Skip to main content

Advertising of Beauty Products in India


I was browsing the net yesterday when I came across this document that tabulated the false claims in advertising between the months of April to September 2008 by the Consumer Court in India.

As I scrolled through the document I  was shocked to read how our Indian beauty industry was making unsubstantiated claims. Just within that one document there were 6 complaints.


Below are some of the products & the complaints against them: 


1. VLCC Shape Up Anti-Cellulite Gel & Oil
Claim: “Reduces flab & firms skin. Beautiful arms & legs in just 14 days”, needs to be substantiated with details of tests/trials reports from an independent recognised testing institution.

Verdict: Claim not substantiated. Ad campaign concluded in July 08.


2. Olay Total Effects
Claim, “India’s best Anti-Ageing Cream”, is completely unsubstantiated and unqualified and is a mere attempt to mislead the consumers.


Verdict: Claim not substantiated adequately. TVC withdrawn.

3. Fair & Lovely Multivitamin fairness cream

Ad claims, “Fair & Lovely Duniya Ki No.1 fairness cream”. Super refers to “Based on volume sales in key skin lightening markets, as per AC Nielsen retail panel”. This contradicts the claim of “world’s no.1” position since the data is restricted only to a select key skin lightening markets and not to the entire markets world wide.
Claim, “Fair & Lovely hai anya international creams se behtar”, is misleading as it conveys to the consumers that Fair & Lovely is better than all the other competing brands in the market.
Claim, “Aur consumers ne ise chuna 100 mein se 99 baar”, is ambiguous, confusing and in fact misleading. This leads to an impression that the consumer was given a variety of creams to choose from and out of which he opted for Fair & Lovely.

Verdict: Claims were misleading. Advertiser informed that the TVC has been off air since 1st August 2008, well before receiving the ASCI letter (decision of the CCC).

4.Ponds Flawless White

Claim, “only the Ponds Flawless White cream can make your skin flawless white within 7 days of usage”, is highly exaggerated and unsubstantiated and has the potential of misleading the gullible consumers.


Verdict: Claim is misleading by exaggeration. TV campaign discontinued since 30th April 08. Advertiser assured appropriate modification of the Ad


5. Pond’s Age Miracle Cream

TVC starts with a question – “Can your cream do this in just 7 days? Take up Pond’s Age Miracle 7 days challenge. If in 7 days you don’t start looking young, then you will get your money back”. 
 Print Ad states - “Pond’s Age Miracle cream does what no other anti-ageing cream can. It reduces age spots and brings about a visible change in wrinkles in just 7 days.* And that’s a challenge. If it doesn’t work, you get your money back”. It is clear that the claim made in the TVC and in print Ad, is supported by a clinical test carried out on an “untreated skin” i.e. on consumers who were not using any cream.
Therefore, even assuming without admitting that the said tests/results are relevant, the mere fact of the advertiser targeting the consumer with a questionCan your cream do this?” assumes consumers currently using some other cream.

Verdict: The claim is false and misleading the consumers and is directly denigrating and discrediting the efficacy of the similar products available in the market place.

Claim was not supported by a comparative data with other leading creams, and was not substantiated.
Advertiser informed that the Ad was aired from 1st September 2007 to 23rd December 2007, and the same is no longer on air.

No public apology or intimation was made to the public by any of these companies post action by the consumer court. Most adverts were just quietly withdrawn. The consumer however is none the wiser.  The consumer still believes these claims. 

While there is no denying that some of these may be very excellent products, which really do work. But there also is a limit to exaggeration and false claims. Selling products that are not backed by research for safety & efficacy is a gross violation by the company of consumer trust who spend their hard earned money on these products. 


And because of the sky high claims, the consumer is set up for disappointment. I remember when I got a very bad case of sun-burn & had turned to Garnier Light to reduce the tan. As they claimed, I expected two shades lighter within a week. Nothing of the sort happened. Frustrated at the 'non-performance' the cream was dumped & it still lies somewhere in a corner of my cosmetic pile. 


Have you had similar experinces? Do share them here with other readers..










 




Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Comments

  1. Hi Tanveer, thanks for leaving such nice comments on my blog :)
    This is a very interesting post btw. It led me to wonder if the Consumer Court raises these issues with other consumer products like detergents and Maggi(which doesn't really cook in 2 mins!)
    But that's advertising, misleading or not. It's up to us to decide whether to 'buy' it or not.
    Anyways, I personally think VLCC products n services are crap and totally overpriced. As for the others, well..what can I say? They're lying on my dresser :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey CZ,

    Yr blog is quite nice :). I enjoyed reading it & commenting on the posts..

    The consumer court does deal with issues on all sorts of products. If you're interested visit http://www.ascionline.org/ for more info..

    I have never tried anything from VLCC save their rose water. Which was really so-so.

    I too am an avid user of Ponds. & while these products per-se are quite good, my basic rant is against over-promising & false claims.

    ReplyDelete
  3. There are sooo many that I've tried for acne and are lying half full on the shelves....I have almost given up the institution of using creams...nothing they say is ever true...

    ReplyDelete
  4. well , I thinks its very common over here .. every product .. from cooking oils to soaps .. every damn brand .. big or small indulge in false advertising ..
    totally agree with Cynthia that at the end of the day .. WE have to decide what's worth our money and whats not !!

    ReplyDelete
  5. @Simran: Have the same problem as you. Tons of ineffective stuff tht i don't know wht to do with

    @Palak: Yup. I agree too. Hobson's choice really..

    ReplyDelete
  6. tanveer, i dont think these ads have been withdrawn because i continue to see them all over the place, still making those claims!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Hey! Thank you for taking the time out to add your valuable comment. I will revert as soon as possible.

COMMENT MODERATION POLICY FOR ADDICTED TO BLUSH BLOG

I delete blatant self-promotion and comments where it is clear the post material was not carefully read. If you are not going to bother to engage with the post, I am not going to bother posting your comment.

I also delete ALL comments with links - even if the link is to your blog.

Don't be mean to other commentators - it serves no purpose other than showcase your own personality in a bad light.

Popular posts from this blog

Reetha, Amla & Shikakai Home Made Shampoo - Weekend Experiment

Good Morning Lovelies, I hope your weekend was fun. Mines was, well, ho-hum, but anyways, we are not talking about that here (let’s save that cribbing for twitter).
I have been suffering from quite a bit of hair fall since some time. I have tried changing products to using intensive conditioning and the works. It stops the hair fall for while, but then it rears its ugly head again.
So on lark, & for lack of better things to do, my best friend & I decided to make some Reetha – Amla – Shikakai shampoo at home. This century old ayurvedic herbal concoction is reputed to not only strengthen hair, but also darken it and stop hair fall.
I got the 3 biggies from a local kirana store. All 3 are priced at 15 Rs for 100gms.

How to: Soak 5 pieces of Shikakai, 4 balls of Reetha  (Soapnut) & handful of Amla (Indian Gooseberry)  in about 500 ml of water overnight. In the morning, heat the mixture on gas till it just starts to boil. Let it cool, when lukewarm mash all the amla, reetha and…

Skin Care Myth: Sunscreen will stop you from Tanning

Image via Wikipedia I know I did a recent article on skin care myths (read it here), but I don't know how I forgot to mention this particular myth. In any case I think this warranted a post on its own.

Myth: If I use a suncreen regularly and religiously, I will not tan. 

Fact: This is a very simplistic statement. But before I bust this myth, kindly bear through a science lecture. This is to bring all readers of all backgrounds on the same knowledge level.



Lets define sunscreen (from Wikipedia):Sunscreen (also commonly known as sunblock or sun cream) is a lotion, spray, gel or other topical product that absorbs or reflects "some" of the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation on the skin exposed to sunlight and thus helps protect against sunburn. Sunscreen helps protect only against direct DNA damage as it cannot dissipate UV as harmless heat.

The SPF of a sunscreen is a laboratory measure of the effectiveness of sunscreen — the higher the SPF, the more protection a sunscreen …

I made "Washed Ghee" at home and it turned out great!

Yesterday I posted about the importance of fat in our diet. While doing research for the same I came across the recipe for "Washed Ghee" or Shata Dhaut Ghrita (100 times washed ghee).

After I read about this miracle at home cream, it was inevitable that I would try to create this cream myself. All I needed apparently was some cow ghee & water.

So I made it last evening. And here is how it went.


For those readers who haven't read the earlier post: Hundred times washed ghee is prepared from organic cow milk ghee by washing it in purified water, repeatedly, 100 times in a copper vessel, using a specific prescribed method while chanting some mantras

This procedure transforms the ghee into a soft, cooling, nourishing, silky unguent that is used as a traditional moisturizer and anti wrinkle skin cream. It produces radiant and glowing skin, especially for people with easily inflamed skin. It can be used as a daily face and body moisturizer or for facial massage. Apply it for…