Wednesday, October 6, 2010

ASCI pulls up cos for misleading ads

Industry watchdog Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) on Tuesday said some television commercials by leading corporates have been withdrawn or modified as they did not abide by its code of conduct. While Reliance Communications , Parle Agro and Volkswagen were asked to withdraw their ads, Johnson & Johnson and Scorpio Enterprise, which makes 'Natraj Atta' , were directed to modify their claims.

"Some of the prominent brands went overboard in their claims and hence were asked to withdraw or modify their advertisements duly," ASCI said in a statement.

ASCI's Consumer Complaint Council (CCC) ASCI received complaints against several advertisements in May and June. In two ads, RCOM made unsubstantiated claims regarding unlimited talk time. The offers were, however, subject to certain conditions which were not mentioned in the ads. Consequently the TV commercials had to be withdrawn . According to the CCC, the LMN Juice ad by Parle Agro, which was also discontinued, hinted at racism by portraying an African national in bad light.

In the auto sector, Volkswagen also had to discontinue the commercial for its car — Polo — as it portrayed violence against animals.

Similarly, Scorpio Enterprises has promised withdrawal of misleading claims in one of its ads. In case of J&J , the CCC has asked the company to modify the advertisement for sanitary napkins which compared its product to another pack that appeared very much like a rival's product . During the two-month period, complaints were also made against Mankind Pharma, Kalyan Jewellers, SBI, Bajaj Allianz, Henkel India, Career Launcher, Coca-Cola , GSKCH, Paras Pharma, among others.

ASCI is a self-regulatory body that keeps a close watch on advertisements which are considered false, misleading, indecent, illegal, leading to unsafe practices, or unfair to competition.