Mumbai : Airtel’s advertisements claiming themselves as the fastest 4G data network has been termed misleading by the ad industry watchdog Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), which has asked Airtel to withdraw or modify the campaign.
ASCI has asked Airtel to comply with the order by 7th October based on consumer complaints. The campaign ‘Airtel Challenge’ projects Airtel 4G as being the fastest network and proposes that if a consumer can find a faster data network, their mobile bills will be paid by Airtel for life.
ASCI said in a note that “The Consumer Complaints Council concluded that though 4G provides better services than 3G under the same operating conditions, it is not right to claim it as ‘the fastest network ever’. 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 itself.”
However, an Airtel spokesperson said the company will seek a review of the ASCI decision. “We are engaging with ASCI to provide them with the technical data in support of our advertising claims and are following the prescribed process to schedule a review of the issue,” the spokesperson said.
Airtel substantiates that it was going by the global standards of 4G to call it the fastest network.
“4G technology is proven to deliver the fastest internet experience and the same has been accepted globally. As the only commercial provider of this world class technology in India, 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,” Airtel spokesperson added.
However, the Industry sources feel that Airtel is just making the tall claim due to the absence of a real competition in 4G and feels that the real 4G revolution in Mobile data services will start only after the rollout of Reliance Jio’s 4G offerings, which is expected to trigger a massive war amongst the competitors, which will in turn benefit the consumer.