Misleading advertisements and their effects.
After a critical evaluation of 290 complaints received in a month, The consumer complaints council had confirmed a total of 193 advertisements misleading. Out of the total advertisements, an eighty percent hailed from the healthcare sector, a nine percent were in regard to the education sector and a five percent covered the other sectors.
One of the complaints were regarding the OOH advertisements aired for Hindustan Unilever’s Lifebuoy Soap, that gives a message that doctors recommend the product. These kinds of ads with an absence of data obtained from market research stands debatable and invalid. Himalaya drug company’s ad presents a similar scenario declaring its baby care product to be the best and the safest, that gives an impression that their rival’s product isn’t up to the mark.
Too Yumm brand’s advertisement has been found to violate the ASCI regulations. The ad stimulates the increased use of the food item, which has a high content of calories and sodium. The Ola cab advertisement has also been held up for mentioning a charge for a certain distance without the inclusion of the ‘ terms and conditions’ phrase. Another similar case of violation is the Vodafone advertisement for providing unlimited calls for a certain rate has been found misleading as the same offer is subjected to limitations.
These ads ought to be banned because they literally force customers into taking up wrong decisions. If these ads are all exaggerated facts, this in fact, would make the consumers suffer. These companies in regard to profit being the main objective omit important terms and conditions and disguise the extra costs involved in purchasing that particular product. It is not just about making wrong decisions but in some conditions, these products projected in ads might also have some kind of health risk if used more. In the long run, it would also affect the firms. If the consumers feel they are being cheated, this would do a lot to the goodwill and reputation of the firm and the brand loyalty would be intensely affected. The customers would, in fact, shout at the employees making things worse for these people who stay sandwiched between the firm and its consumers.
Impact of misleading advertisements –
These advertisements also affect the competitors. If there is a healthy competition amidst the rivals, these would enable them to come up with innovated products and better services. But, if all that they do is projecting false advertisements to just sell their products, it would certainly create an atmosphere of unhealthy competition. These misleading advertisements create a psychological simulation for children to purchase a certain product. These would change the consumer purchase trends, creating a false hype. These increased complaints regarding advertisements would further make the consumers avoid these ads and change their choice of media.