Apple showing ‘iPhone 7’ as ‘iPhone 7 plus variant’ is among 143 advertisements dubbed as misleading by regulator ASCI, which also pulled up Coca-Cola India, Bharti Airtel and others for such campaigns.
Mobikwik, HUL, Nivea, Amul, Opera, Standard Chartered Bank and Pernod Ricard are among the companies against which a total of 191 complaints were received by Customer Complaints Council (CCC) of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) for January.
ASCI upheld a total of 102 complaints in healthcare category, 20 in education, seven in personal care, six in food and beverages and eight advertisements from other categories. According to ASCI, Apple India was found using a wrong image in its advertisement for iPhone 7.
‘The advertisement text states ‘The amazing iPhone 7 is here’, but shows an image of iPhone 7 Plus variant, which is misleading by ambiguity and implication,” said ASCI.
The sector watchdog said although the advertisement had the Apple trademark with ‘iPhone7’ but said it didn’t have any reference to ‘series’ in the advertisement text. ‘In absence of any visual of iPhone 7 variant, it was concluded that the advertisement is likely to mislead the consumers about the product advertised and its corresponding features,’ it said.
Comments from Apple could not be obtained.
When contacted, a Coca-Cola India spokesperson said, ‘On receiving feedback, we have on-boarded suggestions from ASCI and modified the TV commercial (TVC). The revised TVC has been updated on air and on digital media.’
Similarly, it has also pulled FMCG major HUL for its advertisement of Rin Antibac, where it had claimed that the detergent powder with Ayurvedic extracts removes germs.
However, ASCI said the claim was not substantiated and is misleading by implication and exaggeration as the advertised product does not have the property to provide germ protection in wear conditions.
Commenting on the matter, an HUL Company spokesperson said, ‘We, as a responsible marketer and member of ASCI, have always complied with its guidelines and recommendations. We have suitably modified the said advertisement as per their recommendation.’
The regulator also upheld three complaints against leading telecom operator Bharti Airtel for misleading claims for free Calls Local + STD and a free upgrade for Airtel-V Fiber. However, when contacted Airtel declined to comment.