The self-regulatory organisation of the advertising industry, Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has rolled up its sleeves, thanks to complaints against various ad campaigns. ASCI has received 167 complaints in February alone against ad campaigns, out of which, 125 have been upheld after consideration. These ads have been accused of misleading the public with dubious claims.
Of course, IIN features in this glorious list.
Idea Internet Connection (IIN) leads the pack for its ‘extraordinary’ series of weird ads. One of its ads show IIN as an alternative to higher education which provides all courses online. Another, depicts Haryana as a state where women are not allowed to go out to study thus terming the state highly regressive.
No wonder, the IIN campaign is a fodder for memes, spoofs and parodies among the netizens. And we made our own share of jokes , as well.
There are also cases against FMCG major Dabur for its Dabur Chyawanprash ad which promises increase in strength and immunity by three times. Glaxo Smith Kline’s Horlicks is on similar lines. Its ridiculous claim of increasing the concentration power for children, if consumed for a considerable period of time, is also under fire.
Private educational institutes like Institute of Management Studies (IMS), Ghaziabad, IMS learning resources, Triumphant Institute of Management Education P Ltd (TIME) and Institute of Finance Banking & Insurance (IFBI) are under the scanner for their tall claims of 100 percent job placement.
Government’s Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA), in alliance with ASCI as an ‘Executive Arm’ has decided to put a curb on misleading advertisements. It has also requested ASCI to flag off advertisements that are in clear violation of law, effective from December 1, 2014.
Despite such strong regulations, the advertising industry never shies away from controversies. The very recent ad by Kalyan Jewellers , featuring Aishwarya Rai received heavy criticism from all quarters for its depiction of racism and slavery.
The ad showcased Aishwarya Rai as a regent of sorts, with a dark skinned native boy for a child slave. Following massive uproar over the racist tones of the ad, the makers have rendered an apology and are in process to withdraw the campaign.