Naaptol was ordered to pay Rs.10 lakh for “misleading” claims being made and Sensodyne failed to disclose a research to back up its contentions. As a blow to both these businesses, the government told private TV channels to stop airing misleading Naaptol & Sensodyne ads.
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The Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) has ordered that all private television channels in India halt televising “misleading” adverts by Naaptol Shopping Online Pvt Ltd and GlaxoSmithKline-owned toothpaste label Sensodyne.
In doing just that, the ministry has decided to seek conformance with a February order issued by the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) requiring Naaptol — which operates teleshopping and online purchasing portals — and Sensodyne to stop running advertisements that spread false assertions about their product lines.
In a notice released on Tuesday, the I&B ministry stated that “non-compliance with CCPA orders is a violation… of the Advertising Code under Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 and Rules 1994.”
The Consumer Protection Act of 2019 established the CCPA as a statutory authority of the Department of Consumer Affairs. Its mission is to “promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers.” It was established in 2020, during the tenure of the late Ram Vilas Paswan as Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.
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The body, led by Nidhi Khare, Additional Secretary in the Consumer Affairs Ministry, recognizes false advertising by businesses as well as any unfounded details on goods sold to the public. It is also in charge of retaining record of violations of consumer rights and inequitable trade procedures.
“Both companies were given an opportunity to be heard and we still did not receive any data from them that would substantiate their claims. Naaptol has complied with the order and paid their fine also, but Sensodyne has appealed against the order,” Khare told media.
When contacted, a GlaxoSmithKline delegate stated, “The matter is subjudice. We are a responsible and compliant company, committed to the welfare of our consumers and our products conform to the highest quality standards.”
The CCPA ended up taking suo motu consciousness of Sensodyne advertisements on numerous platforms, including television, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, in February, and issued an order to cease its “misleading” advertisements.
The body imposed a Rs 10 lakh fine on the company in March. It also instructed the removal of Sensodyne adverts that end up making assertions like “recommended by dentists worldwide” and “world’s no.1 sensitivity toothpaste” inside of seven days. The advertisements supposedly showed UK dentists lauding Sensodyne toothpaste for individuals with sensitive teeth.
According to CCPA authorities, such steps were taken since Sensodyne failed to disclose a research to back up its contentions.
In the meantime, in February, Naaptol was ordered to pay Rs 10 lakh for “misleading” claims being made while attempting to sell its merchandise.