Well, it seems Airtel’s campaign claiming of being the fastest network in India doesn’t go well with Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI). The advertising industry watchdog has now asked the telecom operator to withdraw or modify the advertisement.
“We have advised the advertiser to modify appropriately or to withdraw the said TVC (television commercial) and the website advertisement by 11 April 2017, ” said Shweta Purandare, ASCI secretary general.
Fast Track Complaints Committee (FTCC) at a meeting held on 29th March 2017 considered the complaint against Airtel by Reliance Jio. According to the Council, Airtel has submitted an Ookla certificate to claim the fastest network in India. But the operator did not provide an explicit test methodology to substantiate the claim.
ASCI noted that Airtel’s TVC ad doesn’t state the speed results pertain to a specific period. Actually, Ookla’s study is based on the result from 3rd and 4th quarter of 2016. Also, Airtel’s claim is not specific to 4G technology whereas the TVC ads have visuals with reference to 4G.
“The speed comparison visual also has a reference to 4G in the notification bar and shows poor signal strength for the other service provider,” ASCI said in a statement. “The FTCC considered this representation to be misleading by ambiguity and implication”, it added.
However, Airtel and Ookla quickly responded back to the decision. According to Airtel’s statement, the operator does not agree with ASCI’s decision and will file an appeal as per guidelines.
“Our campaign is based on findings by Ookla, the globally recognised leader in mobile speed tests and also a benchmark for reputed global operators. We have shared all supporting facts with ASCI and strongly believe that our campaign is compliant with all guidelines,” Airtel said in a statement. “We will be happy to provide more details if required, and hope ASCI will reconsider its decision” the statement added.
So, by 11th April 2017, Airtel should withdraw all its ads related to the ‘fastest network of India’ campaign or the operator need to modify the ads to ASCI guidelines.