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Akshay Kumar, Dabur India immunity boosting ‘Chyawanprash’ ad massively trolled after actor tests COVID positive


New Delhi: Superstar Akshay Kumar was on Monday (April 5) admitted to a city hospital as a precautionary measure a day after testing positive for the novel coronavirus.

However, he and Dabur have lately been trolled massively on the social media for endorsing Dabur India’s immunity boosting product ‘Chyawanprash’ for protection against COVID-19.

As soon as the news of his COVID positive and subsequent hospitalization came out- the brand had to remove its ad from TV because the ad and Chyawanprash were both being trolled on social media. After Akshay Kumar’s COVID-19 positive reports Advertising Council of India (ASCI) has taken cognisance and hasasked Dabur to reply to the claim shown in this advertisement. The company’s response is dependent on the complaint process.

This is not the first time when a celebrity or a brand has been trolled on social media for similar gaffe. A few months ago, one such cooking oil brand was also massively trolled. Sourav Ganguly was selling an oil as “good for heart health”, but when he himself suffered a heart attack, fans started massively trolling Ganguly and Fortune Rice Bran Oil, which later had to be removed from TV commercials. In the second ad, Ganguly was seen saying that he may have suffered a heart attack due to family history and he used the oil to adopt healthy lifestyle.

As per Advertising Guru Prahlad Kakkar, people are getting infected from COVID even after getting vaccinated, hence tall claims of brands for offering protection or immunity against COVID does not stand a chance. And since these ads are mere claims are a guarantee offered by the brands, legal action or any concrete action against the brands can not be taken. Legal action is made on such brands can only be initiated when they offer some kind of guarantee on the product. When the companies say that their add is 99.99% correct, such percentage also amounts to claims and not guarantee. However, if the research behind the claim is false, a case can be made in the consumer court.

It may be noted that advertisers who make false claims, Central Consumer Protection Authority, can impose a fine of Rs 10 lakh and jail for two years.

It is also worth noting that during the COVID pandemic, the TV and social media ads are flooded with products that claim immunity or protection from Coronavirus — be it Chyawanprash or any anti-COVID shirt, cloth or mattress. Such false claims only mislead the public.

Advertising Council of India has said that lately there has been a surge in misleading ads during the COVID pandemic. Several products had to change packaging and labeling after complains were being filed.

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