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


January 25, 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:

    • Abhay Ayurvedic Pharmacy (Abhay Medari): The claims in the advertisement (in Gujarati) as translated into English, “Abhay Medari – without exercise or dieting you can reduce 10 to 15 kilograms of weight in three months, by taking slim fit Syrup and Tablets to reduce obesity.” were not substantiated with clinical evidence or proof of efficacy for the product and are misleading. Also, specific to the claims implying treatment for obesity, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.
    • Aksir Dandan Tooth Powder: The claims in the advertisement (in Hindi), as translated into English, “Cures the pyorrhea, tooth pain, tooth cavity, swelling in gums, bleeding gums, sensation of cold and hot water immediately.” were not substantiated and are misleading.
    • Athena Life Science Pvt. Ltd. (Just for Moms Maternity Stretch Marks Prevention Lotion): The advertisement’s claim, “Tested and Gynaecologist approved” was not substantiated with relevant data as the test was for skin irritation potential carried out in males and non-pregnant female subjects. The claim was considered to be misleading by implication that the testing is for product efficacy. Also, the advertisement’s claim, “Helps reduce stretch marks” was not substantiated and is misleading.
    • Athena Life Sciences Pvt. Ltd. (Hair for Sure): The advertisement’s claim, “Meeri maniye Main ek Trichologist – Baaloan ka doctor, Isiliye I recommend Hair for Sure.” of a trichologist endorsing the product was not substantiated and was considered to be misleading by implication as the World Medical Trichologists Association (WMTA) certificate submitted by the advertiser only supports product quality and the certificate categorically states that it is not an endorsement for the product claim. Also, the claim, “Isme hai Rutexil – Ek breakthrough comprehensive regrowth complex. Effectively regrows hair from the roots.” was not adequately substantiated with clinical evidence. The claim, when read in conjunction with the visuals in the TVC showing significant regrowth of hair on bald patches, was considered to be grossly misleading. The supers in the Hindi TVC were not in the same language as the audio of the TVC.
    • Athena Life Sciences Pvt. Ltd. (Hair for Sure): The advertisement’s claim, ”stop hair loss” was considered to be false as some hair fall is natural and cannot be stopped. The claim was misleading by exaggeration. Furthermore, for the advertisement’s claims, “Hair Regrowth Treatment” and “Begin Hair growth.” the in vitro data submitted regarding the constituents stated that the constituents do help in hair growth. However, there was no evidence that this data is extrapolatable to in vivo situation to support hair regrowth claim. The change inAnagen/Telogen ratio does not essentially translate into growth of hair into bald areas. Based on the photograding scores, these claims were not substantiated with efficacy of the product and are misleading. Also the advertisement’s claim, “Reutexil-The new era in hair regrowth treatment.” was not substantiated with clinical evidence and is misleading. In addition, the advertisement’s claims, “Growth Stimulant.” “Anti Fibrotic.” “Anti Inflammatory” and “anti Oxidative.” are based on ingredient specific in vitro data. These claims were not substantiated for in vivo situation for the ingredient levels present in the product. The claims being presented on the pack as a product efficacy attribute were misleading by ambiguity and implication.
    • Athena Life Sciences Pvt. Ltd. (Hair for Sure): The advertisement’s claim, “Extensive In-Vitro and Clinical Trials have been conducted on Hair for Sure Hair Tonic to validate the efficacy of the regimen to regrow hair.” was not adequately substantiated for the “Regrowth” aspect of the claim for in vivo situation. The claim stating that the studies were conducted to “validate the efficacy of the regimen to regrow hair” was considered to be misleading by ambiguity and implication. Furthermore the advertisement’s claim, “A 3.45 X times better in improving hair growth when compared to Market Leading Hair Regrowth Product priced at Rs. 650.” is incorrect to say that the mean photograding score of hair for sure is 3.45 times more on day 30th and 2.48 times more at the end of 60 day than the market leader tested against (Livon). Also, the advertisement’s claim, “Hair for Sure Increased Anagen/Telogen ratio significantly by 50.8% more compared to market leading brand in 45 days. Hair for Sure increases A/T ratio significantly 73.4 % from base line in 45 days.” is incorrect to say that the increase in the mean score of A/T ratio due to Hair for Sure is significantly more than the Comparitive treatment. In addition, the claim, “Hair for Sure increased percentage of Anagen Hair (growing hair) by 16.5% in 45 days. Human scalp has average hair count of 100,000. Considering this after applying Hair for Sure – Hair Tonic for 45 days twice a day, 16,500 (16.5%) non-growing hair would start re-growing.” was considered to be misleadingas the increase of 16.5% in anagen number cannot be interpreted as non-growing hair start regrowing. The advertisement’s claim, “It is first in India to be approved by World Medical Trichologist Association (WMTA)” was considered to be misleading by omission, ambiguity and implication as the WMTA certificate only supports product quality and the certificate categorically states that it is not an endorsement for the product claim. The advertisement’s claim, “clinically proven to help hair growth, clinically proven to accelerate hair growth, and clinically proven to stimulate Hair Growth” are based on the photograding scores, these claims were not substantiated with efficacy of the product and are misleading. Also, the advertisement’s claim, “No. 1 hair regrowth treatment *As on Amazon.” was not adequately substantiated and was considered to be misleading by ambiguity as this claim was based on product entries as available on Amazon. However, no authentic evidence for the same was provided.
    • Ayurwin Pharmaceuticals Pvt. Ltd. (Ayurwin Nutrislim+ Powder): The advertisement’s claims, “Now keep your body Slim with Ayurwin Nutrislim+. Complete Slimming Solution to look slim & attractive” and “NUTRISLIM+ is an effective natural Ayurvedic product which has no side effects and is safe to use.” were not substantiated and are misleading.
    • Chemical Resource (Furocyst): The advertisement’s claim, “A medical food furocyst (for management of PCOS, an endrocrine disorder experienced by women) makes it in the list of finalists to be awarded by Nutralngredients – USA in Geneva.” is not substantiated with evidence and is misleading.
    • Chemical Resources (Furocyst): The advertisement’s claims, “An Advanced Form of Ayurveda, merging nature and science.” “Clinically Evaluated.” and “U.S. Patented Ingredient.” were not substantiated. Also, the advertisement is misleading by ambiguity.
    • DoctorInsta (DoctorInsta.com): The claims in the advertisement, “Consult the best and brightest doctors” and “Goodbye Sexual Problems” were not substantiated and were misleading by gross exaggeration.
    • Facilitas Healthcare: The advertisement’s claim, “Enjoy quitting smoking with innovative soft laser therapy of Facilitas.” was inadequately substantiated and is misleading.
    • Fair Pharma: The claims in the advertisement (in Telegu) as translated into English, that “their medicines can treat Kidney diseases, as an alternative for dialysis, within 50days (+ 3 months).” “Life threatening viral disease within 100 days.” “Eliminate Hepatitis B/C, Human Papilloma Virus from blood which cannot be eliminated by chemotherapy/radiation or surgery. Within 50 days” and “Rheumatic valvular disease within 100 days.” were not substantiated and are grossly misleading by exaggeration. Also, specific to the claim implying treatment for Rheumatism, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.
    • Herbal Clinic: The claims in the advertisement (in Gujarati), as translated into English, “Japani Pattinuma Angavarthak machine is used to remove the defects of small size male organ, bent organ, thin organ, absence of sperm, incapability to produce children, premature ejaculation, ejaculation in sleep, impotency, aversion to sex, etc..” “with 30 day course of medicines spray, 8 GB memory card and Japani Pattinuma Angavarthak machine free.” were not substantiated and are misleading by exaggeration. Also, the claims related to the product benefit 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. Further, the claims in the advertisement (in Gujarati) as translated into English, “medicines for making breasts more attractive. In 28 days with company’s medicines you will have your breasts more attractive, well-shaped, well-toned and round.” “Price Rs. 1575/- only. The machine for breasts treatment free.” were not substantiated and are misleading. Also, specific to the claims related to breast development, “In 28 days with company’s medicines you will have your breasts more attractive, well-shaped, well-toned and round.” and visual in the advertisement implying bust enhancement, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act. Also, the claims in the advertisement (in Gujarati), as translated in English, “for increasing height for short size young gents and ladies. Do not get disheartened. With several years’ research by our experts our company has an unbeatable formula of ayurvedic herbs to increase the height. Medicines course costs Rs. 1575/-.” were not substantiated and are misleading. Also, the claims related to the height increase read in conjunction with the advertisement visual, are in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.
    • Herbo Remedies Research Center (Piles Boon): The claims in the advertisement (in Hindi), as translated into English, “Complete Removal of Piles” and “Very much easy and beneficial treatment in 5/10 days.” were not substantiated and are misleading. Also, specific to the claims implying treatment/cure 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.
    • KLF Nirmal Industries (P) Ltd. (KLF Nirmal Virgin Coconut Oil): The advertisement’s claims, “Consuming two spoons daily increases your immunity, boosts energy, balances total cholesterol and helps manage weight.” were not substantiated with credible clinical or published scientific data and are misleading.
    • Madhur Ayurveda Pvt. Ltd. (Madhur Range of Products): The claims in the advertisement (in Gujarati), as translated into English, “Increase height by adopting ayurveda. If you find no difference, or get your money back.” was not substantiated and is misleading. Also, specific to the claims related to increase in height, the advertisement is in Breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.
    • Mata Anupama Devi Metabolic Clinic (Metabolic Remedy): The claims in the advertisement (in Hindi) as translated into English, “get rid of diabetes” and “get rid of cancer, diabetes type 1 and 2, kidney failure, and other Autoimmune diseases with metabolic treatment.” were not substantiated with clinical evidence, and are misleading. Also, specific to the claims implying treatment/cure for diabetes type 1 and 2, cancer, kidney, the advertisements are in breach of the law as they violate The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.
    • MSG All Trading International Pvt. Ltd. (MSG Products): The claims (in Hindi) that “all other food items contain poison and pesticides” were not substantiated with supporting evidence. Also, the claims are misleading by exaggeration and implication that consumption of other food is dangerous or hazardous, and unfairly denigrated the category of food items.
    • Naaptol Online Shopping Pvt. Ltd. (Body Massage Cum Fat Burner): The advertisement’s claim, “local fat and cellulitis loss.” was not substantiated and is misleading by exaggeration.
    • Nadipathy Global Centre (Nadipathy Treatment): The claims in the advertisement (in Telugu) as translated into English, “Before Height- 159 cm.” “One Inch height growth in four days treatment of Nadipathy.” “After 10 minutes – 159.5 cm.” “One Inch height growth in four days treatment of Nadipathy.” were not substantiated and are misleading by exaggeration. Also, specific to the claims related to treatment for height increase along with the visual shown, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.
    • Nurture Health Care (Bgainer Capsule): The claims in the advertisement (in Hindi), as translated into English, “Now it is easy to gain weight up to 10 kilos in two months” and “Medicine prepared by experienced ayurvedic doctors from some rare herbs.” were not substantiated and are misleading.
    • OPTM Health Care Private Limited (OPTM’s Phytomedicine): The claims in the advertisement (in Bengali) as translated into English, “The only solution for knee, shoulder and waist pain is OPTM’s phytomedicine.” “Phytomedicine discovered by the OPTM.” “Phytomedicine, developed by OPTM’s chief research officer and renowned researchers, is applied in on the skin in a special technique” and “the, phytomedicine that has been invented by OPTM, is used in specific dosage to aid the reconstruction of bones and muscles.” were not substantiated and are misleading.
    • Organic India Pvt. Ltd. (Tulsi Green Tea): The advertisement’s claim, “Its rich antioxidants help prevent ageing.” was inadequately substantiated and is misleading. No clinical data was provided in support of this claim.
    • Pain Clinic (Dr. Sarvesh Jain): The claims in the advertisement (in Hindi), as translated into English, “Percutaneous Nueroplasty of Genicular Nerve of Knee (Get Permanent Relief from Knee pain)” and “Discolysis & Epidural Injection (More successful than operation, 100% success rate).” were not substantiated and are misleading.
    • Patanjali Ayurved Ltd. (Patanjali Dant Kanti): The advertisement’s claims, “Foreign companies made fun of our natural tooth cleaning sources like Datun, Charcoal, Neem, Haldi and Salt. For years they kept playing with our dental health by selling their chemical rich toothpastes. These renowned brands are now emotionally black-mailing people with benefits of Neem, Haldi and Salt . . . .” were not substantiated and are misleading by exaggeration. Also, the claims unfairly denigrated the entire class/category of toothpastes.
    • Razorbill (Diabwell): The advertisement’s claim, “Treat Diabetes with Ayurvedic Diabwell.” was not substantiated and is misleading. Also, the reference to treatment of Diabetes which is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.
    • Razorbill (Razorslim): The advertisement’s claim, “Use Ayurvedic Razorslim for Effective Fat loss.” was not substantiated with clinical evidence or proof of efficacy for the product and is misleading. The visual showing the images of before and after the treatment were considered to be misleading. Also, specific to the claim made as part of product testimonial stating miraculous weight loss of 24 kilograms for an over-weight (94 kilograms) lady in A couple of months implying treatment for obesity, the advertisement is in breach of the law as it violated The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act.
    • Shakti Industries (Rajdhani Oil): The claims in the advertisement (in Hindi) as translated into English, “It decreases the level of body cholesterol and protects from heart diseases.” “It has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory qualities that are helpful in reducing the swelling of the stomach layer.” “Reduces the risk of Cancer” and “It reduces the joints pain along with skin and hair.” were not substantiated with clinical data and product efficacy data. Also, the claims were considered to be misleading.
    • Win-Up Herbal Power Capsule: The claims in the advertisement (in Hindi), as translated into English, “WIN-UP – WIN-UP is very effective in old age and weakness due to diabetes, Hand and foot numbness, childhood mistakes etc. Because it is made up of pure shilajit, Abhrak bhasm, lohbhasm, etc. that keep away every kind of weakness.” “Herbal Power Capsules.” “Safe And Harmless.” “Increase Agility, Passion.” “Use “Time-On” For Wet Dreams And Desired Time” and “For Men Only.” were not substantiated and are misleading. Also, the claims, “Increase Agility, Nimbleness, Passion.” “Use Time-On in case of Wet Dreams And for Desired Time” and “For Men Only.” read in conjunction with the advertisement visual imply 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.