Rebecca Samervel


Consumer rights experts recently came together to explain how advertisements–from health drinks to innerwear to fairness lotions and creams–fool you and how you can sue them under the Consumer Protection Act.Elaborating on the damaging effects of misleading advertisements, M S Kamath of the Consumer Guidance Society of India said, “Right from undergarment advertisements where the model is shown as a person with superhuman powers to nutrient supplements for children which claim to make them taller, one can take on manufacturers for making such unreal claims.“

He pointed out that fairness creams, which formed the biggest share of such controversial advertisements, have social implications as they propagated the idea of promoting fair skin to achieve success. “Fairness cream advertisements make several claims on how one can fetch highpaying jobs and luck in even matrimony . They mislead consumers by telling them that without using their products one cannot get a good job or a suitable life partner.Consumers need to take them on,“ Kamath prodded.

He claimed that in surveys conducted by the organization at least 60% of women respondents had used such creams and 16% even admitted that it had reacted badly on their skin.

Kamath suggested that there should be a regulatory agency to control and restrict such misleading advertisements.

Referring to another beauty product shampoos, Kamath said that the product does nothing but clean one’s hair and scalp. He said that claims that shampoos contain various nuts or oils are nothing but hype to mislead consumers suffering from various hair-related issues. “Certain shampoos even claim to give you the dual benefit of a champi and a hair wash, while another claims to combat all hair troubles with one product. A buyer needs to be more cautious of such tall and unreal claims,“ he said.