Advertising sector watchdog ASCI has rapped Patanjali Ayurved for "false and misleading" claims in its various advertisements, including for its hair oil and washing powder brands.
The watchdog has ruled that the advertisements of the group associated with Yoga Guru Ramdev "unfairly denigrates" other products in the market.
The Customer Complaints Council (CCC) of Advertising Standard Council of India (ASCI) has also upheld complaints against advertisements by Johnson & Johnson, Amazon and ITC, among other companies.
In March, the CCC received 156 complaints, out of which it upheld as many as 90 complaints, terming them as "false and misleading". The upheld complaints included 32 in the education category, 30 in the healthcare and personal care category, and further 10 in the food and beverages category.
The CCC found Patanjali's advertisement claim for its product Patanjali Kesh Kanti Natural Hair Cleanser and Oil that "mineral oil is carcinogenic in nature and may cause cancer" was false and misleading by ambiguity and by gross exaggeration.
It also upheld complaints against Patanjali Ayurved's Patanjali Kachi Ghani Mustard Oil.
"The advertisement's claims 'Other than Kacchi Ghani process most of the other edible refined oils and mustard oil are made using neurotoxin Hexagon solvent extraction process. To make profits at the cost of consumers' health many companies mix cheap palm oil in mustard oil", were not substantiated and the claims were misleading," it said.
"The statement also unfairly denigrates other oils/ mustard oil," the advertising watchdog added.
The advertising watchdog also upheld complaint against Patanjali Ayurved's Patanjali Herbal Washing Powder, Cake and Dishwash Bar.
Johnson & Johnson Ltd advertisement's claim on Benadryl DR was pulled up. CCC ruled that the claim "sookhi khansi ko dobara aane se roke (meaning - stops dry cough from reoccurring') is an absolute claim and was not substantiated...The claim is misleading by exaggeration".
FMCG firm ITC was pulled for its advertisement on Aashirvaad Multigrain Atta.
"The advertisement's claim 'India's No 1 Atta' is misleading by ambiguity as the claim support was for the mother brand Aashirvaad whereas the advertised product was only one variant i.E. Aashirvaad Atta with Multigrains. Also, the disclaimer was not as per Nielsen criteria," it said.
Complaint against Kalyan Jewellers was upheld for making 'substantiated claim and misleading by exaggeration" that "Kalyan Jewellers is the biggest jewellery showroom in the world."
When contacted, a Patanjali Ayurved spokesperson said the company will follow ASCI's guidelines although it was yet to receive the advertising watchdog's order.
"We have given our replies when ASCI had asked for clarifications. We will look into the details of these communications as and when we get it and we will follow the guidelines," he said