Indian advertising watchdog has upheld Bharti Airtel's contention against Reliance Jio's advertisements which state that Jio is the best and largest mobile networdk in the world. The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) ruled that the claims made by Jio in its advertisements are misleading. The advertising regulator also termed the assertions by Jio that it has the best postpaid plans in the industry and provides the best entertainment as misleading. The advertising regulator made its judgements against three separate complaints filed by Airtel against Jio's advertisements claiming to have the best and largest network, best postpaid plans and best entertainment.
The Fast Track Complaints Panel (FTCP) of ASCI, which upheld Airtel's complaints against Jio, noted that the network of Mukesh Ambani-led industry disruptor does carry the largest amount of data in the world, but that alone is insufficient to become the largest mobile data network in the world. "FTCP concluded that the claim of 'Best Network and World's largest mobile data network' is misleading by ambiguity and implication as it refers to only 'consumption of data' and not the extent and infrastructure of network," FTCP said in its interim ruling.
While Jio does carry the highest volume of mobile on its network, China Mobile has more 4G base stations and a wider subscriber base, as mentioned by Airtel before the ASCI fast track panel. The FTCP also said that Jio's claims of offering the best postpaid offers was misleading by omission as it did not specify which aspects of the plan are being compared. Jio recently came out with a Rs 199 postpaid plan which it claimed has the best tariffs its subscribers have seen so far.
In a statement following the ASCI ruling, Jio has called the allegations by Airtel frivolous and meant to distract others. Jio has reportedly made further submissions and clarifications and is hoping for a favourable outcome with these. The FTCP observations are interim and the panel is scheduled to meet Jio on June 18.