New Delhi: In its response towards a complaint made by Bharti Airtel on 25th May 25, The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), has ruled that the claim made by Reliance Jio about its network being the best and the world’s largest and the assertion of the operator that it offers the industry’s best postpaid plans are misleading. It also termed that the claim by them, of providing the ‘best entertainment’ is ambiguous and misleading.
The Fast Track Complaints Panel (FTCP) arm of ASCI in its ruling on 7th June against the Airtel’s complaint said, “FTCP concluded that the claim of ‘Best Network and World’s largest mobile data network’ is misleading by ambiguity and implication as it refers to only ‘consumption of data’ and not the extent and infrastructure of network”.
In it’s latest round of war on misleading ads between the two-telecom operators, Bharti Airtel Ltd has approached the ASCI accusing Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd of making false and misleading claims in its recent advertisement campaign featuring actress Deepika Padukone.
Airtel said in the complaint that the claims made in Reliance Jio’s ads were unsubstantiated and there was no clarification or independent third-party data to back them. Moreover, since these claims were made without any supporting evidence or disclaimers that violated ASCI guidelines.
Earlier, Airtel and Jio have locked horns over network testing norms, provisions of points of interconnect, and the cut in interconnect usage charges and advertisements.
A Reliance Jio spokesperson said, “The allegations made by the incumbent dominant operator are thoroughly frivolous and have been made only to distract others. This specific matter is currently under discussion with the ASCI. We believe that the recommendations at this stage do not reflect the submissions made, and the favourable views expressed by the ASCI during the course of discussions. We have followed up with further submissions and clarifications so that the right decision is made.”
It is likely that ASCI and Reliance Jio will meet again on 18 June, a person aware of the matter said, requesting anonymity.
Earlier, in March 2017, Reliance Jio accused Bharti Airtel of airing misleading ads on network data speed and ASCI, after investigating the matter, asked Airtel to withdraw the advertisement.