TV commercials are not only annoying but can also be misleading at times. The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) is a self-regulatory organisation created to put a check on such advertisements and even take them down if the need be. The body last week put a ban on 214 such advertisements from a number of big brands including Bharti Airtel, Dr Batra’s, CNN News, and LG India.
A total of 280 complaints were received by the body in the month of March this year and 214 of these complaints were upheld. Snapdeal, for example, was accused of advertising a wrong price of a product and showing a massive discount over the price. On the other hand, Airtel was accused of airing multiple misleading adverts with different false claims.
The most controversial of them all in the recent times was about Airtel being declared “India’s fastest network” by Ookla. Soon after Ookla awarded the title to the company based on their data, Airtel started running an advertisement claiming itself to be “officially the fastest network.” ASCI found the term “officially” objectionable and the complete ad in general and ordered a ban last week.
But the ban doesn’t seem to be working for Airtel as the ad can still be found airing many times during the commercial breaks. Moreover, all the upheld ads are still on YouTube for anyone to access them freely.
This is not the only ad that Airtel was found accused of. The company has launched a number of plans to counter Jio and has been advertising for them to lure more customers. ASCI also found the ‘free data for 12 months’ misleading along with the ‘free unlimited local + STD calls’. They both have also been upheld.
Not just Airtel, but LG India was found doing false advertising of its air conditioner range by exaggerating about its features and at the same time proving the competition inferior. TV channels like Aaj Tak and CNN News18 were also accused of airing misleading adverts during the recent ban by ASCI.
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