Misleading ads most rampant in India personal care sector

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Advertising

Misleading ads most rampant in India personal care sector
According to the consumer complaints council, misleading or false advertising is most rampant in the personal care sector, accounting for more than half the total number of advertisements to have been banned by the ASCI.

The self-regulatory organisation reckons that as of 2013, there has been a significant rise in the number of cosmetic ads failing the Advertising Standards council of India’s compliance norms and code of conduct.

To date the Council has upheld complaints on 148 ads for being misleading, false or not having adequately or scientifically substantiated claims.

“Out of 218 complaints registered with the Advertising Standards Council of India during this period, 148 were upheld and 52 per cent of these were from the healthcare and personal care sect​or,” says ASCI chairman Arvind Sharma.

Tall claims

According to the ASCI, marketers have often exaggerated or made tall claims such as curing baldness, and it is particularly consumers of personal care products that buy not just out of need but for the aspirational value they add to their lifestyle as well.

It is not a question that all such ads are completely misleading. But more of an issue that they are tending to conceal more than they reveal. Technically they are correct but morally they cannot be called right.

Such claims need to be substantiated with necessary scientific support, past records, research or clinical data or market research and analysis. Consumers in smaller markets tend to get influenced by such claims.

"The volume of such ads in the regional media is very large​," ASCI's Sharma said.

"We are trying to bring this to the notice of the concerned authorities and requesting them to take action against such practices." After healthcare and personal care sector, it is the education industry that bring out the most number of misleading ads.

Related topics Regulation & Safety South Asia

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