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ASCI calls out Uber, MobiKwik, Paytm, Reliance Jio & others for false advertising


The Advertising Standards Council of India’s (ASCI) Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) has upheld complaints (pdf) against 67 out of 141 advertisements brought to it in April 2016. These advertisements belonged to various categories: 27 in Healthcare  category, 10 in  Food & Beverages , 7 in  E-commerce, 4 in Automotives, 4 other ads in Education category and 15 advertisements from other categories.

In e-commerce

-One MobiKwik Systems owned MobiKwik’s online advertisement, which claimed to provide Rs 20 and Rs 500 as “Cashback Offer” for transactions made through its platform, was misleading by ambiguity, according to ASCI. The ad failed to place a disclaimer that the cashback is offered in the MobiKwik wallet and not to the bank account.

Uber India’s online advertisement regarding trip fares was found to be misleading by ASCI as it did not mention addition charges like ‘distance charge’ applicable per trip.

-One97 Communications owned Paytm’s claim that its services are available “24X7” was misleading according to ASCI, since the ad failed to mention the details of specific services for which the claim was valid.

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Astrologerad.com’s online advertisement that guaranteed “sure solutions for problems such as infertility, martial discord, winning of lottery, etc…” was false and misleading by exaggeration according to ASCI.  The online ad exploits consumers’ lack of knowledge and is likely to lead to grave or widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers, added ASCI.

-Endurance Web Solutions owned Hostgator.in’s online advertisement that claimed to provide “Unlimited Storage and bandwidth” for its cloud hosting services was found to be misleading by exaggeration, according to ASCI.

Bankbazaar.com’s ad for its Bhartiya Jan Dhan Credit Scehme was found to be misleading consumers by ASCI since the scheme was pretending to look like a Government-owned scheme.

Amazon Inc’s video advertisement that depicted “a pillion rider on a bike without a helmet” is a violation of traffic rules, and was struck down by the ASCI.

In Telecom

Idea Cellular’s “Idea 3G 900” advertisement which claimed to provide a “jam free network” and “Adwiteeya internet indoor coverage” (second to none internet indoor coverage) was found to be misleading consumers by ACSI. The claims in the ad was not substantiated by comparative data from other service providers, added ASCI.

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-Another Idea Cellular ad for its “Idea 3G” service which was screened/broadcasted in Baharpur village where 3G service is not being offered was found to be misleading by ASCI since the ad failed to place an appropriate disclaimer. The ad “exploits consumers’ lack of knowledge and is likely to lead to grave or widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers,” added ASCI.

-Reliance Industries (RIL) owned Reliance Jio’s advertisement that claimed “Financial year 2016-17 will be the first full year of commercial operations of its Reliance Jio” was found to be factually incorrect by ASCI and likely to mislead consumers, as Reliance Jio has not yet launched its services commercially.

-Aircel Limited owned Aircel’s advertisement regarding a recharge pack “RC 21 1.2p/2sc STD+LOC 90 D” was found to be false and misleading by ASCI.

Our coverage on previous ASCI reports here

Image Credit: Flickr User Thomas Hobbs under CC BY-SA 2.0

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