Airtel which has been putting ads claiming to be the “Fastest Mobile Network” based on the speed test conducted by Ookla as been asked to modify or withdraw the TV commercial and other advertisements by April 11, 2017 by Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI). Recently Reliance Jio has filed counter claims to this claim made by Bharti Airtel. According to ASCI “The TVC and web-site advertisement contravened Chapters I.1, 1.4, I.5 and IV.1(b) of the ASCI Code as well as ASCI Guidelines on Disclaimers Clause I. The complaint was upheld.” This was stated in a letter by ASCI to the Airtel. This decision was taken by Fast Track Complaints Committee (FTCC) of ASCI at a meeting held on March 29, 2017.
Airtel on the other hand as decided to file an appeal against the guidelines. Stating that it disagrees with Advertising Standards Council of India’s stand, the operator stated that, “ASCI’s role is limited to self-regulation and the body cannot enforce any of its decisions on advertisers.” Meanwhile the FTCC noted that the claim by the advertiser is not specific to 4G technology but the TVC has specific visuals with reference to 4G. The TVC that highlights speed comparison shows poor signal strength for the other service provider and specific reference to 4G which ASCI considered to be misleading by ambiguity and implication. This battle of one upmanship is going to be murkier in days to come when Airtel and Jio both are laying claims for the numero uno spot.