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Reliance Infocomm ads ruled misleading

The Advertising Standards Council has found certain Reliance ads on WLL misleading for not mentioning conditions applicable with schemes.

business Updated: Oct 14, 2003 19:08 IST

The Advertising Standards Council (ASCI) has found Reliance Infocomm's advertisements on WLL telephony misleading for not mentioning conditions applicable with schemes and giving false information on services like roaming but the company says it has not heard from ASCI on any of these complaints.

Reliance Infocomm ran an ad campaign `Kar Lo Duniya Muthi Mein' earlier this year where a businessman is shown in a meeting when his son calls. The boy wants to know when will the father be back home and the businessman eventually tells him a story over phone, with a punch line running across the screen which says STD at 40 paise per minute.

According to the complaint lodged with ASCI, "nowhere does the ad mention that the 40 paise STD rates are only from Reliance to Reliance. This is misleading".

In its decision, ASCI has upheld the complaint, saying the "claim STD 40 paise per minute is misleading by omission of limiting conditions (only within Reliance mobile network, circle).

Asked if this and other ad campaigns, meant for print and audio visual media, had been subsequently withdrawn by the company, a Reliance Infocomm spokesperson said, "these campaigns have run their respective terms and are not currently being used".

He, however, stressed that the company had not received any intimation from ASCI till date on any of the ads.

Similarly, on another complaint against the same ad which said the company has not mentioned that conditions apply when the 40 paise STD rate is mentioned in the ad, ASCI has again upheld the compliant on similar grounds.

On a complaint against the tariff structure and services advertised in the handouts and ads the company has circulated in various newspapers and journals besides the electronic media, ASCI gave an ex parte decision since the advertiser did not offer its comments.

It said "Ad is false (roaming facility not available) and misleading by omission of critical conditions (rentals for free handsets)".

The complainant also wanted to know that if the company is giving its handsets free, why is it deducting a certain amount immediately after the customer purchases the handset.

Charging Reliance Infocomm with making contradictory statements, the complaint says "One states that there is a rental on the instrument and the other states that they will deduct Rs 5,000 for the instrument if one opts out of the Reliance network in the first year".

ASCI agreed with the complainant that the statements were misleading.

First Published: Oct 14, 2003 18:52 IST