Patanjali Ads Are Misleading & Unfairly Denigrates Rivals; Paytm, Uber, BankBazaar Ads Are Ambiguous – ASCI

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Patanjali Mustard Oil

Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has again rapped Yoga guru Ramdev’s company Patanjali for broadcasting misleading advertisements of their products. This time, the scolding came for four of their best selling products: Kachi Ghani Mustard Oil, Patanjali Fruit Juice, Dant Kanti toothpaste & cattle feed (Dhugdhamrit).

As per the ruling for ASCI, these product ads by Patanjali Ayurved are misleading the consumers and disparaging competitors by stating false claims and data.

After Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and ASCI joined forces to fight misleading advertisements related to food products, this recent ruling holds special significance, as legal action can be taken against Patanjali now.

Kachi Ghani Mustard Oil:

In their advertisements, Patanjali had claimed that mustard oil sold by their competitors are “adulterated with oil made by solvent extraction process with neurotoxin containing Hexane,”. As per ASCI, this claim was not substantiated with evidence, and it unfairly denigrates rivals.

Patanjali Fruit Juice:

In their ads, Patanjali has described rival drinks as “expensive juices containing less pulp.”; which has been objected by ASCI, as they said such claims denigrates entire class/cat of fruit juices.

Patanjali Dhugdhamrit (cattlefeed):

Patanjali has daringly claimed in their ads for this product that “other companies mix three to four per cent urea and other non-edible things in their cattle feed.” As per ASCI, there is no substantial proof of this claim, and again, it insults other companies in this niche.

Patanjali Dantkanti Toothpaste:

Patanjali has claimed that their toothpaste is effective against pyorrhoea, swelling and bleeding of gums, yellowing of teeth, sensitivity and bad breath and provides a natural shield against germs; but as per ASCI, there are no evidence provided by them for this claim.

Patanjali has quickly scaled up to become one of the largest FMCG companies in India, even beating established players such as P&G, HUL and others. Earlier this year, they emerged as Indian TV’s top ad-spenders beating MNCs with a huge margin.

Last year, Patanjali was rapped by ASCI for misleading ads for hair oil and other beauty products. As per reports, Patanjali is looking for legal options to tackle ASCI’s ruling.

Besides Patanjali, ASCI also rapped several other companies such as Uber, MobiKwik, Hindustan Unilever, Reliance Industries, Amazon, Pernod Ricard India, Nissan Motors, Tata Motors, Reckitt Benckiser, Colgate-Palmolive, Paytm, Procter & Gamble Hygiene & Health Care & Idea Cellular.

Uber was rapped for hiding details of additional surcharges in their ads which misled the public; Paytm was scolded for not explaining what 24/7 is, and what precise services were offered under this scheme, which misled the consumers

Nissan Sunny’s ad shows a man driving in the opposite side of the road, without wearing seatbelt; and ASCI has strongly objected to such depiction of dare-devil which may result in accident and chaos on the road. Whereas Apollo Tyres ad is showing a man riding a scooter on footpath in-order to avoid traffic, which is against traffic rules.

Suzuki Motorcycle India was rapped for their ad for Suzuki Gixxer, wherein it has been declared as the “Most Awarded Bike of the Year 2015-16”, with a picture of 19 awards in the bottom. As per ASCI, Suzuki Gixxer received only 6 awards last year.

Reliance Jio was rapped by ASCI for sharing wrong information in one of their ads for Jio Infocomm: “Financial year 2016-17 will be the first full year of commercial operations of Reliance Jio.” ASCI said that they haven’t even started their commercial operations (as of April, 2016).

Overall, for the month of April, 2016, ASCI upheld 67 out of 141 complaints related to advertisements. Out of 67, 27 belonged to healthcare and personal care category; 10 were from food and beverages category; 7 were from ecommerce; 4 were from automobile ads; 4 in education and 15 ads from were from various misc. categories.

Here is the complete list.

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