Tuesday, February 18, 2020


ASCI upholds complaints against seven advertisements in F&B sector
Saturday, 31 August, 2019, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, New Delhi
The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has upheld complaints against seven advertisements in the food and beverage industry. Of these, three are direct complaints, and four are under suo motu surveillance by ASCI.

These were as follows:
GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Ltd (Horlicks)
ASCI’s CCC (Consumer Complaints COuncil) observed that in the website advertisement, the advertiser’s slogan, What you eat is not what you get, is juxtaposed with the text, Horlicks has bioavailable nutrients which get absorbed in the blood and are carried to all parts of the body.

It observed that this statement by the advertiser created an impression in the consumer’s mind that the advertiser’s product is superior to food because it is bioavailable.

The CCC also noted that juxtaposing clinically proven and bio available nutrients with the other claims made appeared to be misleading because the submitted clinical trial does not unambiguously and fully support these claims.

Hence, it concluded that advertisers’ claim of Horlicks having bioavailable nutrients only exaggerates the concept of bioavailability as a gimmick by juxtaposing it with the tagline of clinically proven without providing any adequate supporting evidence of the trial of the actual product with reference to the bioavailability attribute claimed by the advertiser. The claim contravened ASCI Guidelines on Advertising of Food and Beverages.

Good brands for a Healthy Life Pvt Ltd (Sugar Watchers’ Low GI Rice)
The advertiser’s claims on their product packaging read Helps sugar level and weight management and This keeps the entire family healthier and is suitable for diabetics, were misleading by omission.

The CCC observed that the advertised rice (BPT 5204) has a low Glycaemic Index (GI). However, the CCC also noted that if this low GI rice is consumed in more than adequate quantities, the overall glycaemic load may still be high, and such rice cannot be eaten by diabetics in excess.

The CCC noted that this rice would be suitable for diabetics only if portion sizes are controlled as well as all other lifestyle changes and pharmacotherapy are adhered to and this rice is part of an overall low GI diet.

Another claim, Diabetologist recommended, was not adequately substantiated. Even though the advertiser submitted few testimonials from diabetologists, the CCC did not consider the sample size to be large enough to make a generic claim that the product was diabetologist-recommended.

Amway India Enterprises Pvt Ltd (Nutrilite Traditional Herbs Range)
The print advertisement’s claim, Certified Organic and DNA Fingerprinted herbs with the promise of Purity, Safety and Potency, was considered to be misleading by ambiguity and omission of the reference to the product containing extracts (and not whole herbs).
The advertiser is not using the herbs as such in the product but is using their extracts, whereas the advertisement headline presents the product range as Nutrilite Traditional Herbs Range.

The second claim, one tulsi tablet equals over 100 dried organic leaves of tulsi herb, was also not substantiated. The CCC was of the opinion that the word herb cannot be used synonymously with the word extract.

Eureka Forbes Ltd (Dr Aquaguard NRICH ROs)
The advertiser’s claim is Aquaguard ki nayi Active Copper technology de paani ko tambe ki shakti, instantly. When translated from Hindi, it means, Aquaguard’s new Active Copper Technology instantly gives the power of Copper to water.

The advertisement, whose slogan Tambe ki Shakti, Instantly means Power of Copper, Instantly, features celebrity Madhuri Dixit Nene suggests that the product delivers benefits associated with the overnight storage of water in copper vessels, that too instantly.

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of copper for adult men and women is 900µg per day. Thus, for any potential benefit from the presence of copper, the total daily water intake should correspond to 15 per cent of the RDA level.

However, the advertiser did not intend to associate the claims with any health benefits. Hence, it was concluded that the use of the claim, Tambe ki Shakti, Instantly, is misleading by ambiguity and implication that the output water has benefits associated with copper, since this was not conclusively established by the advertiser.

Additionally, there was no evidence showing that the celebrity had done due diligence, prior to the endorsement and was found to violate ASCI’s Guidelines for Celebrities in Advertising.

Grofers India Private Limited
The website advertisement’s claim, Up to 100 per cent off, advertised products was misleading by omission of a qualifier that the offer is subject to terms and conditions, and did not provide any details where the said conditions are available.

The offer was only applicable for purchases made through coins in the Grofers wallet. While the website advertisement and the advertiser’s application contained the discounted offer item, the advertiser did not provide any references to terms and conditions that consumers might peruse before availing the said offer.

Suo motu surveillance by ASCI for misleading advertisements
Of the 170 advertisements examined by the CCC, complaints against 169 advertisements were upheld. Of these, 169 advertisements, four belonged to food and beverages.

These are as follows:
Rasna Private Limited (Rasna Insta Energy)
The television advertisement’s claim, Compared to other energy drink Rasna Insta has real fruit powder, was not substantiated with verifiable comparative data of the advertiser’s product as compared to all other energy drinks on the real fruit powder content and is misleading.

In the advertisement, the ASCI Guidelines on Disclaimers were also violated as the disclaimer was not in the same language as the voice-over.

Rasna Private Limited (Rasna Native Haat Honey Vita)
The television advertisement’s claim, Increases energy naturally, was not substantiated with technical details, composition of the product and evidence of product efficacy.

The advertiser did not submit any product specific details, such as composition/licence/pack artwork or samples, nor evidence of the ingredients present in the product. No scientific rationale was presented to explain how the product provides energy naturally.

Scott Lumin Pvt Ltd (KYK Hydrogen Water)
The advertisement’s claim, Anti-oxidant water, hydrogen water, when seen in conjunction with the  visuals showing fruits (banana and apple) and vegetables (carrot, spinach and pumpkin), equating the benefits of KYK Hydrogen water to these fruits and vegetables, was inadequately substantiated and is misleading by gross exaggeration.

Garima Healthcare Pvt Ltd  (Super Cool Garima Glucose D)
The advertisement’s claim, No. 1 was not substantiated with comparative data of the advertiser’s product and other Glucose-D energy drink brands, such as market research survey or third-party validation to prove that it is in leadership position (No. 1) than the rest in terms of value or volume share. The claim is misleading by exaggeration and is likely to lead to grave and widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers.
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