Airtel ordered to stop airing its misleading 4G ad by October 7

After facing scrutiny from the Advertising Standards Council of India, Airtel now needs to take down its ‘4G Challenge’ ad campaign by 7th October. The reasons cited was that its ads were very misleading. The Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) was also in the meeting who also considered taking an opinion of a technical expert.

According to the Annexure 1 on the documents provided by Airtel’s advertiser, it is indicated that this was meant to be done in ‘favourable conditions’ and stated that its average rates are lower than the peak rate.

The details were very vague at best. It claimed that its 4G challenge can be easily broken down by using a 3G capable phone in certain favourable locations. It contained print advertisements with statements such as ‘movie in 3 minutes’ album ‘upload in 1-minute’ statements. The CCC concluded by saying that that though 4G provides better services than 3G when kept in the same operating conditions, it does not give them the claim ‘the fastest network ever’ with a promise that if a rival operator is better, they will pay your mobile bills for life.

There is also an absence of appropriate disclaimers on its various on various formats, including the advertisement hoardings.

Therefore Airtel has the time till October 7th, 2015 to either remove the entire ad campaign, or to modify it accordingly or to seek a review of this decision.