Online shopping

Online purchases of Sensodyne and Naaptol hit by consumer protection regulator for misleading ads CCPA orders gagging of misleading ads

New Delhi: In a bid to crack down on false or misleading advertising in India, the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has asked GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Consumer Healthcare Ltd, product makers Sensodyne and Naaptol Online Shopping Ltd to halt the advertisements because they flout the rules.

The CCPA also fined Naaptol Rs 10 lakh for unfair business practices, news agency PTI reported.

Reason behind GSK order

The CCPA issued the order against GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Consumer Healthcare Ltd on January 27, taking cognizance suo motu of the case, according to the PTI report.

The authority called on GSK to halt all ads for Sensodyne products in the country within seven days of the order being issued, saying the ads flouted standards because they showed dentists practicing outside the country. India endorsing products.

Stating that the regulations governing dentists in India clearly prohibit public endorsement of any product or drug, the CCPA said GSK Consumer Healthcare “cannot be allowed to circumvent the law in force in India and show foreign dentists that they exploit consumer apprehension about tooth sensitivity.”

“Therefore, advertising of Sensodyne products in India which shows endorsements by dentists practicing outside India is deemed to be ‘misleading advertising’ within the meaning of Section 2(28) of the Health Act 2019. consumer protection,” the order reads.

The CCPA also ordered the Chief Executive (Investigation) to submit a report within 15 days on various allegations – “recommended by dentists worldwide”, “the world’s #1 sensitivity toothpaste”, “clinically proven relief, works in 60 seconds” etc. – and the documents presented by the company in support of these claims.

“We acknowledge receipt of the CCPA order. While we review this in detail, we would like to make it clear that our marketing initiatives comply with applicable laws and industry guidelines. We are a responsible and compliant company committed to the well-being of our consumers,” the GSK Consumer Healthcare spokesperson said in a statement, according to PTI.

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Order against Naaptol

The CCPA also issued an order against Naaptol Online Shopping Ltd for misleading advertisements and unfair business practices and ordered it to pay a fine of Rs 10 lakh.

The consumer protection regulator issued the order against Naaptol on February 2 this year, the Consumer Affairs Department said in a statement on Wednesday.

Picking up on another suo motu case, the CCPA issued an order against Naaptol Online Shopping Ltd asking the company to stop misleading advertisements of “Set of 2 Gold Jewelry”, “Magnetic Knee Support” and “Acupressure Yoga Slippers”.

The CCPA has imposed a fine of Rs 10 lakh on Naaptol, saying its misleading advertisements have had a huge impact on many consumers as the company runs a 24X7 channel and broadcasts daily across the country in different languages.

Naaptol was asked to clearly state in episodes featuring products for sale to consumers that it is a recorded episode and does not show the live status of production inventory, the order said. .

Asking to stop immediately, the CCA pointed the finger at its practices which create an “artificial scarcity” of products, including the featured product only available today if it will also be on sale within the next 30 days.

He noted that the company must clearly display on its channel or platform airing a promotion that it is a pre-recorded episode.

The CCPA also ordered Naaptol to remedy complaints filed between May 2021 and January 2022 and submit a report within 15 days.

Data from the National Consumer Helpline indicates that 399 complaints were registered against Naaptol from June 2021 to January 25 this year, he added.

(With PTI inputs)