• Posted by CERC India
  • Posted in

Madhuri’s Maggi ad misleads

All of you must have seen the ads of Madhuri Dixit having fun exercising with her family and playing football with other moms and kids in the recent, frequently aired Maggi television commercials (TVCs). The TVCs conveyed the message that a healthy activity need not be boring and could be enjoyable (mazedaar) too. The commercials went on to imply that eating noodles was another way of being healthy and having fun at the same time.

Our basic objection to the campaign was the linking of a healthy lifestyle (as shown by exercising and playing an outdoor sport) with instant noodles. The endorsement by Madhuri Dixit, an icon when it comes to fitness and known for having maintained herself so well, reinforced the health message. However, when our in-house laboratory tested instant noodle brands the results showed that they were high on salt and fat making them an unhealthy option, especially for regular consumption.

We complained to the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) regarding two TVCs for Maggi Oats Noodles and Maggi Veg Atta Noodles manufactured by Nestle India Ltd. which appeared on various TV channels in July 2014. Nestle also promoted the TVCs through the social media – Facebook and Twitter. ASCI has upheld CERC’s complaints.

ASCI backs CERC’s stand

Both the complaints were considered by the Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of ASCI. The CCC concluded that the claims in the TVCs “Health bhi”,“Health ko mazedaar banane ka ek aur tareeka” and “Ban gayi na health mazedaar”, were misleading. “Considering the fat content and the high calorific value as mentioned on the pack, the TVCs are misleading as they imply that noodles are a healthy food option for regular consumption,” said ASCI.

The self-regulatory body also upheld CERC’s objection to the claim that Maggi Oats Noodles had “real vegetables”. It said the claim in the TVC as well as on the pack was misleading by exaggeration, as the dehydrated vegetables which are present in the tastemaker would not be significant source of nutrients both in terms of quality and quantity.

ASCI said the TVCs contravened Chapter I.4 of the ASCI Code and also the Guidelines on Advertising of Foods & Beverages. Moreover, the supers in the Hindi TVC were not in the same language as the audio of the TVC and contravened ASCI’s Guidelines for Supers.

Instant noodles do not spell health. Get the message?

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