In an interesting case, Kerala’s consumer court has held film actor Anoop Menon liable for making false claims by endorsing a grooming product( hair cream ) without ascertaining its effectiveness.
The District Consumer Redressal Forum, Thrissur, Kerala ordered manufacturers of the cream (Dhathri Hair Cream) and actor Anoop Menon to pay the complainant 10,000 each for making false promises.
Learned Counsel for the complainant submitted that the consumer had first bought the cream in January 2020 for 376 Rs after watching an advertisement featuring actor Anoop Menon promised that if he uses the product for six weeks, his hair will grow.
The consumer felt humiliated as his family and friends ridiculed him for buying such a product, and there was no improvement in his hair either. The compensation sought by the complainant was Rs.5,00,000.
In his deposition, Actor Anoop Menon stated that he only used hair oil prepared by his mother and never used the product in question. He further stated that he thought the product was for hair care and not for hair growth.
Observations of the Forum
The Forum observed that Menon appeared as Brand Ambassador without knowing the product and that the manufacturers of the product also misled the consumer by making false promises.
It was further observed that all the precautions and details of the product were printed so that a consumer would need a magnifying glass to make it out.
Forum’s views on Advertisements
The Forum criticised how advertisements nowadays use tactics to entice consumers to purchase sub-par products.
According to the Forum, advertisements, these days were nothing but a gimmick to make consumers buy useless products and that if there were no advertisements, the product would be half the price.
The Forum also stated that the media had forgotten its journalistic duties, and they publish advertisements now.
Directions and order of the Forum
The Forum directed actor Anoop Menon to check a product’s credibility before promoting it, and it also directed the manufacturer and the actor to pay the complainant Rs 10,000 each.
Medical store from where the consumer purchased the product was fine Rs. 3000.