29 December 2009

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India – Know Where and How to File a complaint against False, Dishonest, misleading advertisement.

India – Know Where and How to File a complaint against False, Dishonest, misleading advertisement.

We need to send just one mail one phone call
Remember - Don't react. Act. Together we will set it right
Does a complainant have to pay to register a complaint against advertisement ?

No. Registering a complaint is free of cost.

Many times we see the advertisement on television which is making fool to me and you, and we want to take the action, we want to report that, but we do not know where to report about this type of advertisement which is misleading, and dishonest with its claims.
Do False, Misleading, Unfair Ads make you Offended? Outraged? Appalled? The next time you come across an Ad that offends your sensibilities, don't just let off steam.
We can make complaint to ASCI against such advertisements. ASCI ensure that each complaint receives a prompt and objective consideration by an impartial committee Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) which takes into account the view point of the advertiser.
As a policy ASCI do not disclose the identity of the Complainant to the Advertiser appropriate decision is communicated to all concerned.

How to file a complaint?

Download the below form which is just nearly 20 kb PDF form.

Fill this form and send it this email address - E-mail: asci@vsnl.com
Send through Post the complaint to the following address.
Write to –
Mr. Alan Collaco, Secretary General
The Advertising Standards Council of India,
219, Bombay Market,
78 Tardeo Road,
Mumbai 400 034
Tel: (022) 23521066/23516863,
Fax: 23516863,
E-mail: asci@vsnl.com
You can even register your complaint by a telephone call.
[022] – 23513982
The good point is that complainants are not required to reveal there identity.
Even if you do not want to fill the form, please just send the complaint to ASCI on the following email address - asci@vsnl.com
Email should include following information.
1. Advertisement for Product/Service (name):____ of Company (name)________________________
2. Appeared in Publication(name):________________ date (on):____________ in (City):______ in Language:________
3. Appeared on TV/Radio: __________________ channel (name)________________________ date (on)_____________
4. during (time/programme):____________________________________ in (language)___________________________
5. Other promotion:____________________ Printed material:______________________ Poster:__________________
6. Leaflet:________________________________________ Mailing (from) :____________________________________
7. Promotion message on product pack :__________________________________________________________________
8. Advertisement/promotion on internet/website/other electronic media:_______________________________________
9. Name of Server____________________________________________________________
10. Address (url/website)________date observed_____________________________
11. Outdoor hoarding:_______location:___________________city:___________
12. Describe TV/Radio commercial visual/voice:________________
13. Mention specific claims/description of visuals made in print Ad/promotional material : ______
14. Your reasons / objections:_________________
15. Your full name: ___Signature ________________________Date__________
16. Postal address:__
17. Pin code_______________ Phone______________________ e-mail______

Once we complain to the ASCI after that as I consumer we do not need to do anything, ASCI will do all the needful.
What will happen once we send,report the complaint to the ASCI –?
1. Complaint Received by ASCI
2. Advertiser is ask to comment ,clarify
3. Advertiser sends reply
4. Reply not satisfactory or advertisers breach the dispute.
5. Consumer complaints Council which is part of ASCI, considers complaint and reply
6. Consumer complaints Council orders investigation
7. Investigation report received by CCC.
8. CCC finds truth in complaint upheld by CCC.
9. Advertiser contacted he assures to change or modify advertisement.
10. CCC follows up and is informed to the complainant as well as advertiser.

Following are the just few examples of advertisements which are modified or removed from television or market.
Because of the ASCI following advertisements were withdrawn or modified.
1. Videocon Washing machines - Claims - “Eco-Friendly washing machines”, “Designed to not just care for your clothes, but conserve water, save energy. – Claims not fulfilled so this advertisement was removed.

2. Surya Tube light- Surya Roshni Limited - advertisement claimed - “Surya Tube light lasts 3 times longer than others. “Surya lamps are brighter and last longer than others. – The following ad is now modified.

3. Sanjeevan Retinopathy Clinic (Diabetic Eye Problem) - Claim - “Our researched treatment not only cures the symptoms (blindness, blurred vision, black spots or floaters in the vision) but also cures it root cause successfully”. -- Ad appears to be misleading and is in contravention of the Drugs & Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954. – Result The ad is modified.

4. Eureka Forbes LTD, (Aquaguard Total) - Claim - “Only Aquaguard Total water purification systems guards the liver, bones and digestive systems.- Result – ad is modified.

5. Coca-Cola India Pvt. Ltd. (Thums Up) = Claim = Visuals - “an actor with a lady occupant driving a car in a very rash and negligent manner for a `Thums Up bottle’. He then meets with an accident and is shown in the hospital, with a fractured leg and sipping a bottle of `Thums Up’. = Result – Ad prohibited.

6. Nestle India Ltd (Maggie Healthy Soups – Soup powder) = Claims = Claims – “Happy Heart” “Healthy Soups” - Result - This creates an impression that consumption of Maggi soups lead to better heart health. On an independent testing, the product has been found to contain high levels of salt which releases sodium into the body. Sodium is well known for direct link to hypertension / high blood pressure which are not desirable for a healthy heart. – Result = Modified, withdrawn.

7. Suzuki Motorcycle India Pvt Ltd (Suzuki Zeus Motorcycle) – claim visuals = Visuals - “a biker driving the motorcycle on the lane dividing the white line, then overtaking dangerously between 2 trucks and rashly cutting the lane”. – Result – ad modified

8. Cadbury India Ltd - (Cadbury Bournvita) - Headline - “Real Achievers grow up on Bournvita”. Claim - “With Super Chargers”. – Result – Misleading = Ad discontinued.

9. McDowell & Company Ltd (*) (now United Spirits Ltd) (DSP Black) – claim = Ad states - “Night Young. Night is Black”, “Come Alive”, “DSP Black – Black Nights CDs” (in fine print). = Result ad discontinued.

10. Shree Baidyanath Ayurved Bhawan P. ltd - (Baidyanath sugarfree Chyawanprash = Claims - “Sugarfree Chyawanprash Granules, need of diabetic patients” etc – Result = ad modified

11. Vanity Gold (Zodiac Power Rings) = Claims - “Zodiac Power Rings, made out of Pacnhadhatu, are creating “My Zodiac Power Ring is behind my new found confidence – Result - withdraw the Ad.

12. Goodcare Pharma (EziSlim Natural Slimming Capsules) = Claims - “An Ezi way to Slim”, “Natural Slimming Capsules”. = Result ad is withdrawn

Suggested Reading – 

Know more about ASCI

ASCI website address- http://ascionline.org/


Samvedna December 29, 2009  

awesome post!..you are always giving such useful info.The first ads which should be complained about are fairness creams..totally false claims.

Thank you so much for this post!

Sorcerer December 29, 2009  

I agree with antarman(on above comment)
you are giving very useful tips
good work:)

BK Chowla, December 29, 2009  

thank you.You can also get in touch with the Ad Club ,Bombay.

sm,  December 30, 2009  


sm,  December 30, 2009  


sm,  December 30, 2009  

thanks for adding information.

Neha December 30, 2009  

thanks for the info sm..

wish u a very happy new year :)

Admin December 30, 2009  

SM, that was really informative. As a consumer, I believe we need to raise our voices against such misleading ads. Sooner the better. Thanks so much for this useful article.

Anonymous,  December 30, 2009  

thanx for the information
there are times when we want to complaint against some advertisement and raise our voice against it but for want of a proper channel and information as to how to do have never got down to complaint
but now with the information you have just shared i am sure many of us will surely come forward

sm,  December 30, 2009  


sm,  December 30, 2009  


sm,  December 30, 2009  


lostworld January 03, 2010  

wonderful post!!! especially the examples cited at the end.. :)

sm,  January 09, 2010  


austinhoyt @ Ezi Slim Capsule October 15, 2011  

Great awesome post this! Great going!

jj June 07, 2012  

Thanks. I didn't even knew that so many ads had been discontinued for this reason. Keep up the good work