Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved plans legal action against ad watchdog ASCI


New Delhi: Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved will file a defamation case against Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) after it pulled up the company for various misleading ads, which has issued 27 notices this year to the company for what it calls violation of advertising code of conduct.

Addressing reporters on Saturday, Baba Ramdev said, “We have done nothing wrong. Patanjali Ayurved’s ads are not obscene or misleading. We will be writing to the government on this issue. We will also file a defamation case against ASCI for maligning Patanjali Ayurved.”

He said that ASCI , which has sent 27 notices to Patanjali Ayurved on its ads, is not a statutory body and is a self-regulatory body that can only advise its members. ASCI’s Consumer Complaint Council (CCC) has in the past, upheld various complaints made against Patanjali Ayurved for misleading ads, making factually incorrect or unsubstantiated claims for products such as Dant Kanti and Kachi Ghani Mustard Oil.

The matter was also raised in the Lok Sabha recently. In a written reply, the government said that 17 ads out of 21 ads complained against were considered to be in violation of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) Code for Self Regulation of ads.

“We want to ask them what they have been doing about claims made by international companies for products like fairness creams ….. All we have said is that Dant Kanti is effective… They have in fact now written to us to become their member,” Ramdev added.

Meanwhile, Patanjali Ayurved said it is investing in setting up manufacturing units in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. The company recently got land from the state governments of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.

“We are hoping that 2-3 of these manufacturing units will begin operations in this fiscal year,” he added. The company is also planning to foray in the dairy segment and will begin making these products in Maharashtra. Earlier this year, Patanjali Ayurved said it had touched revenues of about 5,000 crore in 2015-16.

Baba Ramdev said that Dant Kanti has now also received accreditation by the Dentists Association of India (DAI). In a press statement, DAI claimed to have found Dant Kanti ,“most effective in antimicrobial action, reduction of dental plaque and on gingival inflammation signs and symptoms.”

The association claimed this was after it had, “got a comparative study done on popular brands like Colgate Total, Pepsodent G, Dant Kanti and Dabur Meswak.”

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