Ahmedabad, 10 December 2020
Some brands continue to make misleading claims such as “boosting immunity” and “eradicating bacteria and viruses” in their product advertisements to influence purchase decisions of consumers vulnerability during the pandemic.
The television commercial of Blue Star Alkaline Water Purifiers says in its voiceover: “Alkaline water is known to boost immunity. Introducing Blue Star Alkaline Water Purifiers with Immuno Boost Technology. Drink Alkaline water. Stay healthy. Stay Safe. Blue Star – the experts in alkaline water.”
CERC lodged a complaint against the advt. It felt the misleading claims may prompt people to buy the purifier thinking it would protect them from Covid-19. Based on advertiser’s response, Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) upheld complaint and found the advt claims to be misleading. It made the following observations:
• The claim “Alkaline water is known to boost immunity” is inadequately substantiated and misleading by exaggeration, as the advertiser did not submit any studies showing a boost in immunity in humans. Moreover, no study has demonstrated any boost in immunity by use of the appliance.
• While “Immono Boost” is a registered trademark, advertisers should be prevented from using such trademarks which may cause a misunderstanding among consumers that they are an official endorsement of the claim. The TVC does not show the TM symbol but just the words “Immuno Boost Technology” which is misleading by implication and omission.
• The claim: “Drink Alkaline water. Stay healthy. Stay Safe” is misleading as no evidence was submitted to show the long-term safety of the processed water.
• In view of all the unsubstantiated claims as above, the claim: “Blue Star – the experts in alkaline water” is also found misleading by exaggeration.
ASCI said the claims are likely to cause grave and widespread disappointment in the minds of the consumers. The advertiser has been asked to modify the advt or withdraw it by 11 December 2020.
Earlier, in 2018, had complained against an advt of Blue Star Water Purifier making similar claims, which was also found to be misleading by ASCI. In view of this, has written to the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA), newly established under the Consumer Protection Act 2019, urging it to take strict action in this matter.
In another instant, has also complained about another similar misleading advt. of Cuckoo Water Healthifiers. The advt claimed that the product “uses nano-filtration and a five-step advanced purification process to enrich the water with minerals, increases the alkaline level and eradicates 99.9% bacteria and viruses to make it the healthiest and the purest form of water for human consumption”. ASCI upheld all objections and found the advertisement claims to be misleading by ambiguity.
For further information please contact:
Ms Anusha Iyer (O) 079-27489945/46 (M) +91 9825005612