Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) Health-Related Decisions and Recommendations, May 2017


July 10, 2019

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 2017, the complaints that were upheld against health-related claims included:

    • Aqua Pure Life water purifiers: The advertisement’s claim, “”Sabse Shudh Pani” was considered as entirely unsubstantiated and misleading by exaggeration.

 

    • Athena Life Sciences Pvt. Ltd. (Hair for Sure): The advertisement’s claim, “Supercharged with breakthrough Rutexil Growth Complex and Caffeine”, was not substantiated, and misleading by exaggeration. Further regarding the claims, “Clinically tested to help control hair fall and accelerate hair growth” and “Clinically proven to help accelerate hair growth and control hair loss”, were inadequately substantiated and are misleading by ambiguity and implication.

 

    • British Nutritions Pvt. Ltd. (D-Protin): The advertisement’s claims, “The only company in India trusted for over 2 decades in diseases specific nutritional products.”, “Pioneers & leaders in Diabetic nutrition.”, “The only brand DPROTIN which is trusted by millions of doctors across the nation and in more than 30 countries.” and “Most awarded and highly prescribed” were without substantiation, and therefore misleading.

 

    • Care Point (Acupuncture, Physiotherapy, and Hair Weaving & Bonding Clinic): The advertisement’s claims, “Freedom from Baldness”, “Get freedom from obesity” and “Increases Height,” were considered to be, prima facie, in violation of the DMR Act and D&C Rules. Also, the “before and after” visuals in the advertisement appear to be misleading.

 

    • Chahal Clinic: The advertisement’s claim, “No Baldness,” is considered to be, prima facie, in violation of the D&C Rules.

 

    • Complete Health Solutions Private Limited (You Stay Fit): The advertisement’s claim, “Odisha’s No.1 GYM & Slimming Centre”, was not substantiated with any verifiable comparative data pertaining to the advertiser and other similar gyms / centres, or any third party validation or research to prove this claim. In view of the above, the claim was considered to misleading by exaggeration.

 

    • DHI Global Medical Group: The advertiser’s claim regarding the superiority of their products or services based on IMRB Customer Satisfaction survey ratings, in the absence of any substantiation through IMRB study design, questionnaire and reports, etc., was untruthful and misleading.

 

    • Dr. Adityan Skin and Hair Laser Centre: The advertisement’s claims, “Permanent Treatment for Pimples” and “Permanent Cure for Pimples”, are absolute claims which were inadequately substantiated with clinical evidence, and are misleading by exaggeration. It was also opined that the claims of efficacy depicted through images of “before and after” the treatment were misleading by gross exaggeration.

 

    • Dr. Batra’s Positive Health Clinic (Dr. Batra’s Homeopathic Clinic): The advertisement’s claim, “India’s Most Trusted Homeopathy Brand”, was not substantiated; nor was the source and date of research mentioned in the advertisement. The claim was therefore considered to be misleading by omission. Also the claim, “94% patient satisfaction” too, was not substantiated with any supporting evidence of patient satisfaction data, and was hence considered misleading.

 

    • Dr. Batras Positive Health Clinic (Dr. Batras Homeopathic Clinic): The advertisement’s claims “First time in India” followed by “Grow your hair back in just 10 weeks by French technology” and “Introducing a Nobel Prize winning technology which is an innovative hair treatment that results in hair growth in 10 weeks.” were not substantiated adequately and are misleading.

 

    • Emami Limited (Fair and Handsome Fairness Cream): The statement in the advertisement, “Mardo ki sakt tawacha per pink fairness cream beaasar!” (…Pink Fairness Cream is of no use on Men’s tough skin…) was not adequately substantiated. The endorsement by the Celebrity in the advertisement was further examined and it is seen that the advertisement contains portions of the celebrity expressing opinions such as “Mardo ki sakt tawacha per pink fairness cream beaasar!” which have not been substantiated. Therefore this part of the advertisement contravenes Clause (d) of the Guidelines for Celebrities in Advertising. Further the claim, “Long Last Fairness: Visible Fairness in 3 weeks” which appears on the product packaging implies that the product provides the claimed effect “fairness” for some extended time after its use has stopped or for some extended duration after the last application of the product, which was not substantiated adequately over a reasonable time period by the advertiser by objective measurements and the claim is misleading by ambiguity and implication.

 

    • Fit N Fine Body Care Services Pvt. Ltd. (Fit N Fine): The advertisement’s claims, “Instant inch loss through non‐surgical liposuction”, “Guaranteed five kilograms weight loss”, and “Immediate visible results ‐ Lose six to eight centimetres* Results within 60 minutes”, were not substantiated and are hence misleading by exaggeration. It was further opined that the efficacy sought to be depicted through an image purporting to be that of “after the treatment” was misleading by gross exaggeration.

 

    • Fit N Slim Fitness Centre: The advertisement’s claims, “Instant Result (100% Result)”, “Reduce two to three inches in one sitting”, and “Five to seven kilograms in a month”, were not substantiated and were hence misleading by exaggeration.

 

    • Fitness World: The advertisement’s claims, “In one month five kilograms guaranteed weight loss or weight gain with no diet no medicine”, were not substantiated with supporting clinical evidence and with treatment efficacy data, and were therefore misleading by exaggeration.

 

    • FMS Dental Hospital: The advertisement’s claim, “Ranked 5th in World and 1st in India by GCR Global Clinic Ranking”, was inadequately substantiated, and the claim is misleading.

 

    • Grover Eye Laser & E.N.T. Hospital (Grover Eye Laser Hospital): The advertisement’s claim, “India’s only multifocal lasik laser with which you can get rid of both distance and near reading glasses”, was not substantiated with any justification, and the claim was misleading by exaggeration.

 

    • Hair Doc Hair Clinic (Hair Doc Trichology Hair Clinic): The advertisement’s claim, “Stop Baldness on time!” was not substantiated with supporting clinical evidence as well as with treatment efficacy data among patients; and was therefore misleading by exaggeration. Further the claim, “Honoured by ‘Keshratna’ Award” was not substantiated with details, references of the award received such as the year, source, etc.; so the claim was misleading. Lastly, it was opined that the efficacy of the advertised treatment, depicted through images of “before and after the treatment”, was misleading by gross exaggeration.

 

    • Hair Doc Trichology Hair Clinic (Hair Doc Trichology Expert): The advertisement’s claim, “Baldness” made therein, and the “before treatment” and “after treatment” visuals, it was concluded that the claim made in the advertisement was without substantiation and misleading by implication.

 

    • Kashish Slimming Center: The advertisement’s claims, “Reduce weight through modern Machine”, “Reduce six to ten kilograms weight in one month + Along with it reduce three to six inches figure” and “No Exercise”, were not substantiated and are misleading by exaggeration. The visual in the advertisement was also considered to be misleading by implication.

 

    • Lida Biotech Pvt. Ltd. (Lida Herbal Slimming Capsules): The visual shown in the advertisements of a slim model in the advertisement is misleading by implication that the product, when used, would result in slimming, which was not substantiated with proof of product-efficacy.

 

    • Lotus Herbals Limited (Lotus Whiteglow Range of Products): The advertisement’s claims, “LOTUS WHITEGLOW it comes enriched with saxifrage extracts and milk enzymes that help Lighten, Whiten your skin in 7 days”, “Visible results in 7 days – WHITEGLOW is the only natural fairness range that can deliver visible results in 7 days of regular use”, “Clinical Trials show that the following ingredients lighten, whiten & brighten the skin in 7 days* of regular use: SAXIFRAGA EXTRACTS – Act as antioxidants & prevent damage from UV radiation, claim of SPF value of WHITEGLOW HAND & BODY LOTION i.e. SPF 25 – PA+++, whitening claim for WHITEGLOW FACIAL FOAM – 3 in 1 DEEP CLEANSING i.e. Whitens – Blocks Melanin Production, WHITEGLOW SERUM + MOISTURISER ‐ UPTO 2X SKIN WHITENING & BRIGHTENING POWER”, claim of SPF value of “WHITEGLOW Skin Whitening and Brightening Gel crème – i.e. SPF-25 – PA+++”, were not substantiated with evidence of product efficacy, and are misleading by exaggeration.

 

    • Mankind Pharma Limited (Heal O Kind Nanofine Gel): The advertisement’s claims, “FIRST AID’S ALL ROUNDER – INJURY, BURNS, BRUISES, CUTS, NICKS (emphasized with a tick mark)”, “NANO CRYSTALLINE SILVER IN HEAL O KIND has anti-bacterial action for wound healing, Reduces inflammation, Prevents scarring of wounds” were inadequately substantiated and is misleading by ambiguity and implication, in absence of efficacy data for the product / active ingredients at the levels used in the product.

 

    • Medinn Belle Herbal Private Limited (Endura Mass weight Gainer): The advertisement’s claim, “Endura Mass gave me the right weight to make me a winner. So if you are underweight start taking Endura Mass today”, was not substantiated with clinical evidence of product efficacy and was therefore misleading by exaggeration and implication.

 

    • Mind Power Clinic: The advertisement’s claims, “We prove 100 percent treatment for Alcohol addiction” and “Our treatment/medicine is so effective that the patient will be completely cured before he even realizes, what has been done to him”, were not substantiated and are misleading by gross exaggeration.

 

    • Modi Naturals Ltd. (Oleev Active): The advertisement’s claim was that the product “helps in reducing serum cholesterol, preventing lifestyle diseases, and has anti-ageing properties etc.” The advertiser stated that nowhere on the packaging was it claimed that ‘Oleev Active’ helps in reducing serum cholesterol, preventing lifestyle diseases, etc. The advertiser positions these benefits as Oryzanol properties, the claim was not substantiated for the Oryzanol content in the product or the specific oil blend and was misleading by ambiguity and implication. Further for the claim, “Stable while frying”, the advertiser submitted report to support claim. However, there was no mention of the advertised product in the report and a comparison was done with Saffola Gold. In absence of a detailed study under different frying tests for the specific product, this claim was considered to be inadequately substantiated. Also, for the claim “a light oil that gets absorbed upto 20% less”, the report did not cover frying results for different foods. Therefore, the data was considered to be inadequate and the claim was misleading by ambiguity and omission. Furthermore, while the advertisement is in Hindi, the disclaimers in the advertisement are in English which violates ASCI’s Guidelines for Disclaimers.

 

    • Modi Naturals Ltd. (Oleev Health): It was viewed that the word “Oleev” in advertiser’s brand name, “Oleev Health”, is likely to cause, in spite of all clarifications to the contrary, a belief in the consumers at large, in a broad manner that it may contain olive oil especially given that the motherbrand that is advertised in mass media has Olive oil. In this view, the product name in packaging / advertisement was considered to be misleading. Further for the term ‘Cardizymes’, it’s presentation in conjunction with a heart / heart beat symbol, in absence of evidence of the effective Oryzanol level for heart related benefits, was considered to be misleading by implication. Also the claim “Contains Oryzanol that lowers bad cholesterol and keeps your heart young and healthy. Oryzanol also promotes blood circulation thereby promoting overall physical health. Also Omega 3, Omega 6 and Omega 9 fatty acids along with other good lipids support and promote heart health”, was not substantiated for the oil constituents / Oryzanol content in the product or the specific oil blend and was misleading by ambiguity and implication. For the claim “Stable while frying”, the data presented by the advertiser was not considered to be adequate. Further for the claims, “low absorption” and “a light oil that gets absorbed upto 20% less”, there was no substantiation by lab trial reports to prove that reduction in absorption of oil is to a significant level is achieved due to the addition of DMPS. Therefore the data was considered to be inadequate and the claim was misleading by ambiguity.

 

    • Modi Naturals Ltd. (Oleev Smart): It was viewed that the word “Oleev” in the advertiser’s brand name, “Oleev Smart”, is likely to cause, in spite of all clarifications to the contrary, a belief in the consumers at large, in a broad manner that it may contain olive oil especially given that the mother-brand that is advertised in mass media has Olive oil. In view of the above discussion, the product name in packaging / advertisement was considered to be misleading. The product below the product title on its packaging, which says “Smarter choice for a healthy lifestyle” for which it was unclear as to how such consumption of the product alone would lead to better health than the current oil being consumed by consumers, and there are no comparative studies cited for this claim. Further it was concluded that while the advertiser is portraying the benefit of an oil blend versus single oil, in absence of any comparative data or qualifier, the claim “Smarter” is misleading by ambiguity and omission of the comparison being referred to. Also the claim, “Super enriched formula of Vitamin A, D, E & K, Oryzanol and Omega fatty acids. An anti-oxidant property of Vitamin A and E keep tissues in healthy state and prevents cellular damage, while Vitamin D helps in bone and muscle strength, Vitamin K aids in healing process. Oryzanol improves blood circulation and lowers overall bad cholesterol levels. Also Omega 3, Omega 6 and Omega 9 fatty acids along with other good lipids support and promote heart health” the advertiser stated that these claims are made for oil’s constituents such as Oryzanol. It was noted that while the advertiser positions these benefits as Oryzanol properties, the claim was not substantiated for the oil constituents / Oryzanol content in the product or the specific oil blend and was misleading by ambiguity and implication. For the term in the advertisements, “VitaFit+”, when seen in conjunction with declaration of Vitamin A, D, E and K, was not found to be objectionable, but in absence of evidence of the RDA levels for these vitamins, the term was considered to be misleading. Further, for the claim, “Stable while frying”, the advertiser submitted report to support claim. However, there was no mention of the advertised product in the report and a comparison was done with Saffola Gold. In absence of a detailed study under different frying tests for the specific product, this claim was considered to be inadequately substantiated. For the claims, “low absorption” and “a light oil that gets absorbed upto 20% less”, was not substantiated by lab trial reports to prove that reduction in absorption of oil is to a significant level is achieved due to the addition of DMPS. Therefore the data was considered to be inadequate and the claim was misleading by ambiguity.

 

    • Navchetana Kendra: The advertisement’s claim, “Quit Alcohol”, was not substantiated and is misleading by exaggeration.

 

    • Nidan Ayurveda India Pvt. Ltd. (Nidan Ayurveda India): The advertisement’s claims, “Eat fully even but still reduce weight – Otherwise get money back”, “NIDAN AYURVEDA INDIA’s new research from which without reducing diet you can reduce your weight without any side effects. Within 45 days if there is no result get your money back guarantee” are untruthful and misleading to the consumers.

 

    • NuAyurveda Clinic: The advertisement’s claim, “I joined for the Weight loss programme and lost siz kilograms and 12 inches……” was not substantiated with supporting clinical evidence, and with treatment efficacy data. It was further concluded that, the claim was misleading by exaggeration.

 

    • OJB Herbals Pvt. Ltd. (Oshea Sun Block SPF 40): The advertisement’s claims, “Five in One Solution SPF 40”, “Skin lightening”, “Prevents tanning & ageing” and SPF values for their product range stating – Other SPF Range: – “UVSHIELD SPF-50 – SUN BLOCK FORMULA – Broad Spectrum Protection (HEVL) All skin type”, “UVSHIELD SPF-30 – SUN BLOCK CREAM – Enriched with Almond All skin type”, “UVSHIELD SPF-2 – SUNSCREEN – Fairness Lotion – All skin type” and “UVSHIELD SPF-20 – SUNBLOCK GEL – Enriched with Alovera Normal to Oily skin”, were not substantiated with evidence of technical evaluation for measurement of SPF factor in each product and proof of product efficacy, and were therefore misleading.

 

    • Oliva Advanced Hair and Skin Clinic: The advertisement’s claims, “Treatment of Hair Loss and Hair Fall by using Platelet cells”, “Treatment without side effects” and “New permanent solution can be got from baldness”, were not substantiated with supporting clinical evidence, and with treatment efficacy data among patients, and are misleading by exaggeration.

 

    • Organic India Private Limited (Tulsi Green Tea): The advertisement’s claim, “100% Certified Organic”, was not substantiated and is misleading.

 

    • Prem Hospital (IVF and Surrogacy Center): The advertisement’s claim that now no one will remain childless implies a cure from infertility and is considered to be, prima facie, in violation of the DMR Act.

 

    • Pushpa Clinic (P) Ltd.: The advertisement’s claims, “Guaranteed Treatment for Baldness” and “Pushpa Clinic Ayurvedic Treatment is Incredible for removing all types of Baldness”, were not substantiated with supporting clinical evidence and with treatment efficacy data among patients. Further it was concluded that the claim, “100% Success”, was not substantiated with any supporting data. Also the claim, “100% Money Back Guarantee if no result within 15-60 days”, was not substantiated with supporting evidence of the customers who were refunded with the money back. It was thus opined that the claims were misleading by exaggeration.

 

    • Rajnish Hot Deals Pvt. Ltd. (Play-Win F-Capsule): The advertisement’s claims, “Power booster for females.” and “get rid of body weakness and gain enthusiasm & energy” are misleading by exaggeration.

 

    • Ratan Ayurvedic Sansthan Private Limited (Ratan Beuton Herbal Kala Shampoo): The advertisement’s claims, “Get beautiful black hair easily” and “Enriched with Natural elements – Herbal shampoo”, are untruthful and misleading to the consumers by ambiguity and implication.

 

    • Ratan Ayurvedic Santhan Private Limited (Herbal Facia Facial Bar): The advertisement’s claims, “Facial bar with kesar and chandan”, “Brings fairness and removes pimples”, “Has kesar, chandan, aloe vera and camphor”, “In only two minutes gives the feeling of facial”, were not substantiated with technical and efficacy data for the product, and is misleading by exaggeration.

 

    • ReeAge: The advertisement’s claim, “Latest PRP Stem Cell Technology for Hair regrowth”, was not substantiated with supporting clinical evidence, and with treatment efficacy data among patients. Further it was opined that the efficacy of the above claim depicted via images of “before and after the treatment” is misleading by gross exaggeration

 

    • RJR Siddha Ayur Unani Hospital: The advertisement’s claims, “The cartilage is made to grow and the synovial fluid is made uniform. The knee pain heals through this and the knee strengthens within one or two months” and “In our treatment the knee pain is totally cured and is not repeating life long as mentioned by our customers”, were not substantiated with any supporting clinical evidence, and were misleading by exaggeration. Also the claims, “The people who take treatment in our RJR hospital won’t have knee pain in life again” and “Don’t worry about knee pain, please come to RJR hospital and cured without surgery”, are misleading by implication.

 

    • Sablok Clinic: The advertisement’s claims to treat sex related problems successfully and take pleasure of married life, are considered to be, prima facie, in violation of the D&C Rules.

 

    • Sameeksha Ayurveda Clinic (Sameeksha Clinic): The advertisement’s claims, “Get Rid of Hypothyroidism Permanently & Safely”, are untruthful and misleading to the consumers.

 

    • SBF Healthcare and Research Centre Private Limited (SBF Healthcare): The advertisement’s claim, “Since its inception a decade ago, about 7000 people have been treated successfully” was untruthful, and misleading, in the absence of any authentic scientific evidence to substantiate the claims made in the advertisement.

 

    • Shri Ram Murti Smarak Institute of Medical Sciences: The advertisement’s claim, “First time in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand successful treatment for varicose veins without incision, without operation through laser,” is considered to be, prima facie, in violation of the D&C Rules.

 

    • The Medinova Retreat (MediSpa): The advertisement’s claims, “Now reducing weight is very easy” and “Reduce three inches from tummy within ten hours only*”, were not substantiated and were misleading by gross exaggeration. Also it was concluded that the claims and efficacy being depicted in the image of “after the treatment” was misleading by gross exaggeration.

 

    • Trophic Wellness Pvt. Ltd. (Nutricharge Woman): The advertisement’s claims, “Promote women’s health to help keep them youthful”, “Helps fulfil daily needs with 33 key vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and amino-acids to keep them healthy”, “Gives six specialty nutrients that may alleviate women’s specific health problems at various stages of their life”, “Nutricharge woman tablet is potentially beneficial for diabetics” and “May help correct dietary deficiencies to keep girls and women fit and may improve metabolism”, were all not substantiated with any evidence of product efficacy and are misleading by exaggeration.

 

    • Vimhans PrimaMed Super Speciality Hospital: The advertisement’s claims, “Walk the same day”, “No Physio” and “Painless & Quick Recovery”, were inadequately substantiated and are misleading by exaggeration and implication.

 

    • VLCC Health Care Ltd. (VLCC Center): The advertisement’s claim, “Weight Loss Challenge! ‐ Lose ten kilograms in seven days”, was not substantiated with supporting clinical evidence, and was misleading by exaggeration.

 

    • VSS Health and Wellness Center: The advertisement’s claims, “100% Guarantee of weight loss or money back”, “Reduce upto five kilograms weight and get more upto five kilogram free”, and “Reduce upto ten kilograms weight and get more upto ten kilogram free”, were not substantiated with supporting clinical evidence, and with treatment efficacy data among patients, and they were misleading by exaggeration. It was further noted that, the advertiser had not provided any supporting evidence of customers to whom the money was refunded.

 

    • Win – Medicare Pvt. Ltd. (Mederma Intense Gel): The advertisement’s claim, “Flawless” in the statement “Now get the flawless skin in just 8 weeks from Acne Scars”, was inadequately substantiated and was misleading by exaggeration.

 

  • Zee Laboratories Limited (My Fair Cream): The advertisement’s claims, “Fairness cream”, “Tried and tested by crores of people” and “President Award Winner”, are untruthful and misleading to the consumers.