India's advertising regulator Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has rapped Patanjali Ayurved among several consumer brands such as Arvind Lifestyle and Cinthol for misleading messages in their advertising.
In a statement, ASCI said Patanjali's claim in the advertisement of its energy bar, "Chocolate ki bhuri aadat se chutkara payein," was not substantiated and is misleading. It also said the claim "unfairly denigrated the entire class and category of chocolates." A Patanjali Ayurved spokesperson has reportedly responded to the allegations saying "ASCI is an unconstitutional body. It has no authority to question us... its actions are nothing but a collective conspiracy by some multi-national companies."
ASCI's Consumer Complaint Council also said it has upheld complaints against 98 out of 159 advertisements as of June. Other products rapped by ASCI include:
Patanjali Ayurved's Patanjali Juices: ASCI said its advertisement's claim, "Will you still drink expensive fruit juices with less fruit pulp or drink cheaper Patanjali fruit juices with more fruit pulp for good health and more saving," was not substantiated and was "grossly misleading."
Patanjali Ayurved's Dant Kanti: The regulator said the company's advertising of its flagship toothpaste 'Dant Kanti' was "misleading by exaggeration" in its claim that stated, "foreign companies made fun of our natural tooth cleaning sources like Datun, Charcoal, Neem, Haldi and Salt. For years they kept playing with our dental health by selling their chemical rich toothpastes. These renowned brands are now emotionally black-mailing people with benefits of Neem, Haldi and Salt...." It also said the claim was unsubstantiated.
Godrej's Cinthol Deo Stick: ASCI said the deo stick advertisement's claim,"3X longer" was unsubstantiated and "misleading by ambiguity and exaggeration" as the product has been tested against only two marketed products, which did not represent the major market leaders or players or all the deodorant product formats.
Arvind Lifestyle Brands' "Flying Machine": The regulator rapped the denim maker for its "Kiss my Ass!" line for its denim ads for objectifiying women. "It is likely to cause grave and widespread offence," the ASCI said. In addition, the outdoor ad with a headline "What an Ass!" read in conjunction with "the visual of a woman presented in a specific posture objectifies women."
Kent RO Systems' Kent Superb Water Purifiers: ASCI alleges the advertisement of Kent Superb, the claim, "World's 1st" Smart RO Water Purifier is false and not substantiated.
Amar Ujala Publications: The newspaper's claim in the headline, "Uttar Pradesh ka No.1 Akhbaar", is not substantiated and is misleading by ambiguity and implication," ASCI said.