ASCI upheld the complaint against the Bharti Airtel for misleading advertisements about their Tariff plans. The Customer Complaints Council (CCC) of Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has received 280 complaints this month. CCC found three advertisements against the Bharti Airtel in which Airtel claims for giving Free Data & Unlimited Voice Calls technically which is not free and charging the customer for these tariffs.
- 1 ASCI Upheld Complaint Against Bharti Airtel for Misleading Advertisements
ASCI Upheld Complaint Against Bharti Airtel for Misleading Advertisements
As we all see in the TV advertisements, Bharti Airtel claims that their network has the highest network speed of Internet which is not a true statement at all and Bharti Airtel has received the complaint regarding that from ASCI to take their advertisement down. But the interesting part is that Airtel is still airing their “Ookla Ads” which are not taken down yet.
On the other hand, Airtel has some other Advertisements also in which they claim that user will get unlimited data for 12 months for free, but the reality is too far from this and in actual user needs to pay for this offer. So Bharti Airtel has got filled complaints from ASCI for such fake advertisements which don’t depict the true picture and misleads their users.
As per the TRAI Jio has been India’s fastest 4G Network since December 2016
- As per the TRAI statement, Jio has been India’s fastest 4G Network since Dec. 2016
- TRAI has collected and computed data download speed with the help of its MySpeed app on a real-time basis.
- In the month of April, Jio has recorded all time high speed of 19.12 MBPS.
Airtel still running Ookla Ads on Television which are proved Misleading by ASCI
It has been established the Ookla SpeedTest results are questionable, as their methodology is greatly flawed when it comes to Android dual SIM devices, which even they admitted to.
Notably, Airtel was rated as India’s fastest 4G network by Ookla’s Speedtest in January this year. But the official certificate is given to Airtel by is ONE YEAR OLD (Q3-Q4 of 2016), which makes it very much irrelevant in mid of 2017.
In Mid April 2017, Airtel’s new TVC campaign “next-gen’s smart network” was launched, focused on smartphone experience rather than speed
The new campaign is in full swing, concentrating on their services like anti-virus, payments banks, and others.
Here are the Bharti Airtel Advertisements which were pulled up by ASCI as misleading:-
June 6, 2017
Bharti Airtel Ltd. (Free Data for 12 months): The advertisement’s claim, “Free data for 12 months, worth Rs. 9000. Switch to Airtel 4G”, is misleading by ambiguity. It was noted that the price currently being used by Airtel for 3 GB data is Rs. 450/-. The prevalent price of ‘free data’ under an actual offer for 12 months is much lower than the price point of Rs. 9000. The said unlimited data packs are not entirely free, but they are subject to specific tariff packs for which the customer is required to pay. Furthermore, the data pack is valid for only 28 days and the 12 re-charges of 28 days each do not add up to 12 months.
Bharti Airtel Ltd. (Free Unlimited local + STD calls): In view of the cap of 1200 minutes / week as per advertiser’s fair usage policy, the claim, “Free Unlimited Local + STD calls” is misleading and contravened Chapter I.4 of the ASCI Code as well as Clause 1 of ASCI Guidelines for Disclaimers (“A disclaimer can expand or clarify a claim, make qualifications, or resolve ambiguities, to explain the claim in further details, but should not contradict the material claim made or contradict the main message conveyed by the advertiser or change the dictionary meaning of the words used in the claim as received or perceived by a consumer.”).
April 18, 2017
The regulator also upheld three complaints against leading telecom operator Bharti Airtel for “misleading” claims for free Calls Local + STD and a free upgrade for Airtel-V Fiber.
“The ad claim, “Free Calls Local + STD” cannot be said free as the prevailing price for data without advertised incentive is less i.e. from the consumer’s point of view, they have to make a payment of Rs. 149 to avail this offer although they get only 300MB data versus 500MB data,” it said.
March 31, 2017
Airtel ordered to pull down ‘fastest network’ ad after Reliance Jio’s complaint
The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has asked Airtel to “modify” or “withdraw” the advertisement in which it claims to be “officially the fastest network” after a complaint from rival Reliance Jio.
Jio had alleged that Airtel’s claim to be the fastest network was inaccurate and filed a complaint to ASCI. Jio had also raised doubts about the methodology used and alleged that the speed test app Ookla gave such titles for money.
While reviewing Bharti Airtel’s ‘best network’ ad, the regulator had observed:
Claims of leading telecom services provider Bharti Airtel as the ‘best network’ as “incorrect and is misleading by implication” as it connotes many parameters associated with the performance for which different service providers have to compare. “‘Transparency’ of communication providing input for improvement does not necessarily make any network the best,”
Airtel told to withdraw ‘misleading’ 4G ads
Telecom firm says it will take up the matter with the advertising council, confident of getting a favorable response
The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has sent a notice to Bharti Airtel Ltd, India’s largest telecom services provider, asking the firm to withdraw its 4G speed challenge advertisement on the grounds that it is misleading.
“The claim in the ad, ‘Airtel 4G is the fastest network ever’ and ‘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. The advertisement contravened Chapter 1.4 of the code,” said the notice, a copy of which was reviewed by Mint.
ASCI has pulled down Airtel’s unlimited calling pack ads. But Airtel’s “Ookla Ads” are still airing on TV channels which are also misleading and doesn’t depict the true picture. Airtel has been misleading users many times from their advertisements which are not true at all. They claim to give free data but in actual user needs to pay for such offers which are claimed to be free on advertisements.