India's advertising regulator Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) hauled up a fleet of consumer goods companies for broadcasting misleading advertisements to the public.
The companies that were pulled up by the regulator were Patanjali Ayurved, HUL, PepsiCo, Britannia, Pizza Hut, Amazon, LG Electronics, Voltas, Axis Bank, AirAsia, Flipkart, and a few others.
ASCI reported that it obtained 155 complaints against them in May.
Patanjali Ayurved pulled up for misleading users via exaggerated advertisements
Amongst the many complaints that ASCI received, ten were confirmed by the regulator as being against Patanjali Ayurved, that is promoted by Baba Ramdev.
ASCI had earlier supported six complaints that it received during March and April, this year.
Most of the complaints were registered against Patanjali's products like Jeera Biscuit, Kacchi Ghani mustard oil, Kesh Kanti and Dant Kanti.
Patanjali counters allegations
"They do not have any expert on ayurveda and life sciences and are deciding the matter. They do not have any fact finding procedure or a laboratory and decide the case in a meeting," a company representative said, while adding legal options are being explored.
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PepsiCo under scrutiny for wooing customers with cashback offers
International consumer goods giant PepsiCo was pulled up for running misleading marketing tactics in an attempt to lure more customers.
PepsiCo responded to ASCI stating that they had revised the TV advertisements according to the regulator's requirements.
ASCI pulls Britannia Industries for false claims
"Misleading by ambiguity as the whole wheat content in the product (Whole Wheat Bread) is in the range of 50 per cent to 65 per cent and other solid content in the product is coming from other sources."- ASCI on Britannia's 100% whole wheat bread.
ASCI sights a string of other misleading advertisements
Pizza Hut's popular advertisement 'Any Pizza Any Size @ 199 each when you buy 2 Pizzas' saw promoter Yum! Restaurants come under scrutiny for misleading consumers.
An LG ad The AC That Saves Every Day, LG - No.1 Air Conditioner' and 'Mosquito Away' was said to be misleading.
Air Asia's 'Air Fare from Chennai to Australia available for Rs 4,999' was touted as misleading.
Baba Ramdev accused for 'Misusing' the Cross in Patanjali ad
Baba Ramdev's Patanjali displays a cross which showcases the East India Company as a symbol of foreign companies.
The Christian community has accused Ramdev's brand for "objectionable and absolutely unwarranted" use of the cross.
Sarva Isai Mahasabha is the Christian organization that has expressed its objections to Ramdev.
They warned to boycott the brand, take legal action if the advertisement continues to be broadcasted.
Patanjali moves HC against ASCI notices
Patanjali Ayurved has petitioned the High Court accusing the ASCI of defamation and seeking interim relief against the ASCI's notices.
Patanjali argued that ASCI was merely a body consisting of representatives of MNCs, and questioned their legal authority to serve notices to other companies.
Shweta Purandare, secretary-general of ASCI, declined to comment on the issue, saying the matter was in court.
Court fines Patanjali Rs.11 lakh for misbranding and misrepresentation
A fine of Rs.11 lakh was levied on Patanjali Ayurved Ltd, by a Haridwar court for "misbranding and misrepresentation of its products."
Patanjali was also charged for retailing products with its branding although they were being produced by some other company.
The case dating November 2012 was registered after samples of Patanjali honey, salt, mustard oil, jam etc taken for sampling slipped quality tests.