Baba Ramdev Declares ASCI As Unconstitutional Body; Threatens To Sue Them For Defamation
The face-off between Baba Ramdev and Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) is all set to become murkier in the coming days. After ASCI rapped Patanjali for broadcasting misleading advertisements last month, Baba Ramdev has decided to launch a scathing attack against them, even questioning their very existence.
As per reports coming in, Baba Ramdev is all set to slap a defamation case against the self-regulatory voluntary organization of the advertising industry in India. In a statement, Baba said, “In the last few weeks we have received 27 notices from ASCI. The issue has also been flagged off in the Parliament session recently. ASCI is an unconstitutional body.”
Besides, they have termed ASCI as an unconstitutional body, which has no powers to scold them for their advertisements.
In July this year, ASCI had stated that Patanjali’s advertisements are misleading and they unfairly denigrates their competitors. In their observations, ASCI had noted that advertisements for selling Patanjali’s best selling products such as Kachi Dhani mustard oil, toothpaste and fruit juice are misleading.
Note here, that last year, during a case involving Teleshop Teleshopping, G.S. Patel of the Bombay High Court had said that ASCI is not a statutory body or government regulator; and doesn’t have the power to stop any advertiser from broadcasting any ads.
MNCs Using ASCI To Defeat Patanjali?
Baba Ramdev has come out strongly against ASCI’s rapping and has questioned their functioning and very logic of existence. They have accused MNCs of teaming up against his company, and using ASCI to tarnish their image before their users.
He said, “The ASCI’s actions are nothing but a collective conspiracy by some multinational companies, who has a great deal of influence on ASCI..”
MNCs are surely worried over the meteoric rise of Patanjali as a brand in the last few years, as they conquering one niche after another within the FMCG and retail market. We have already reported how Patanjali has beaten well established FMCG brands in spending money on TV advertisements; their heroic ventures into clothing market, online health space and other niches.
MNCs know that Baba Ramdev is the new FMCG czar, and they are simply unstoppable now.
Why Baba Ramdev Is Worried Over ASCI Warnings?
The reason Baba Ramdev decided to launch a full scale attack on ASCI is the fact the news about their misleading ads has reached the Parliament, and questions are being raised over their style of functioning.
Rajyavardhan Rathore, who is the Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting, informed the Lok Sabha regarding ASCI’s objections to Patanjali’s ads. He said that the Department of Consumer Affairs has informed them about 17 out of 21 complaints against Patanjali’s ads were infact found to be violating the norms set by ASCI related to advertising.
In order to justify themselves, Baba Ramdev has accused ASCI of forcing them to become their members; and asked where was ASCI when MNCs were advertising fairness creams.
But he failed to note that Patanjali themselves are selling a fairness cream under their Swarna Kanti brand.
It would be interesting to observe how ASCI responds to the allegations made by Baba Ramdev’ and whether Govt. will provide them with any regulatory powers to deal with misleading advertisements?
We will update you as more news come in.