Responding to complaint filed by a consumer, The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) said a Bharti Airtel advertisement promoting its 4G services is misleading consumers by claiming a “lifetime free mobile connection”. It asked Airtel to prove its claim or stop airing and printing the commercial by October 7.
The ASCI order to Airtel, states (Livemint), “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, [and] hoarding advertisements. The advertisement contravened Chapter 1.4 of the code… We have advised the Advertiser to withdraw or to modify appropriately the said advertisement before 7 October 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 ad breach Chapter 1.4 of the ASCI’s Code: “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 hindustan times.
Airtel said it was engaging with the ASCI to resolve the problem.