In June 2015, ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints in 22 advertisements in the Education category relating to misleading advertisements in nature of Ranking / Award / Placement Claim / Success Claim in Competitive Examinations. The CCC found that claims in the advertisements by 23 advertisers were not substantiated and, thus, violated ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions.
ASCI has banned misleading Ads by following Educational Institutions:
- Amity University: The advertisement claims, “Amity University ranked among the Top Universities in Asia by QS, a leading ranking organization”, was not substantiated.
- The Sagar School: The advertisement’s claim “International School Award 2014-2017”, is false, and is misleading by omission. Also, the advertisement does not fulfil the criteria laid down by the British Council for making such claims in the advertisement such as size of the logo, placement of the logo etc.
3. BYJU’s Classes: The advertisement claims, “Announcing excellent success ratio in our first IIT batch with 161 of 212 students clearing JEE Mains” and “Get classes from India’s best teachers”, were not substantiated with data. In addition, the claim “Bangalore’s Biggest Scholarship Test for 7th to 12th Class students”, was not substantiated with comparative data.
- Amity University: The advertisement’S claim, “Distance Learning Programmes ranked #18 worldwide by QS”, was not substantiated.
- CLAT Possible: The claims, “Rank 1 in CLAT & AILET. 30/71 selections in NLU. CLAT UP Rank 1 & 2” and “Rank 1 in CLAT & AILET. More than 18 students in top 60 ranks in CLAT. 30 out of 71 students selected in first list”, were not substantiated.
- Career Launcher: The claims in the advertisement state, “3 OUT OF 5 TOPPERS IN CLAT 2015 ARE CLSTians, 7 State Toppers & Counting”, were not substantiated.
- Career Launcher: The advertisement claims, “CLAT CL Nagpur Students Create History! Swarnima Mukharjee AIR 204, Shrinkhala Shikhar AIR 606, Shivani Dixit AIR 561, Darshan Gandhi AIR 1472”. These claims were not substantiated.
- Career Launcher: The claim in the advertisement, “10/10 top Ranks in MNLUAT (NLU, Mumbai) are LSTians”, was not substantiated.
- Green Valley High School: The claims, “17 Acre Lush Green Campus” and “20 students per class”, were not substantiated.
- Institute of Finance Banking and Insurance: The advertisement claims, “Become a Senior Officer in a Bank in just 6 Months” is misleading and was not substantiated with support data. They further claim, “Over 17,500 placed in the I.C.I.C.I bank” and “32,500 Placements since inception in September 2006”, were inadequately substantiated.
- Koneru Lakshmaiah Education: The claims, “The Leader in Placements”, “K.I.U Awarded Best Engineering Institute in Asia”, “918 Placements in a single day! from a single Campus”, “KLU created history with 65% Placements on Day One (2014-2015)”, “K.I.U. University Awarded at National Level- – AAAA+ – Careers 360 – 2nd – Digital Mailer – 5th- Silicon India – 6th- Dainik Bhaskar – 8th – The Pioneer”, were not substantiated.
- DPSG Dehradun: The claims, “DPSG – The Best CBSE Day Schools of India Now in Dehradun”, “DPS Ghaziabad ranked No.8 in the country”, were not substantiated.
Complaints were also upheld against following educational institutes because of unsubstantiated claims that they ‘provide 100% placement/ AND/ OR they claim to be the No.1 in their respective fields’: Koneru Lakshmaiah Education Foundation (KL University), KLU University, Aishwarya Educational Trust (Audisankara Group of Institute), ANIHM Institute of Hotel Management, Nalanda Education Society, Academy of Commerce, The Institute of Education and Management, RojgarMahiti Kendra, Sun Infotech and JK Group of Institute.
The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) was established in 1985. One of the important functions of ASCI to ensure the protection of the interests of consumers in various categories. ASCI has therefore laid down guidelines with a view to achieve the acceptance of fair advertising practices in the best interests of the ultimate consumer.
UCG has made appropriate provisions against misleading advertisements under UGC [Grievance Redressal] Regulations, 2012 and has also provided for strict punitive actions, if the advertisements by educational institutions are found to be misleading which includes withdrawal of grants, withdrawal of status of University or affiliation status with the University.
Advertisements surprisingly have become one of most important medium to attract students recently amongst educational institutions. A career has lot of emotions attached to it. Parents make great personal sacrifices to enable their children to get the right education. Advertisements play a big role in deciding an Institution and it is required that it should be a responsible step devoid of inducements and falsehoods.
But my issue is, what next, what is the action that will be taken against these educational institutions, who have indulged in misleading publications and advertisements and what about the students who found themselves on the wrong side relying upon the advertisements.
The Argument can continue!
Ravi Bhardwaj | firstname.lastname@example.org | + 91 9225518255