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False Endorsement by Indian Tennis Ace – Sania Mirza

Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has welcomed the recent decision of the Advertisement Standards Council of India (ASCI) which has said that the poultry industry advertisement featuring tennis legend Sania Mirza, was misleading by facts, full of exaggeration and ambiguity. CSE has once again called on Mirza to distance herself from the advertisement in the interest of public health.

The All India Poultry Development and Services Private Limited (AIPDSPL) had issued an advertisement on February 27, 2018, on the front page of a leading national daily. The advertisement had completely misrepresented the ground reality by saying the poultry sector is not misusing antibiotics. It had also misused and misrepresented the results of a CSE study of 2014 on antibiotic residues in chicken.

The ASCI had directed AIPDSPL to withdraw or modify the advertisement by May 23, 2018. The complaint against the advertisement was filed by Humane Society International, India. The ASCI has decided that by mentioning the CSE study results, the advertisement contravened Chapter 1.3 of its code on “Truthful & Honest Representation”.

“It reaffirms what we had categorically said that the advertisement was misleading the people of this country. It was wrong in telling that the poultry sector is not misusing antibiotics, which is absolutely different from the ground reality,” says Chandra Bhushan, deputy director general, CSE.

“Earlier, we had written to Mirza apprising her about the malpractice of antibiotic misuse in poultry sector and the libelous nature of this advertisement. As a responsible role model, we urged her to publicly disassociate herself from the advertisement. We once again ask her to consider doing so.", says Amit Khurana, senior programme manager, food security and toxins, CSE.


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