‘Disassociate yourself from ‘misleading’ poultry ad,’ CSE asked Sania Mirza

NEW DELHI: Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza landed herself in a controversy after the advertisment featuring her promotes eating chicken has come under the scanner.

The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), a research and advocacy organisation urged the former World No. 1 to publicly disassociate from a poultry endorsement which has been termed as “misleading” by the Advertisement Standards Council of India (ASCI).

In a front-page advertorial published in the Times of India on 28 February 2018, Sania is seen promoting ‘eat chicken, its healthy and benefits you’, on behalf of All India Poultry Development and Services.

According to a report from popular news agency, the ad in question is “misinterpreting and misleading facts” by “falsely” claiming the poultry sector is not “misusing” antibiotics on farmed chickens.

The advertisement also “misused and misrepresented” the results of a 2014 CSE study on antibiotic residues in chicken, CSE said.

“ASCI says by mentioning the CSE study results, the advertisement contravened the code on truthful and honest representation,” it said.

Earlier, CSE, had written and also urged the popular tennis player to disassociate herself from the poultry advertorial.

“You are an icon for the youth of India. Millions of young women and men aspire to emulate your success. They are influenced by your actions and messages. Having said this, we are deeply disappointed that you have associated yourself with a blatantly false and misleading advertorial,” the letter sent to her by Chandra Bhushan, deputy director general, the CSE letter had said.

The ASCI has dismissed the claim and has directed the advertiser to either withdraw or modify the advertorial by 23 May 2018.