.4 of the Code.
  • Perma Healthcare’s Seatone. According to the complainant, the print ad claims that GLME is made from pure extract of New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel. According to a marine scientist “GLME is a marine natural product that contains the components such as Anti-inflammatory agents, immune modulators and many essential building blocks, helps to maintain joint mobility”. Over 30 years of research combined with the experience of arthritis sufferers worldwide has indicated a success rate of about 75% in most arthritis conditions and Aids joint health by inhibiting the deterioration of cartilage, Aids joint mobility by improving joint lubrication, Inhibits inflammation and swelling, is gastro- protective (stomach friendly), Enhances natural vitality, and Reduces injury damage for athletes. These claims need to be substantiated with scientific proof and other tests and data. The CCC concluded that the advertisement contravened The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act. The advertisement contravened Chapter III.4 of the ASCI Code.
  • Pure Roots Gold Cream Bleach. According to the complainant, the TVC claims that Pure Roots Gold Cream Bleach has pure gold added in it, it also claims to remove dead cells and opens pores and give instant glow in just ten minutes. The Advertiser needs to provide scientific proof to substantiate this claim. In the absence of supporting clinical information from the Advertiser, the CCC concluded that the claims mentioned in the advertisement and cited in the complaint, were not substantiated. The advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code. As per the advertiser’s response, their company believes in fair and proper competition. The receiving a complaint from ASCI, the advertiser has already modified the said Advertisement immediately.
  • Sesa Hair Oil. According to the complainant, the print ad claims that “Sesa Hair Oil is 5 times effective,” “Sesa Oil/ Shampoo/ Capsule contains 18 herbs, 5 nutritious oil and milk extracts that helps in overcoming hair problems such as: hair fall, low volume hair, weak hair, dandruff, dryness and rough hair”. These claims need to be substantiated with supporting clinical information and with details of reports of tests/ trials conducted from an independent recognised testing institution. The CCC concluded that the claims mentioned in the advertisement, and cited in the complaint were not substantiated adequately. The advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code.
  • Slim Life. According to the complainant, the print ad claims that “weight loss of up to 5 KGs in 1 month, naturally,” “It offers 100% natural meal replacement,” “24 essential, it is Clinically proven and it helps you stay hunger-free up to 6 hours”. These claims need to be substantiated with supporting clinical information and with details of reports of tests/ trials conducted from an independent recognised testing institution. In the absence of supporting clinical information from the Advertiser, the CCC concluded that the claims mentioned in the advertisement and cited in the complaint, were not substantiated. The advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code.
  • TV 24 Shopee India Pvt. Ltd. Dr. Tea. According to the complainant, the TVC claims that Dr. Tea “Increases the metabolism. It destroys the stubborn fat groups, breaks down fat and makes it burn,” “It strengthens the Immune system. Melts body fat boosts energy and clears skin, giving your face a clear, radiant glow”. “It makes the skin firm, smooth and delicate with a variety of nutrients and vitamins”In the absence of supporting clinical information from the Advertiser, the CCC concluded that the claims mentioned in the advertisement and cited in the complaint were not substantiated. The advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code.
  • Videocon Air Conditioner. According to the complainant, the print ad claims that “Your daily dose of good health from Videocon air conditioners,” “Vita Air technology releases Vitamin C into the air,” “Vitamin C filter boosts immunity,” “Ionizer improves room freshness,” “Anti-bacterial filter eliminates bacteria and filters dust particles,” “Auto clean prevents bacteria formation,” “Gold Fin Evaporator prevents formation of bacteria, fungus and bad odour”. Advertiser need to substantiate these claims with technical comparative data. In the absence of comments from the Advertiser, the CCC concluded that the claims mentioned in the ad and cited in the complaint, were not substantiated. The advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code.