Bharti Airtel pitches itself as ‘India’s fastest network’ after Reliance Jio makes telco modify ad

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New Delhi | Updated: Apr 12, 2017 9:59 PM

Bharti Airtel had come out with advertisement campaign claiming it to be officially the fastest network in India on Ookla's finding. Rival Reliance Jio contested the claim and moved the ASCI against the commercial.

Bharti Airtel pitches itself as ‘India’s fastest network’ after Reliance Jio. (Reuters)

Telecom major Bharti Airtel has modified its ‘fastest network’ commercial campaign by dropping the word “officially” — a move that follows rival Reliance Jio contesting the claim. Advertisement regulator ASCI had asked the company to modify or withdraw the commercial, that claimed Airtel to be India’s “officially the fastest network”, by April 11. The modified advertisement is pitching Airtel as “India’s fastest network” without the word “officially” as was seen in the earlier advertisement.

Bharti Airtel had come out with advertisement campaign claiming it to be officially the fastest network in India on Ookla’s finding. Rival Reliance Jio contested the claim and moved the ASCI against the commercial.

Reliance Jio alleged that Airtel deliberately used word “Officially” in its advertisement to “deceive” Indian mobile consumers as Ookla, LLC is a commercial enterprise who give awards for money and do not have any accreditation from the Indian government. The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) found the ad claiming Airtel to be “officially” fastest network as misleading and asked the company to modify or withdraw the commercial by April 11.

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Upholding the complaint filed by Reliance Jio, the ASCI said the Airtel TV commercial (TVC) was “misleading” and “contravened Chapters” of its Code as well as guidelines on disclaimers clauses.

Bharti Airtel did not reply to an email query sent to it. However, a company source said that “Airtel has filed review petition with ASCI and advertisement continues to be on air as per norms.” One of the condition for seeking review of ASCI decision is that the advertiser should confirm suspension of the offending advertisement, pending review.

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