Mumbai: Following the controversy of impersonation and unethically recording the content of its competitor ‘Tekie’, Advertising self-regulatory body, the Advertising Standard Council of India (ASCI) has asked Byju’s-owned kid’s coding startup, WhiteHatJr, to pull down its advertisements for making dubious and unsubstantiated claims. WhitehatJr advertisement streamed on social media showcases a 7-year-old app developer and TEDx speaker.
Talking to Forbes India, Manisha Kapoor, Secretary-General of ASCI, tells “ASCI has processed 15 complaints against seven advertisements of WhitehatJr,”. Five of these advertisements were in potential violation of the ASCI Code. The advertiser agreed to immediately withdraw the advertisement when ASCI asked them for their response.”
“One such advertisement was taken up suomotu by ASCI as well,” says Kapoor. For two advertisements, ASCI didn’t find any violation, and complaints against them were not upheld. One of these advertisements could be in potential violation of The Emblems and Name (Prevention of Improper use) Act, and the complainant was directed to approach the government for this potential violation” she added.
“In recent times, some advertisements have come under scrutiny on social media, and ASCI has been tagged,” she says. The ASCI team connected with the advertiser and was informed that some of the advertisements on social media are old and have already been withdrawn. “The advertiser also has assured ASCI of their cooperation to adhere to the ASCI code going forward,” Kapoor added.
Recently, WhiteHatJr has been accused of getting its senior employee to impersonate a kid named ‘Kavya’ and attend a trial class on its competitor platform ‘Tekie’ that also offers Online Coding Courses for Kids to unethically record its content.