India’s biggest brand has been fined Rs 1.9 crore by the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) for bad customer services and misleading advertisements.
Paints brushes cleaners have been the subject of criticism over their poor customer service, which has led to many complaints from customers and a spate of scams.
In April, India’s Consumer Affairs Minister Virendra Sharma said the regulator has received a complaint from an individual who had complained about the brushes cleaners.
“We have received a letter from an aggrieved customer who has raised the issue of the quality of the brushes brushes cleaners, especially the paint brush cleaners, as the brand has a history, in particular the brand name, of being in the business of selling brushes cleaners with a reputation of being of poor quality,” Mr Sharma said.
The brand’s website said its brushes cleaners were manufactured in India, and the product was “in compliance with all applicable regulatory requirements, standards and guidelines”.
“The company also takes all measures to ensure that all relevant information is available on its website,” it added.
Mr Sharma’s office said he will send a copy of the letter to the company and take action against those responsible.
Earlier this month, the Advertising Ethics Committee of India issued a report highlighting the problems with paint brushes cleaners and the company’s misleading advertising.
The report, which was released in November, said that Paints was the first company in India to launch an advertising campaign with a false claim that its brushes were of high quality.
“The advertising campaign that Pours paints brushes cleaner is a clear example of misleading advertisements and misleading representations on the part of the company,” the report said.
The company was fined Rs 50,000 for misleading advertisements, while Paints India was fined the maximum fine of Rs 1,000 crore.
“We are disappointed to learn that the company Paints has chosen to respond to the complaint,” Paints president and chief executive officer Ravi Sharma told The Times.
“We have taken a number of steps to rectify the issue, including replacing the misleading advertising campaign.
We have also decided to launch a new advertising campaign.”
Paints India has said the campaign will be launched in time for the company to release its full-year results.
On the other hand, the Consumer Affairs Ministry said it has initiated an investigation into Paints’ alleged advertising of poor service, saying that the advertising campaign was clearly misleading.
“While the company has already been issued a notice and the investigation is on, it is likely that the relevant investigation will be completed in the next few weeks,” the ministry said in a statement.
“As per the consumer advice, the company should take corrective action to ensure better service and to ensure the quality and safety of the products sold to the customers,” it said.
“A final decision regarding the company will be taken on the next hearing.
The investigation has been initiated to determine the actual facts of the case and the action taken,” it continued.
This article originally appeared on The Times Of India