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Fooling the fools by advertisements

31,July, 2016

This syrup will protect your liver from the ill- effects of alcohol (many have died of liver cirrhosis while continuing with the same medication). This car is as fast as the wind (speed of wind not mentioned). The only pure cow ghee in the country (where cow milk is hardly available). The cream which will make you white in three months (nobody complains because of the stigma attached to the user). The herbal drink which will protract aging (not proven). Tea that will certainly slim you down; the same tea is prescribed to gain weight. The only toothpaste which will guard your teeth (no guarantee for shrinking gum). The capsule which will make you behave like a man ( meaning you normally behave like a female). Have this drink and you will live as long as you can (that means you will have a natural death).

There are hundreds of misleading advertisements keep on flashing in the print as well as electronic media including the web-net. People buy all the products available in the market. They are crazier about the new products and new names.

General public is often misled by the advertisements of the products. If a particular product is advertised by a renowned actor or famous actress the product is sold like anything. If a particular soap is promoted by a beautiful lady, all the girls start buying and using the same soap even if their skin develops cracks. If a super-star says, use this oil for cooling your head we feel like using the same. But nobody bothers about the content of excessive camphor in that product. The karak chai ( strong tea) launched by a tabla player may convince you to buy the product ignoring the extra-ordinary caffeine content (carcinogenic too).

The concerned authorities receive complaints about misleading advertisements of various products. Many of the products are found violating of advertisement code. But the actions are hardly taken. The department of Consumer Affairs must be receiving hundreds of complaints particularly the products relating to food, drinks, beauty- care, health- care, body- care, organ- care etc. If we strictly go by the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) code most the product advertisements shall flunk the test. There is also a norm for self regulation, but no one adheres to.

A portal called GAMA (grievance against misleading advertisements) is set up by the Department of Consumer Affairs.

The complaints received through this portal will be handled by the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI). Action must be taken up against those advertisers who do not follow the guidelines and regulations .The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) can punish the rule /law violators.

One of my close friends (consumers lawyer) suggested to start a business for organic foods. He told me that there is hardly any lab or institute to check the purity and genuineness of your products; and he further added that there are many rich people who are ready to spend unlimited money on organic foods. In fact now-a-days organic foods are sold like hot cakes. These organic vegetables, grains and cereals sold in the market are not pre-tested or verified. They are pretty costly but rich customers happily purchase them. I was seriously thinking of selling organic vegetables (fake), finally I decided not to do so, because I really don’t want to bluff the common men.

Again we have the issue of surrogate advertisements. I do believe that these ads are for regular customers; they simply remind their regular users or drinkers or smokers. For a novice it is difficult to comprehend. For instance the ad is on soda with a same name of a liquor brand; the ad shows two gentlemen sipping soda and enjoying (surrogate of the liquor). In such a situation it is difficult to catch the violator. They often take the refuge of the general rules/laws.

When we were in college one of our colleagues used to take a tablet every day for gaining height. Instead of becoming taller his organs became longer including his fingers toes etc. I told him to go to consumer court and claim compensation. He replied, ‘I am happy with the results’. On the contrary he suggested me to start taking the medicine. I flatly rejected his advice.

With some topsy-turvy ads let us conclude. “The only pure milk you can have” (as if other milk in the market are not pure). “Grow hair wherever you want” (which part not clear). I really don’t understand why ladies are always involved in the advertisements of Men’s under wares? It is a bizarre blue-pill ad, “you will never kowtow even in front of the Queen”.

Categories: NEWS
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