Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has confirmed that advertisements from 54 advertisers, which includes Airtel, Flipkart, HDFC Bank and Godaddy are misleading the consumers.
For the month of September, 2015, ASCI received 84 complaints, out of which 54 were upheld. ASCI has asked these advertisers to immediately stop showing these misleading ads.
Out of 54 banned ads, personal care niche has 13 ads; Education niche has 7 ads; Telecom niche has 7 ads; Ecommerce niche has 6 ads and 15 are from other mis. categories.
Here are the major advertisers who attempted to mislead their consumers using unfair and misappropriate ads:
In the telecom niche, out of 7 misleading ads, Airtel alone has contributed 5. With the 4G war heating up, it seems Airtel is leaving no stone unturned (both ethical and unethical) to lure customers.
In one of the ads, Airtel said, “We at Airtel are giving away exciting surprises to all our broadband users”. Considering that no disclaimer or terms & conditions were mentioned, ASCI found this ad as grossly misleading.
In another one, Airtel said, “Get the same data benefits as your 3G pack and enjoy superfast 4G speeds at no extra cost “FREE 4G UPGRADE”; which was misleading as corporate users will not get the benefits under retail plans.
Another ad by Airtel: “Unlimited Calls, Unlimited Movies, Unlimited Music and Loads of data”, was found grossly misleading with no terms & conditions or verification of the claim.
In one of the ads, Airtel says, “Unlimited Calling, only with Airtel 4G” whereas the usage is capped at 5000 minutes. This ad was also interpreted as misleading.
During one of their promotional campaigns, Flipkart advertised ‘special discount’ offer of Rs 599 for one of their products, whereas the actual MRP was Rs 499. ASCI rapped Flipkart for promoting such false and misleading advertisements.
For promoting their job portal Shine.com, HT ran ads which said, “Shine.com has max more traffic than Monsterindia.com. That means a better candidate database”. And, in the same ad, besides a logo of their competitor Monster.com, the ad said, “Say Bye to the monster of limited database”,. This was found to be insulting their competitor and inappropriate as per ASCI’s standards.
For promoting their 2 wheeler loans, HDFC ran ads which said, “Loan approval in 15 minutes”, which was not substantiated. Also, the claim, “Only KYC required to avail a loan” was found to be misleading as other documents are also required for loan approval.
In their web advertisement, Godaddy didn’t mention the additional charge of Rs 40 while registering a domain; which was found to be misleading.
We have extensively reported upheld complaints by ASCI in the past. Here is a summary:
- ASCI Raps Flipkart, Snapdeal, Uber and 79 others for Misleading ads
- Airtel 4G’s Advertisements are Misleading
- ASCI Raps Manufacturers for Denying Warranty; Cracks Whip on Amazon, Ebay
- Idea IIN, Horlicks, Dabur Ads are Misleading
- Healthcare and Education Ads are Most Misleading – ASCI
- ASCI Cracks Whip on Fairness Product Ads
In case you find any misleading or false ads, then you can directly complain to ASCI."Airtel, Flipkart, Godaddy, HDFC Bank & 50 Other Ads Are Misleading The Consumers – ASCI",