Has Airtel misled consumers by claiming that its 4G network is the fastest data network? The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) seems to think so. What’s more, it has directed the company to prove its claim by October 7.
“’If your network is faster, we will pay your mobile bills for life’ is misleading by omission in the absence of appropriate disclaimers in the print, TV , hoarding advertisements itself,” ASCI said in a note to Airtel, a copy of which is available with HT.
The ad contravened Chapter 1.4 of the ASCI’s Code which states: “Advertisements shall neither distort facts nor mislead the consumer by means of implications or omissions. Advertisements shall not contain statements or visual presentation which directly or by implication or by omission or by ambiguity or by exaggeration are likely to mislead the consumer about the product advertised or the advertiser or about any other product or advertiser.”
“We have advised the advertiser to withdraw or to modify appropriately the said advertisement before October 7, 2015, or seek a review of the decision. If you continue to see the advertisement after the due date kindly bring the same to our notice,” the ASCI’s note to Airtel states.
“Our advertising campaign revolves around the 4G promise of fastest internet speeds and features a set of claims that are based on rigorous test conditions,” an Airtel spokesperson told HT.
Airtel said it was engaging with the ASCI to resolve the problem.