What’s common between Uber, Flipkart and a Japanese penis enlarging tool? Misleading ads

Ads by 72 companies have been found misleading by ASCI
What’s common between Uber, Flipkart and a Japanese penis enlarging tool? Misleading ads
What’s common between Uber, Flipkart and a Japanese penis enlarging tool? Misleading ads
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Advertisements claiming your body fat will vanish as soon you make that payment for the waist-belt, con-artists selling ‘gemstones’ for better fortune and even ‘respectable’ brands indulging in deceitful word-play or just plain lying, are all too common on Indian television. But you thought no one was watching?

Seventy-two companies irrespective of the their size and the vertical they belong to, have all joined a club of airing advertisements which have been deemed ‘misleading’ by the Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI).

ASCI’s CCC received a total of 148 advertisements in 2014-15, and of those, the CCC has ‘upheld’ 72 for either being misleading and false or not adequately substantiated, which is in violation of the ASCI code.

There are some really funny ‘violations’ in the list released by ASCI on October 5th. From unknown Japanese brands selling penis enlargement instruments to global brands like Uber, many of these brands were reprimanded by the ASCI.

Here are some of the funniest violations, and some of the biggest brands which found themselves in the honoured list.

1. L’Oreal, the French cosmetic giant has been flagged by the regulatory body for its “1 tone fairer skin” claim while advertising its face-wash product. 

2. Popular vajradanti brand Vicco also features in this list for its misleading and unsubstantiated claims regarding its face-wash.

3. Probably the funnies of them all, Japanese Automatic Penis Increasing Tool features the most number of times in the document released by ASCI. The company reportedly claims to cure premature ejaculation, impotency among other sexual problems.

4. Amity University also features on the list as its claim of being a top university in Asia was found to be unsubstantiated.

5.  Heinz India, the manufacturer of Complan has got flack from the advertisement regulator for misleading consumers of having 100 percent milk protein and comparing it with other similar products.

6. CNBC of TV 18 Broadcast Ltd, part of the Reliance owned media conglomerate claims to be the No. 1 TV channel in India. This claim was also found to be misleading.

7. India Today also finds its place in the infamous list, as the regulatory council found that its advertisement showing it to have the largest market share was unverified as the source of the data wasn’t mentioned. 

8. Flipkart, the Indian ecommerce giant owned by the Bansal brothers finds its name on the list as one of its advertisements misled customers about the discount being offered as they reportedly distorted the MRP of the products.

9.  State owned telecom player, BSNL advertised that “Now BSNL at your doorstep…. our sales team will come to your doorstep to collect documents and provide the connection.” The regulatory council found this as misleading and untrue.

10. Uber, the popular Cab aggregator features on their list for their unique tagline, “You drink, we drive”, which is seen as a way of promoting drinking.

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