New Delhi: Bhartiya Airtel has been running its 'Fastest Mobile Network' campaign for a while now. Most recently, there was a flaw discovered with the Ookla Speedtest app which put the claims by Airtel under doubt.
The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has now directed Airtel to take off its 'Fastest Network' ad campaign after the fast track complaints committee (FTCC) found that Airtel's claims were in contravention of the ASCI guidelines on disclaimers.
According to ASCI, the Airtel TVC does not state in its commercial that the test was conducted only during the Q3-Q4 2016 period. FTCC has taken exception to points 4,5,6 of Airtel's terms and conditions published in reference to its claims. FTCC has called this representation as misleading by ambiguity and implication.
"While the advertiser submitted an Ookla certificate, they did not provide an explicit test methodology to substantiate that the method is robust to capture that sample; and is representative and comparable across operators, geographies and consumers," says the FTCC finding.
Therefore, the FTCC referred to a Trail website and discovered that there is a significant gap between the geographical dispersion of Airtel and Jio subscribers. FTCC has also mentioned that the term 'Officially' is misleading as the Ookla Speedtest is not based on any government organisation or recorgnised authority such as Trail, which gain exploits consumers' lack of knowledge.
"The TVC and web-site advertisement contravened Chapters I.1, 1.4,I.5 and IV.1 (b) of the ASCI Code as well a ASCI Guidelines on Disclaimers Clause I. We have advised the Advertiser to modify appropriate or to withdraw the said TVC and the website advertisement by 11 April 2017," says ASCI.
Bharti Airtel has responded with the following statement, "We do not agree with ASCI's decision and will file an appeal as per guidelines. Our campaign in based on findings by Ookla - the globally recognized 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. We will be happy to prove more details, if required, and hope ASCI will reconsider its decision."
A report by Techapp says, Ookla's Android app had a flaw where the app displayed incorrect speed test results on smartphones with dual-SIM slots.
The report detail that every time you ran the Speedtest app, the app took into account the network that had been assigned calls regardless of the network that had been assigned for Mobile data. In dual SIM phones, this results in dissimilarity in the results as the network of the SIM used for data was not explicitly taken into account.