Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) Health-Related Decisions and Recommendations, February 2019


July 11, 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 February 2019, the complaints that were upheld against health-related claims included:

  • Arogya Niketan Sansthan & Research Center: The advertisement’s claims (in Hindi) as translated in English, “Successful treatment for all types of joint pain through Ayurvedic Panchkarm”, and “Successful treatment for piles, fistula and fissure through Ayurvedic Ksharshutra without surgery” were not substantiated with supporting credible scientific/clinical evidence, and are misleading by gross exaggeration.
  • Dr Dev Slimming Clinic: The advertisement’s claim(in Marathi), “15 divsaath 4 te 5 kilogram vazan kami kara” (“Reduce four to five kilograms in 15 days”) was not substantiated with evidence of their customers who achieved the claimed results of four to five kilograms weight loss in 15 days regardless of their physiological status. The claim, “Hazaaron lokani vazan kami kele aaye” (“Thousands of people have reduced weight”) was not substantiated with supporting clinical evidence, and with treatment efficacy data. The claims are misleading by gross exaggeration. The treatment efficacy being depicted via images of before and after is misleading as it implies that a significant weight loss around tummy would be feasible.
  • Dr. Food & Banatone Industries: The advertisement’s claim “Dr. Food’s Premium Quality oats imported from Australia can control diabetes, cholesterol and obesity”, was not substantiated and is misleading by exaggeration”. The advertiser did not provide copy of product label, copy of product approval license, or FSSAI approval for the claims made. The claims exploit the consumers’ lack of knowledge, and are likely to lead to grave or widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers.
  • Gemini Edibles & Fats India Pvt. Ltd. (Freedom Refined Sunflower Oil): The claims “Lite” and “Less Absorbent” were not substantiated as the advertiser did not provide any technical data, test reports, scientific rationale, or comparative study reports to show that their product is better than the rest. The claims are misleading by exaggeration and implication.
  • Gujarat Co-Operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (Amul Memory Milk-Tropical Fruit): The advertisement’s claims “Milk with goodness of Ayurveda” and “Contains various Ayurvedic herbs that are traditionally known to boost memory”, were not substantiated as the advertiser did not provide data of any scientific rationale or published literature references to support the claimed benefits. The claims are misleading by exaggeration.
  • Herbal Creations – (Herbo Gold Tulsi Power): The advertisement’s claim, “Oldest and real trusted medicine”, was not substantiated with any market survey data or verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s product and other similar products with Tulsi extracts, to prove that their product is the oldest and trusted medicine, or through a third-party validation. The claim, “No.1” was not substantiated with any verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s herbal product and other similar herbal products, to prove its leadership position or through a third-party validation; the source for the claim was not indicated in the advertisement. The claim, “Beneficial for more than 200 diseases.” was not substantiated with authentic, credible scientific/clinical evidence of product efficacy and is misleading by exaggeration.
  • Krishndev Dairy Farm (A2 Gir Cow Milk): The advertisement’s claims “Low fat A2 milk provides more strength” and “100% pure ghee is made from A2 milk which creates many miracles in physical development” are unsubstantiated and misleading by exaggeration. The advertiser did not submit any product specific details such as composition/pack artwork or samples or evidence of the ingredients present in the product, and product efficacy data.
  • La Botanique International (Hca Gold Capsules): The advertisement’s claims, “The most natural way of reducing fat” and “No side effect, no regain”, were not substantiated with product efficacy data, and are misleading by exaggeration as the advertiser did not provide copy of product approval license / product label, and product composition details, nor any evidence of the ayurvedic ingredients present in the product and with specific benefits attributable to the ingredients responsible for fat reduction.
  • Lord Dhanvantari Ayurvedic Hospital: The advertisement (in Hindi), claiming cure of knee pain and joint pain by showing similar testimonials and same X-ray reports for two separate individual patients and claiming progress on first day of treatment, and treatment after three and six months. These claims were not substantiated with supporting clinical evidence and are misleading by gross exaggeration and exploit consumers’ lack of knowledge and are likely to lead to grave widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers.
  • Mallekan Dairy and Agro Pvt Ltd (Dairylac-A2 Desi Cow Milk): The advertisement’s claim, “Protects your body by boosting the immunity cells”, was not substantiated with scientific / clinical evidence of product efficacy, and is misleading by exaggeration. The advertiser did not provide copy of product label, copy of product approval license, product composition details, FSSAI approval for the claims made.
  • MARICO LTD – True Roots Botanical Hair Tonic: In the advertisement, celebrity Radhika Apte was featured endorsing the product with claims like “Stop new grey hair”, “Jo naye safed balon ka aana roke, jad se”, “True roots ke 100 % natural extracts balonke jadonme jakar melanin bhadaye. 90 days tak regularly lagayen taki safed balon ka aana band ho jaye”, “Safed baalon ka jaldi aana jad se rokiye, with TRUEROOTS.”, “No New Greys in 90 days, get rid of premature grey hairs from the root”. These claims were not adequately substantiated. While the product may cause darkening of grey hair by virtue of Kesh Ranjak ingredients the claims were found to be misleading by ambiguity and implication. The graphic in the advertisement (TVC) and on the pack depicting grey hair turning black was considered to be a misrepresentation of actual product action. The advertisements were in violation of the ASCI Guidelines for Celebrities in advertising and ASCI Guidelines for disclaimers in advertising as the disclaimers in the TVC / YouTube advertisements were not in the same language as that of the voice over (Hindi).
  • Mother Tincture/ Anti-Addiction Liquid: The advertisement’s claim, “Anti-Addiction liquid ki sirf kuch boonde dilate hain har nasshe se chutkara” (“Few drops of anti-addiction liquid gives riddance from all intoxication”), was not substantiated with supporting clinical evidence of product efficacy, and is misleading by gross exaggeration. The testimonial claims of Neeta Sharma, whose photograph was shown in the advertisement, is also misleading by gross exaggeration.
  • Nanophyto Wellness Pvt Limited. (Jumpstart Nutrition): The advertisement’s claim “Jumpstart is a milk drink which contains active plant compounds known to enhance concentration, immunity and overall growth”, was not substantiated with supporting data showing presence of these ingredients in the product, and is misleading. The claims, “Improves blood circulation in the brain, promotes better concentration and memory”, and “Unlike cheap milk drink which contains malted powder, synthetic vitamins, minerals, high sugar and acidity regulators, Jumpstart uses premium, clinically evaluated & imported USFDA GRAS approved ingredientswere not substantiated as no data was provided of any scientific rationale or published literature / journal references to support the claimed benefits. The latter claim further unfairly denigrated other products in the milk drinks category. For the testimonial claim, “Her grasping capacity has improved”, the advertiser did not provide any clinical evidence. There was no evidence provided that Karishma Gulati, mother of five year old Miraya Gulati (photographs of mother and daughter shown in the advertisement), agreed to any of the product claims.
  • Sadana Fracture Centre: The advertisement’s claim, “Sthayi Dard Nivaran Kendra”, (“Permanent Pain Relief Centre”) is a superlative claim that was not substantiated, and is misleading by implication that knee replacement would not be necessary. Furthermore, the advertiser did not provide any details of the treatment procedure for knee pain, nor any details of the medicines, and their approval status by the regulatory authorities.
  • Sahajanand Life Sciences Pvt. Ltd. (JointAid Oil and JointAid Spray): The advertisement’s claim, “Trusted by Doctors, Physiotherapists and Lakhs of families” is misleading by implication that the medical community of doctors and physiotherapists are recommending the product. The second claim, “100% Natural” for JointAid Spray is false and misleading by ambiguity. Additionally, the claim, “Developed by DR” when seen in conjunction with the visual of a stethoscope, was inadequately substantiated and is misleading by ambiguity and implication, and is likely to lead to grave or widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers.
  • Shankar Pharmacy (Amrita Bindu): In the advertisement’s claim, “Tested and proved at Central Government approved  NABL labs”, the reference  made  of National Accreditation Board for Testing & Calibration Laboratories (NABL) labs in the print advertisement poses a potential risk of encouraging consumers to believe that the advertised ayurvedic proprietary medicine is approved by the Government for gastric and stomach related problems. The advertisement was also in violation of the AYUSH advisory which prohibits advertisers from using the name of Government department and institutions in the advertisements of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homeopathy Drugs
  • Voltas Limited (Refrigerator): The advertisement’s claim, “Vegetables remain Fresh even after 30 days” was inadequately substantiated, and is misleading by exaggeration. Additionally, the hold duration of the disclaimers in the TVC contravened Clause 4 (X) of ASCI Guidelines for Disclaimers.

The following 14 advertisements were considered to be, prima facie, in violation of The Drugs & Magic Remedies (DMR) Act when the advertisement was viewed in totality with the texts and visuals:

 

Advertiser Claim(s)
  • Borvankar Polyclinic
  • With the use of researched medicine, patients suffering from deafness, kidney stones, kidney failure, enlargement of prostate glands, cancer, paralysis, gall stones and HIV get completely cured
  • Dhanwantari Ayurveda
  • Freedom from diabetes
  • Successful treatment of arthritis
  • Dr Ayurveda/Dr Ayurveda Power Prash
  • Provide better sex life
  • One and only Ayurvedic medicine to get rid of all kind of sexual problems
  • Dr. Dixit’s Accupuncture
  • Forget diabetes without medicine and insulin
  • Successful treatment of diabetes
  • Elan Impex/Reliefeon
  • Reliefeon kit will help in fighting all types of arthritis
  • Permanent treatment for arthritis
  • Ganga Ayurvedic Clinic
  • Sugar ka achook upchaar (“Sure shot treatment of sugar”)
  • Ganga Grow up Ayurvedic Powder
  • Helpful in increasing height
  • Hero Clinic
  • Successful Ayurvedic treatment of all types of sexual weakness
  • Cure all types of venereal disease in seven days
  • Paul Pharmacy /Paras Range of Products
  • “Jeete pyaar mohabbat ki har jang jab Paras ho sang”
  • Gives new strength, new vigour and increases stamina
  • Repl India/Super Sonic capsule
  • Pleasant feeling each time
  • Venkateshwar Homeopathic Clinic
  • Successful treatment of vitiligo (white spots)
  • Vini Pharma/ Vini Diabtonixx Capsule
  • Sure shot medicine
  • Successful Ayurvedic medicine for treatment of diabetes
  • Yuktamukhi Capsule & Gel
  • Increase sex time by 30 to 35 minutes by making the organ long, thick, straight, hard and shapely
  • Removes impotence

 

The following 56 advertisements were considered to be, prima facie, in violation of The Drugs & Magic Remedies (DMR) Act when the advertisements were viewed in totality with the texts and visuals: The majority of these were advertiser websites carrying the objectionable claims.

 

Brand/Product Claim(s)
  • Janki Herbal / Janki Herbal Range of Products
  • Get rid of problem such as small, thin and crooked penis, impotence, premature ejaculation, nightfall, childlessness and also get desirable sex time
    Get Masti gel, Uttejana Capsules free with full course of medicines
  • Sex Samasya
  • Instrument to increase size, thickness of your sexual organ, get rid of crooked, obliquity and make your organ hard and strong.
    Increase your sex time
  • Yaun Samasya
  • Get rid of small, thin, crooked organ, childlessness, pre- mature ejaculation, nightfall, lack of sexual desire, weak nerves and Impotence
  • Increase your sex time with 30 Days medicine together with “Joshila Tel”
  • S.G.Phyto Pharma Pvt.Ltd./ Boostex Forte Capsules
  • Promotes vigour for improved performance and fertility aspects
    Increase the libido
  • Shaafi Herbal Care/Shaafi Power Plus
  • It increases the power of erection
  • Hashmi Dawakhana/ Hard Rock
  • Completely curbs erectile dysfunction
  • Increased ability to last longer in bed
  • Hashmi Dawakhana/ PXXL Capsules
  • Increased sex drive and sexual stamina
  • PXXL for men is a natural male enhancement
  • Stimulates the erection and enhances sexual potency and pleasure!
  • Hashmi Dawakhana/ Mughal-e-Azam Cream
  • Gain up to two inches in length and one inch in girth
  • Maximize your length, girth and maintain stronger, firmer erections
  • Penis enlargement and enhancement cream read in conjunction with the claim objected to imply that the product is meant for the enhancement of sexual pleasure
  • Hashmi Dawakhana/ Sikander-e-Azam Plus
  • Increased penis size (thickness and length)
  • Penis Enlargement Capsule read in conjunction with the claim objected to imply that the product is meant for the enhancement of sexual pleasure
  • Hashmi Dawakhana/ Mughal-e- Azam Plus
  • You can permanently end the personal hell of premature ejaculation
  • Increase sexual stamina and sex drive
  • Hashmi Dawakhana/ Extreme-X Plus Capsule
  • Incredible erections, improved stamina and libido
  • Increase sexual desire and performance
  • Kalan Drugs & Remedies/ Prameha Samhari
  • For recovery from diabetes and to increase immunity
  • Prameha Samhari Dhahasamani is a mixture of herbal drink for diabetic patients as a cure
  • Khodiyar Ayurvedic/ Zoom Eye Drops
  • Cures cataract
  • Prince Pharma/ 2 Much Gold
  • Generates new vigour in the body and helps to increase duration of hard erection
  • It keeps men on the top by fulfilling his emotional desires when administered with milk one hour before intercourse
  • It helps in maintaining healthy circulation responsible for supporting healthy, strong erections.
  • It maintains healthy levels of sexual energy, stamina and sexual arousal
  • Prince Pharma/ Kamraz Course (Only For Men)
  • For masturbation induced weakness, semen problem, erectile dysfunction
    Increases libido and boosts male sexual drive
  • Increases stamina, libido, duration of erection and the strength of orgasm
  • Prince Pharma/ Kasak Capsules
  • These have been trusted and used since ages by people of all walks of life to enhance their sexual power and boosting energy
  • Prince Pharma/ Prince Tilla
  • Prince Tilla massage oil is completely safe and natural oil for youthful vigour and sustained effect. It builds and tones up muscles of penis. It is known to increase the blood flow to the penile tissues when applied locally and thus strengthens erectile power
  • Beneficial in:
    • Enhancement and prolonged pleasure
    • Improves strength of the organs
    • Increases blood circulation to the applied part
  • Prince Pharma/ 2 Much Breast Cream
  • 2 Much Breast Cream of Prince Pharma has all natural ingredients that nourishes and feeds the cells below the breasts, enhancing firmness, plumpness, fullness, and a more youthful appearance. Breasts increase in both size and weight, resulting in a new and satisfied feeling.
  • 2 Much Breast Cream is amazing cream excellent for breast firming and enlargement
  • Prince Pharma/ 2 Much Herbal Capsule
  • 2 Much Herbal Capsule is a blend of choicest ayurvedic herbs those are found to be very effective in increasing libido/stamina in female
  • Mohanji Pansari Herbal Products/ Mahakamdev Force
  • It boosts your sexual performance to optimum
  • Vijay Ayurvedic Pharmaceutical/Breasto capsules
  • Breasto capsule is a blend of some unique herbs, helpful in the beautification of breasts. It improves the underdeveloped breasts and their shape
  • Vijay Ayurvedic Pharmaceutical / Breasto Oil
  • Breasto Oil is a blend of herbs with sesame and Olive Oil. It is helpful in the beautification of breasts. It improves the underdeveloped breasts and their shape. The herbs work well in toning the muscles of breasts and give you a new confidence
  • Vijay Ayurvedic Pharmaceutical / Diacure capsules
  • Diacure capsule- A cure for Diabetes
  • Vijay Ayurvedic Pharmaceuticals/Musli Capsule
  • Boosts up the strength of the body with its rejuvenating properties. It helps in increasing sexual stamina, controlling ejaculation time, getting harder erections, enhancing libido, and increasing the count of sperms
  • It improves overall sexual health and also boosts up the immunity of the body
  • Vijay Ayurvedic Pharmaceuticals/Shilajit Capsules
  • Eradicates sexual weakness, asthma, diabetes
  • Vijay Ayurvedic Pharmaceuticals/Kaunch Capsules
  • An Ayurvedic herb which has been used over the ages as an enhancer of libido both in men and women
  • Vijay Ayurvedic Pharmaceuticals/Viagra M Capsules
  • A unique formula for improving the sexual health of men. The herbal ingredients of this capsule possess aphrodisiac properties and the formula is considered as an extremely beneficial one for the treatment of premature ejaculation, nocturnal emissions, and sperm- count
  • It helps in increasing sexual stamina, controlling ejaculation time, getting harder erections, enhancing libido, boosting body strength, and increasing the count of sperms. It improves overall sexual health and also boosts up the immunity of the body
  • The visual on the product pack read in conjunction with the claim imply that the product is meant for the enhancement of sexual pleasure
  • Vijay Ayurvedic Pharmaceuticals/Viagra F
    Capsules
  • Viagra-F Capsule improves the sexual health of women.
  • It acts as an enhancer of libido in women. The herbal ingredients of this capsule possess aphrodisiac properties and help in increasing sexual stamina,
    boosting body strength, and all sort of sexual problems
  • The visual on the product pack read in conjunction with the claim imply that the product is meant for enhancement of sexual pleasure
  • Arogya Divya Sansthan / DME-9
  • An Ayurvedic tablet which is the solution for the problem of Diabetes
    Now no need to spend thousands of rupees when the treatment of diabetes is cheap and easily available
  • Abhinav Healthcare Products Private Limited/Manzil Capsules
  • Excellent Aphrodisiac – Helps to treat male and female impotency, useful in Erectile dysfunction, Prevents premature ejaculation – improves performance
  • Helps to provide strength, prevents post coital weakness
  • Abhinav Healthcare Products/wel-end tablets
  • Improves libido, prevents premature ejaculation
    Provides strength and helps treat post coital weakness
  • Herbal Ayurveda / Herbal Stamina Gain
  • Improve and increase sexual strength
  • Hashmi Dawakhana / Leucol Plus Capsule
  • Anti-vitiligo herbal treatment for 100% vitiligo cure guaranteed
  • Hashmi Dawakhana / Leucol Plus Cream
  • Cure vitiligo permanently, naturally and rapidly
  • Hashmi Dawakhana/ Seks Max Power Capsule
  • Herbal sexual enhancement capsules for men
  • A natural way to increase libido and stamina
  • Seks Max power capsule is the fast answer to your erection and sexual performance concerns
  • Rajasthan Aushdhalaya Pvt Ltd./ Breast Torrer Combo Pack
  • Breast Torrer Combo pack contains Cream & Capsule.
  • It naturally uplifts sagging breasts
    Redefines the shape and cleavage, nourishes the breasts, tightens breast muscles and enhances cup size
  • Rajasthan Aushdhalaya Pvt Ltd./ Mood On Forever Avaleh
  • Mood on Forever Avaleh is an exclusive medicine for Men
  • It enhances vitality, stamina, energy and ensures a happy sexual life. It rejuvenates the body system, helps to cure erectile dysfunction, improves sex drive, and curbs premature ejaculation
  • Rajasthan Aushdhalaya Pvt Ltd/ Mood On
    Forever Capsule
  • Mood on Forever Capsule is an exclusive medicine for Men
    It enhances vitality, stamina, energy and ensures a happy sexual life. It rejuvenates the body system, helps to cure erectile dysfunction, improves sex drive, and curbs premature ejaculation
  • Rajasthan Aushdhalaya Pvt Ltd/ Mood On Forever Oil
  • Mood on Forever Oil is an exclusive medicine for Men
    It enhances vitality, stamina, energy and ensures a happy sexual life. It rejuvenates the body system, helps to cure erectile dysfunction, improves sex drive, and curbs premature ejaculation
  • Rajasthan Aushdhalaya Pvt Ltd/ Nirdosh Churna
  • Nirdosh Churna is an exclusive medicine for Men
    It enhances vitality, stamina, energy and ensures a happy sexual life. It rejuvenates the body system, helps to cure erectile dysfunction, improves sex drive, and curbs premature ejaculation
  • Shubham Homeopathic/Thunder M
  • Remedy “Male Disorders” sexual debility and impotency
  • Shubham Homeopathic/ Vigoral-la
  • Libido enhancer
  • Enhances firmness, fullness and duration of erection
  • Increase vitality and virility
  • Shubham Homeopathic/B Shape 36
  • For breast enhancement
  • Shree Baidyanath Ayurved Bhavan/Sriparni Oil
  • It is used for enlargement of breast size
  • Gaharwar Pharma Products/P. V. Tone Leha
  • PV Tone Leha cures your impotency and erectile dysfunction
  • Break through formula in the natural sexual enhancement solutions
  • Shaafi Herbal Care/Safarjal ka Murabba
  • Cures intestinal ulcer
  • Gives strength of 40 men to a person
  • Charak Pharma Pvt Ltd/Pallrywyn Forte Tablet
  • Improves sexual desire in males and females
  • Enhances sexual satisfaction and boosts sexual performance
  • Jiva Ayurveda/ Arouse Oil
  • An Ayurvedic stimulant that gives you strength, vigour and stamina. Each ingredient of this Oil has been selected after considerable research Ashwagandha and Shatavari help in improving the quality of seminal fluids, Jaiphal and Nagkeshar are known to help in maintaining erection
  • Name of the product “Arouse Oil” implies that the product is meant for the enhancement of sexual pleasure
  • Jolly Pharma/ Jolly Sunsex Gold Capsules
  • Boost up the sexual power
  • Improve the sexual vigour and vitality
  • Premature ejaculation and less libido problems
  • Jolly Pharma/ Jolly Sunsex Gold Oil
  • Boost up the sexual power
  • Improve the sexual vigor and vitality
  • Premature ejaculation & less libido problems
  • Juvenor Pharmaceuticals/Muslinites Gold TRIPTI Oil
  • MusliNites Gold TRIPTI Oil- Increase sexual desire in a person. Muslinites Tripti Oil is a 100% Safe and Ayurvedic oil for the use of ONLY MEN
  • This oil helps in increasing sexual desire in a male. It is due to improved flow of blood to the sex organ which in turn arouses a person appropriately for the intercourse
  • It also helps in treatment of premature ejaculation by increasing the time for the erections.
  • Similarly, men suffering from impotency or erectile dysfunction are also benefitted with the use of this herbal oil
  • It helps in achieving harder and stronger erections and at the same time helps in sustaining the same to have complete pleasure during this essential activity of life
  • Juvenor Pharmaceuticals/ MusliNites Capsule
  • Safed Musli has been used by the locals, for hundreds of years, to improve their vitality, sex drive and sexual performance. The root is the most potent part of this plant and our supplements, made from the root, are the best in the world
  • This is one of its kind product to help increase libido and sexual desire
  • Jwala Ayurved Bhawan/ Madanshakti
  • Promote to stamina, semen, lustre, strength and
    energy. It is the best medicine to cure impotency and weakness due to old age and premature ejaculation
  • Jwala Ayurved Bhawan/Kilvari
  • Best for impotency, premature ejaculation, weak erection
  • Himalaya Drug Company/Gokshura tablets
  • Improves sexual desire and drive, which subsequently improves sexual performance
  • Strengthens the penile tissue and enhances penile
    erection, making it very useful in erectile dysfunction
  • Himalaya drug company /Kapikachhu tablets
  • Increases mood and sexual performance