Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) Health-Related Decisions and Recommendations, August 2014


February 3, 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 August, the complaints that were upheld against health-related claims included:

  • Advanced Hair Studio: The advertisement claims that Advanced Hair Studio is the only company in the world to have patented four unique procedures for hair loss under one roof. It further claims that the procedures have been performed over a million times. The advertisement further guarantees 100% percent restoration of head hair and restore your appearance.
  • Agro Pharma (Agro Zeromos): The advertisement claims that Agro Zeromos helps to get complete protection from mosquitoes that cause illness such as dengue, malaria etc. It further adds that it does not have harmful effect, has ayurvedic content thereby giving complete protection.
  • AiswaryalakshmiValampirishanghu: The advertisement claims that their conch has miraculous power to ward off all problems faced by human beings. The advertisement propagates superstition and blind belief.
  • Anand Clinic: The advertisement claims to get rid of alcohol without letting the patient know or bringing the alcoholic to the clinic. It further adds that the clinic helps weak men to get tremendous power. The advertisement directly violates Medical Council of India (MCI) Code of Ethics Regulations 2002 Clause 6.1 as the advertisement mentions the name of Dr. Anand promoting the Clinic.
  • Arka Biologics (Re-21): The advertisement visual implies that Re-21 helps to enhance sexual pleasure.
  • Ayurgen Herbals (GroTallPlus Tonic): The advertisement claims that GroTall Plus Tonic is 100% ayurvedic with no side effects.
  • B. Lab (Pro Hair): The advertisement claims that Pro Hair helps grow hair and cure baldness.
  • Bajaj Corp Ltd (Bajaj Almond Drops Hair Oil): The advertisement claims that Bajaj Almond Drops Hair Oil helps to provide Vitamin E to the hair and makes hair damage-free.
  • Batson Drugs and Pharmaceuticals (Addiction Churan): The advertisement ofAddiction Churan claims to save oneself from harmful effects of addiction with just one spoon and regular consumption of churan will help to get rid of cigarette and gutka addiction. It also adds that it is 100% herbal and safe and has no side effects.
  • Batson Drugs and Pharmaceuticals(No Kharate): The advertisement of No Kharate claims “First time in India anti-snoring ayurvedic medicine” which is 100% herbal and approved by the Indian system of medicine.
  • Devi AnusandhanSansthan (Dhan Varsha SarwaSankatNivakar): The advertisement claims that the product brings prosperity and success in professional life. The advertorial suggests that the yantra would terminate any kind of trouble and ill fate. It further claims that blessings of Mata Laxmi promises to bring prosperity, happiness and wealth. It also adds that Goddess Laxmi provides protection from evils and abundant profit in business and family circle. The advertisement contravened Chapter I.1 of the ASCI Code as well as Advertising Code – 7 [5] under the Cable Television Network Rules, 1994.
  • Dhanwantari Pharmaceutical (Dhanwantari range of products): The advertisement of Dhanwantari range of products claims to solve all health problems. It further claims that the products help in increasing immunity especially for multi-drug resistance with no side effects, welcoming all non-curable disease patients.
  • Doctor Advice Company (Sikander-e-azam capsules): The advertisement of Sikander-e-azam capsules claims to give complete satisfaction, strength and stamina. It further claims that the product would help revive oneself and has no side effects.
  • Dr Green Tulsi: The advertisement of Dr. Green Tulsiclaims to increase resistance power to fight diseases, removes viruses, germs and flies from house, removes dark spots, wrinkles, acne, pimples and freckles from your face. The advertisement further claims to remove stretch marks, remove viruses and germs from water, helps to remove foul smell, increase remembrance power and is the best Antivenin which removes toxins out of the body on consumption.
  • Dr. Arora’s Clinic Private Limited:The website and TVC advertisement of Dr. Arora’s Clinic Private Limited claims to provide solutions to all sexual health problems like Erectile Dysfunction, Premature Ejaculation, Penis Size, No Interest in Sex, Pain while having sex etc., and that it is India’s No.1 Online Sexual Health Consultation website.The advertisement shows a real doctor promoting the clinic which is in violation of the Medical Council of India (MCI) Code of Medical Ethics Regulation, Clause 6.1.
  • Dr. G Wellness for Diabetes: The advertisement of Dr. G Wellness for Diabetes claims control and prevention of diabetes. The advertisement is misleading as it is presented as a news item format but without a disclaimer. It claims “reversing” of Diabetes which was misleading by ambiguity and implied “cure” by claiming “complete weaning off the medicines”. The TVC shows a doctor promoting the clinic which is in violation of the Medical Council of India (MCI) Code of Medical Ethics Regulation, Clause 6.1.
  • Ganga Chikitsalaya: The advertisement of Ganga Chikitsalaya claims successful treatment of white spots. It further states that with continuous treatment the spot will start matching the colour of the skin.
  • Gokul Clinic: The advertisement claims that Gokul clinic helps to get rid of piles in just one injection. It also claims successful treatment for problems such as night fall, premature ejaculation, impotency, leucorrhoea, quitting alcohol, asthma, diabetes, arthritis, blood pressure and STDs in both males and females.
  • GP Dixit Yoga &Prakritik Chikitsalaya: The advertisement of GP Dixit Yoga &Prakritik Chikitsalaya claims to treat all problems related to stomach and curing problems such as obesity, paralysis, diabetes, asthma, ulcers, waist and joint pain successfully. They also claim to reduce 3-7 kg weight per month.
  • Gujarat Co-operative Milk Federation Ltd (Amul Butter): The product packaging of the Amul 500gms butter pack shows a food pyramid with cereals, veggies and fruits at bottom of the pyramid while Amul Butter at the top. It further claims that Butter tops the food triangle which is misleading by implication as it implies Butter to be the best among other food items as shown on the pack.
  • Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (Amul): The advertisement on the website recommends weaning of breast milk at 9 months, solid food at 3 months and fruit juices for babies of 3-4 weeks old. The website also states that purely milk diet is not sufficient as it does not contain enough nutrition. These claims distorts facts and were considered to be false and misleading.
  • India Veda (MX Stamina): The advertisement claims that MX Stamina will make life beautiful for a person. It adds that it will build immunity, increase energy and make one confident without any side effects. The advertisement claims that the product will help to get more stamina and help one feel young. The TVC also implies that the product is meant for enhancement of sexual pleasure.
  • Jinga Gold (JingaPlus Herbal Capsules): The advertisement of Jinga Plus Herbal Capsules claims to solve erectile dysfunction with consumption of just one capsule.
  • Jivo Wellness Pvt. Ltd. (Jivo Canola): The advertisement of Jivo Canola claims 0% cholesterol, giving healthiest and lightest cooking. It further claims to be internationally recognized by American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, US Food & Drug Administration & World Heart Federation.
  • KhodiyarAyurvedic: The advertisement claims that Khodiyar ayurvedic helps to get rid of the pain due to lack of calcium. It also adds that it helps to get results in case of cancer in 20 days by the use of herb seeds.
  • Leeford Healthcare Ltd (Meglow Premium Fairness Cream): The advertisement of Meglow Premium Fairness Cream claims that it gives natural radiant skin, helps in brightening dull skin tone, helps in eliminating dead skin cells, removes dark spots and prevents pigmentation. It further claims to provide magical fairness.
  • Marico Ltd (Livon Hair Gain): The advertisement of Livon Hair Gain claims to stop hair fall within 90 days.The super in the advertisement was misleading by ambiguity.
  • Musli Universal Capsule & Oil: The advertisement of Musli Universal capsule claims to successfully treat sexual weakness due to small organs, looseness, premature ejaculation, nightfall, semen, impotency and low sperm count.
  • Noni BioTechPvt Ltd (Divine Noni): The advertisement claims that Divine Noni builds immunity, removes toxins, improves digestion, improves body’s ability to self-heal, effective for women’s health issues, suitable for all ages, no diet restrictions and no side effects.
  • Osmor (Osmor Water Purification): The advertisement claims that Osmor Water Purification enhances PH level of water and reduces acidity in the body.
  • Prime Ayurveda (Prime cool herbal Eye drops): The advertisement claims that Prime cool herbal eye drops helps to improve eye sight and reduce the eye number (optical power). It further claims to help to remove blurring vision and increases the brightness of the eyes.
  • Quick Heal Technologies (P) Ltd (Quick Heal Anti-Virus): The advertisement shows a person in military (army) uniform stating that Quick Heal helps him keep his data safe. The advertisement implies that India’s armed forces and security establishment uses antivirus to keep its sensitive data safe. The Advertiser did not provide substantiation that Indian Defense forces are actually using the anti-virus developed by Quick Heal. The CCC concluded that the advertisement contravened Chapters I.1 and I.3 of the ASCI Code.
  • RC Creatives Sales Private Limited (RC Creatives Range of Products): The advertisement of Roomani oil claims that it helps in sagginess and reducing stress. It further adds that VMP capsule helps to provide more energy and makes men disease free, more powerful and young. The pack visual implies that the product is meant to enhance sexual pleasure.
  • SaifySeva Ashram (Dard Go Sugar Control Powder): The advertisement claims that the product is an ayurvedic powder and one does not need to change their normal diet. It further adds that it is recommended by MBBS doctors. It also has the FSSAI logo, proof for which is not substantiated.
  • Sanjeev Cancer Hospital: The advertisement of Sanjeev Cancer Hospital claims successful treatment of cancer with the help of rare ayurvedic herbs for patients who have undergone radiation and chemotherapy. It further claims successful treatment of uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, brain tumor, cervical lymph, blood cancer, breast cancer, mouth and throat cancer and all types of cancer.
  • Shathayu Ayurveda: The website of Shathayu Ayurveda claims that the product helps in inch loss for specific areas like tummy, arms, and thighs etc., helps to increase circulation along with toning of muscles, achieving desired benefits in a specific time period and claims to completely cure or control 20 types of diabetes The advertisement also claims Virechana detoxification is the right way to begin the treatment. It further says that it is very effective to bring hormonal balance and corrects metabolism.It adds that the product also helps in preventing insulin resistance and other complications. The website also claims that Shathayu Ayurveda relieves flatulence in the stomach, cures ulcers or wound and quickly reduces symptoms such as burning and burping.
  • Shiv Shakti Medicine (Restore Power Capsule): The advertisement claims that Restore Power Capsule helps to get rid of masculine weakness and to get youth back. It further claims to have a pure ayurvedic formula, cure male erectile dysfunction, low desire for sex, low sperm count and contraction of nerves. The product visually implies sexual pleasure.
  • SitaramShyamlal (Ret Greenline Juicer): The advertisement claims that Ret Greenline Juicer follows the ayurvedic system and is a healthy and hygienic juicer. It claims that it is India’s first noise free juicer; it extracts 100% fibers and nutrients and provides 40% more juice compared to other juicers. The advertisement further adds that juice extracted from their juicer helps fight heart problems, cancer, aging, fat and skin problems.
  • Sky Brand India (VishMukti):The advertisement claims that the product is effective in the treatment of all kinds of addictions i.e. drugs, cigarette, alcohol and tobacco. It claims that the product is 100% ayurvedic with no side effects. It claims “VISH MUKTI” endows various health benefits to the body and can be used for long time periods. It further claims to bring tremendous positive changes in the lives of people, to get rid of any kind of addiction and achieve the desired result if one consumes one table-spoon of it with a glass of water or with a meal twice a day.
  • Srikara Hospitals: The advertisement of Srikara Hospitals claims to be the only hospital of South India which has performed knee replacements operation from past 30 years which is a gross misrepresentation of facts and is false and misleading. Also, the advertisement is in breach of code of medical ethics as it shows a Doctor promoting the Hospital which is in violation of the Medical Council of India (MCI) Code of Ethics Regulations 2002 Clause 6.1.
  • SRS Formulations (Pylo Tablets): The advertisement claims that Pylo Tablets is the best and only solution for vaadi and bleeding piles. It also adds that it provides magical relief in just 24 hours.
  • Tara Health Foods Limited (Zaitoon Tara Cooking Oil): The advertisement of Zaitoon Tara Cooking Oil claims that it is anti-acidic and prevents formation of gastric acid in stomach. It further adds that it has vitamin E that helps to fight cancer, aging signs and in foetus development.
  • Tata Sky Ltd (Tata Sky): The advertisement shows a ten year old girl saying drinking green tea will protect her from mosquitoes and that she has picked up the said fact from TV. This fact has been added by TataSky from websites which have no scientifically proven data, thereby the TVC misrepresents facts and is not based on scientifically validated data and is misleading.
  • Tirupati Pharmacy – Jeevan Shakti Capsule: The advertisement claims that Jeevan Shakti capsule fills passion and energy in men from the very first day so that men get complete sexual satisfaction and endless joy. The advertisement also claims that experienced vaidyas and doctors of Tirupati Pharmacy have made Jeevan Shakti capsule by using rare and essential herbs.
  • TTK Prestige Ltd (Prestige Livestraw Water Purifier):The advertisement claims that Prestige Livestraw Water Purifier provides users with “Pure Vegetarian Water”. This claim in the context of bacteria was found to be misleading.
  • Zilaxo Advanced Pain Solution (Zilaxo): The advertisement claims that Zilaxo provides essential nutrients to heal and regenerate thereby giving marked difference within ten days. It further adds that one can start daily activities in a better way within 30 days.