Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) Health-Related Decisions and Recommendations, April 2016


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 April 2016, the complaints that were upheld against health-related claims included: .

  • Akhilesh Shinde (Treatment for Cancer): The testimonial’s claims (in Gujarati) as translated into English, “Got a new lease of life from cancer” and “ayurvedic treatment of cancer,” were not substantiated and are misleading by exaggeration. Also, specific to the testimonial claiming cure for cancer, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.
  • Astrologerad.com: The claims in the advertisement (in Gujarati) guaranteeing sure solutions for problems such as infertility, marital discord, winning a lottery, were false and misleading by exaggeration. The advertisement exploits the consumers’ lack of knowledge and is likely to lead to grave or widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers.
  • Ayuway Herbal (Fat Free Tablet): The claims in the advertisement (in Gujarati) as translated into English, “You can reduce 10 to 15 kilo weight in two to three months by taking Fat Free two pills in morning and two pills in evening” and “Ayuway Noni and Fat Free give 100% result,” were not substantiated and are misleading.
  • Ayuway Herbal (Noni Wellness Drink): The claims in the advertisement (in Gujarati) as translated into English, “By taking Ayuway Herbal Noni daily in appropriate dose, the following stubborn diseases can be brought under control – Cancer, Arthritis, Blood circulation, Stomach ulcers, Muscle pain, Thyroid, Gas trouble, Diabetes, H.I.V., Skin problem,” “In many such diseases Ayuway Noni is beneficial” and “100% money back guarantee,” were not substantiated and are misleading. Also, specific to the claims with money back guarantee implying treatment/cure for Cancer, Arthritis, Diabetes, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.
  • Babuline Pharma Pvt. Ltd. (Babuline Carminative Water): The advertisement’s claim, “Five times faster than churan or tablet” was not substantiated as there was no authentic evidence comparing the speed of action of the product versus any marketed product. Also, the claim in the advertisement, “Fit and Healthy” was considered to be misleading by ambiguity.
  • Colgate-Palmolive (India) Ltd. (Colgate Herbal): The ambiguous presentation of the trademark “Colgate Herbal” on packaging as two separate words and omission of the reference to trademark was misleading.
  • Dindayal Industries Limited (303 Capsules): The claim in the advertisement (in Marathi), “Very effective for men, the only capsule in India for men’s vigour, effective from day one” read in conjunction with the visual in the advertisement and pack visual is misleading and implies that the product is meant for enhancement of sexual pleasure, which is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.
  • Dr.Basu’s Eye Hospital (Isotin Eye Drops) (Treatment for Cataract without Operation): The claim in the advertisement (in Hindi), “New discovery in Ayurveda – Treatment of cataract without operation with Isotin drops” (“Ayurvedickshetrameinnayeekhoj, treatment of catract without surgery with Isotin Eye Drops”) was not substantiated and was grossly misleading by exaggeration. Also, the claim is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.
  • GAIA Range of Health Foods and Nutritional Supplements: The advertisement’s claim, “GAIA’s range of health foods and nutritional supplements helps boost your immunity to keep you healthy in all weather conditions,” was not substantiated and is misleading.
  • Hindustan Unilever Ltd. (PureitUltima): The advertisement’s claim, “Oxyblast technology to remove chemicals and pesticides on fruits and vegetables” was misleading by ambiguity and implication as the best possible removal was 60% which would still leave a substantial residue. The health effects of this residue were not tested nor claimed in the advertisement, but the pesticide amount was only reduced not removed. Therefore, use of the word "remove" is incorrect.
  • Hindustan Unilever Ltd. (Rexona Roll On): The advertisement of Rexona Roll On claim, “Ten times (10X) Protection,” was misleading by omission of qualifiers and reference to the comparison to talcum powder.
  • Japani Instrument: The claims in the advertisement (in Bengali) as translated into English, “Ultra-modern way of increasing your passion for sex and thereby engaging in more fun,” “Free Japani instrument for increasing the size of one’s sex organ or penis,” “With the use of this instrument, a penis that is small, crooked or thin, turns into a strong, straight and hard one with its length increased by eight to nine inches,” “It helps cure quick loss of erection, impotency, nightfall and childlessness,” “It helps increase sex time by 30-45 minutes,” “Within 30 days of usage one gets a good penis or a good vagina” and “No side effects. 100% guarantee,” were not substantiated and are misleading by exaggeration. Also, specific to the claims related to cure of sexual impotency and childlessness (infertility), and the claims pertaining to the benefits of the product such as “Ultra-modern way of increasing your passion for sex and thereby engaging in more fun,” “Free Japani instrument for increasing the size of one’s sex organ or penis,” “With the use of this instrument, a penis that is small, crooked or thin , turns into a strong, straight and hard one with its length increased by eight to nine inches,” “It helps cure quick loss of erection, impotency, nightfall,” “It helps increase sex time by 30- 45 minutes” and “Within 30 days of usage one gets a good penis or a good vagina,” read in conjunction with the advertisement visual implies that the product is meant for enhancement of sexual pleasure, which is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.
  • Japani Instrument: The claims in the advertisement (in Bengali) as translated into English, “The Sex Problem – Modern discovery of Japani instrument for increasing the size of one’s sex organ worth Rs 200/ 300 /500,” “It helps turn a small, thin, crooked penis into a long, thick, hard and beautiful one,” “By having this 100% ayurvedic medicine one can maximally enjoy their sex life, with the length of their penises increased by seven to eight inches and thickness by three to four inches,” “By treating problems of impotency, inability of a penis to sustain an erection for too long, lack of manliness, one can make their married lives a happy one” and “With medicines for 30 days, you get the oil that increases your strength and passion for sex, absolutely free,” were not substantiated and are misleading by exaggeration. Also, specific to the claims implying cure for sexual impotency, and claims pertaining to the benefit of the product such as, “The Sex Problem – Modern discovery of Japani instrument for increasing the size of one’s sex organ worth Rs 200/ 300 /500,” “It helps turn a small, thin, crooked penis into a long, thick, hard and beautiful one,” “By having this 100% ayurvedic medicine one can maximally enjoy their sex life, with the length of their penises increased by seven to eight inches and thickness by three to four inches,” “By treating problems of impotency, inability of a penis to sustain an erection for too long, lack of manliness, one can make their married lives a happy one” and “With medicines for 30 days, you get the oil that increases your strength and passion for sex, absolutely free,” read in conjunction with the advertisement visual implies that the product is meant for enhancement of sexual pleasure, which is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.
  • Japani Instrument: The claims in the advertisement (in Bengali) as translated into English, “Japani instrument for increasing the size of one’s sex organ,” “Men with small, narrow or crooked penises can now make their penises eight to nine inches long and extremely thick, thereby enabling them to engage in sex for an extra 30-40 minutes,” “Problems like impotency, not sustaining an erection for too long, lack of strength in a penis or childlessness can be solved using this product,” “Free medicines for thirty days are provided along with guarantee card,” “Free ‘mosti’ oil, ‘Shombhogkola’ magazine, Breast cream, DVD, 8GB memory card can be availed” and “100% Ayurvedic,” were not substantiated and are misleading by exaggeration. Also, specific to the claims implying cure of sexual impotency and childlessness (infertility), and the claims pertaining to the benefits of the product such as, “Japani instrument for increasing the size of one’s sex organ,” “Men with small, narrow or crooked penises can now make their penises eight to nine inches long and extremely thick, thereby enabling them to engage in sex for an extra 30-40 minutes” and “Problems like impotency, not sustaining an erection for too long, lack of strength in a penis can be solved using this product,” read in conjunction with the advertisement visual implies that the product is meant for enhancement of sexual pleasure, which is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.
  • L’Oreal India Limited (New Garnier White Complete Double Action Facewash): The advertisement on the pack claims, “instant whitening” and “Gives 1 tone fairer looking skin in one wash” were not substantiated. The TVC claim, “You think only cream can give you visible fairness? Think again …. This fights dark spots and gives instant whitening,” was misleading by implication.
  • Pankajakasthuri Herbals India Pvt. Ltd. (Orthoherb Tablets Joint Pain Relief): The testimonial’s claim (in Malayalam) as translated into English, “improvement in one month from joint pain on taking Orthoherb tablets,” was not substantiated with product efficacy data, and is misleading by exaggeration.
  • Patanjali Ayurved Limited (Patanjali Dant Kanti): The advertisement’s claims, “Effective Against Pyorrhoea, Swelling & Bleeding Of Gums, Yellowing Of Teeth, Sensitivity & bad Breath” and “Protects your teeth for a longer time and provides a natural shield against germs,” were not substantiated and are misleading.
  • Procter & Gamble Hygiene & Health Care Ltd. (Pantene Shampoo): The advertisement’s claim, Pantene is the "World’s No. 1 Hair Care Brand,” regardless of the disclaimer, is misleading by implication and ambiguity. It was not accepted, that the qualifier in the advertisement stating "Hair Care Category sirf shampoo aur conditioner se sambandhit" is appropriate to validate the advertiser’s own categorisation of Hair care category which comprises of Shampoo, Conditioner and Hair Oils.
  • Rajnish Hot Deals Pvt. Ltd. (Play Win Capsules): The advertisement’s claim, “Effect start from First Day Only,” was not substantiated with supporting product efficacy data, and is misleading. Also, the claims (in Marathi) as translated into English, "If you want to make your life happy! Then make your wife happy!!!,” “Play Win Capsules are effective for this kind of problems. Which can help you gain your power, stamina, strength” and “Make your relationship stronger,” read in conjunction with the advertisement visual and pack visual implies that the product is meant for enhancement of sexual pleasure, which is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.
  • Rajnish Hot Deals Pvt. Ltd. (Play Win Plus Capsules): The claim in the advertisement (in Marathi) “And, what continues the whole night? Quick results, one capsule one hour prior, get a surge of energy, for better results use PlayWin oil,” in the advertisement read in conjunction with the pack visual and the advertisement visual is misleading and implies that the product is meant for enhancement of sexual pleasure, which is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.
  • Razorbill (RazorSlimAyurvedic Instant Slimming Capsules): The advertisement’s claims, “RazorSlimAyurvedic Instant Slimming Capsules” and “No Exercise and No Diet” were not substantiated and the before and after visuals in the advertisement were grossly misleading.
  • Reckitt Benckiser (India) Pvt. Ltd. (Mortein Insta5): As for the absence of the word “mosquitoes” in the tagline of the advertisement of Mortein Insta5, the claim, "Relief from Dengue in just 5 minutes" was misleading by ambiguity.
  • Sex product Ad: The claims in the advertisement (in Bengali) as translated into English, “Upset with problems regarding sex? You get desired results no sooner than you start using them,” “You can make your small, crooked or thin sex organ or penis into one that is strong, hard, with an increase in length by three to four inches,” “Reduces problems of impotency, childlessness, inadequate manliness etc,” “Increases sex time by 25-30 minutes,” “Within 30 days of taking the medicine, one will get a good vagina or penis” and “If product isn’t helpful or beneficial, then money will be refunded,” were not substantiated and are misleading by exaggeration. Also, specific to the claims implying cure for sexual impotency and childlessness (infertility), and claims pertaining to the benefits of the product such as, “Upset with problems regarding sex? You get desired results no sooner than you start using them,” “You can make your small, crooked or thin sex organ or penis into one that is strong, hard, with an increase in length by three to four inches,” “Reduces problems of impotency, inadequate manliness etc.,” “Increases sex time by 25-30 minutes” and “Within 30 days of taking the medicine, one will get a good vagina or penis,” read in conjunction with the advertisement visual implies that the product is meant for enhancement of sexual pleasure, which is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.
  • Sex product Ad: The claims in the advertisement (in Bengali) as translated into English, “White marks – Within five to six hours the marks will vanish and help return the normal skin colour,” “Reshape your sex organ in ways that you desire and also increase the duration of your sex-life as per your wish” and “Treatments are done for skin problems, psoriasis and piles,” were not substantiated and are misleading by exaggeration. Also, specific to the claims related to the treatment of psoriasis, white marks, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act. In addition, specific to the claims implying treatment for piles, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated Schedule J of The Drugs and Cosmetic Act, 1940 and Rules, 1945. The claims in the advertisement, “Reshape your sex organ in ways that you desire and also increase the duration of your sex-life as per your wish,” read in conjunction with the advertisement visual implies that the product is meant for enhancement of sexual pleasure, which is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.
  • Shree Maruti Herbal (Stay On Capsules): As no product efficacy data was presented by the advertiser, the claim in the advertisement of Stay On Capsules referring to “Bigger, longer” as an adjective to the word “bond” was considered out of context for a product meant to be a health supplement only. Also the claim read in conjunction with pack visual, implies that the product is meant for enhancement of sexual pleasure which is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.
  • Shree Maruti Herbal (Stay On Powder & Capsules): The claim in the advertisement (in Marathi) “Stay On, fuel for liveliness and reason for women’s shringar” read in conjunction with the visual in the advertisement and pack visual, is misleading and implies that the product is meant for enhancement of sexual pleasure, which is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.
  • Shree Maruti Herbal (Stay On Power Capsules): The advertisement’s claim, "Thousands of couples have rediscovered passion in their lives,” read in conjunction with the visual in the advertisement and pack visual, is misleading and also implies that the product is meant for enhancement of sexual pleasure which is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.
  • Shree Maruti Herbals (Stay On Power Capsules): The advertisement’s claims, "The Open Secret Of Blissful Coexistence" and "The Unchallenged Power Of Stay-On,” read in conjunction with the advertisement visual and pack visual implies that the product is meant for enhancement of sexual pleasure, which is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.
  • Sri Vedic Pratisthan (Rashi Bhagya Ratna): The advertisement’s claims, “If you possess RashiRatna (5.25 ‘Rati’ RashiRatna) thousands of rupees, you can become quickly fortunate and receive miraculous betterment, health, accomplishment and “Buy our talisman in just Rs.525/- and become fortunate to get your wishes fulfilled. Be profited by using it for job, success in business, conquest of enemy, dream marriage and love,” were not substantiated and are misleading by exaggeration. The advertisement exploits the consumers’ lack of knowledge and is likely to lead to grave or widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers.
  • Vaccum Therapy: The claims in the advertisement (in Bengali) as translated into English, “Modern Discovery Vacuum Therapy, with instrument for increasing the size of sex organ worth Rs 200/ 300/500′,” “According to the American agency FDA, the vacuum therapy together with the instrument for increasing the size of one’s sex organ and ayurvedic medicines can help one increase the length of their penis to seven to eight inches, with a thickness of four to five inches, in only 15 minutes,” “It not only the penis hard and strong but also helps to increase the sex time by 30-45 minutes,” “Helps to cure impotency and other problems like the penis not sustaining an erection for too long, lack of strength in a penis, lack of manliness and childlessness,” “Helps to make a small, crooked or narrow penis look beautiful” and “100% Ayurvedic,” were not substantiated and are misleading by exaggeration. Also, specific to the claims related to cure for sexual impotency and childlessness (infertility), and claims pertaining to the benefits of the product such as, “Modern Discovery Vacuum Therapy, with instrument for increasing the size of sex organ worth Rs 200/ 300/500′,” “According to the American agency FDA, the vacuum therapy together with the instrument for increasing the size of one’s sex organ and ayurvedic medicines can help one increase the length of their penis to seven to eight inches, with a thickness of four to five inches, in only 15 minutes,” “It not only the penis hard and strong but also helps to increase the sex time by 30-45 minutes,” “Helps to cure impotency and other problems like the penis not sustaining an erection for too long, lack of strength in a penis, lack of manliness,” “Helps to make a small, crooked or narrow penis look beautiful,” read in conjunction with the advertisement visual implies that the product is meant for enhancement of sexual pleasure, which is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.
  • Vaidya Pritam Singh (Shiva Aushadhalaya): The advertisement (in Hindi) claiming to “Cure childless women with guarantee,” was not substantiated and is misleading by exaggeration. Also, specific to the claims implying guaranteed cure for childless women (infertility), the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.
  • Win-Medicare Pvt. Ltd. (Umesh Modi Group) (Mederma): The advertisement’s claims, “Visibly reduces scars resulting from surgery, injury, burns, acne and stretch marks,” “Visibly reduces scars in eight weeks” were not adequately substantiated. The USA prescription data of IDE for the advertisement’s claim, “Mederma is the No.1 Doctor recommended product in USA for scars” is an old data of 2013 ie. not recent or current and hence not acceptable. The claims were misleading by ambiguity.