As many as 179 advertisements have been withdrawn from the print, electronic and social media platforms while complaints against 344 have been upheld for misleading contents or violation of advertising norms. According to the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), many of the claims were not adequately substantiated.
In its ruling ASCI say the PayTM application advertisement claim "Free Movie Tickets Worth Rs 1200 on PayTM" was misleading by ambiguity and omission of the offer being over a period of 12 months.
Dabur India (Odomos Fabric Roll- on) product packaging claim, "Just four Dots on Your Clothes, Mosquitoes Won't Come Close" when seen in conjunction with the visual of the girl surrounded by a blue bubble with no mosquitoes inside and several outside, giving an impression of 100% protection was inadequately substantiated. The product provides only a moderate degree of repellency (4% to 40%, which is less than half).
Another snack brand, endorsed by cricketer Virat Kohli claimed that up to 60% of people said that their baked snack was tastier than other fried snack brands. However, this claim was not conclusively proven. The same celebrity also endorsed a leadership claim for a food supplement brand "No. 1 Supplement for Men". The ASCI said that as this ranking was achieved in the UK and not in India, the claim was considered to be misleading.
Similarly, a leading dairy brand presented their butter cookies to be superior due to presence of 25 percent butter and zero percent vegetable oil. The advertisement made a sweeping statement that "other" butter cookies contain only 0.3 percent to 3 percent butter and 20 percent to 22 percent vegetable oil without presenting any verifiable evidence.
ASCI have investigated nearly 564 complaints related to advertisements for misleading and ambiguous in nature. Of them, 179 were promptly withdrawn from print, TV and social media while complaints against 344 were upheld.
A popular instant noodle brand did not mention in their communication if the noodles were fried or not, as required by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).