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Updated: ASCI calls out Ola Cabs, Airtel, Hike Messenger & others for false advertising

Update: In an e-mail to MediaNama Vodafone India said: "The advertiser (Vodafone) representatives were given personal hearing by ASCI Secretariat. The CCC viewed the TVC (TV ad), and the Website advertisement and considered the Advertiser’s response. The advertiser argues that their claim of being the World’s Largest 4G network is made on the basis of the presence of Vodafone 4G in more countries than any other brand which is also qualified by a disclaimer. As claim support data, the advertiser submitted independent survey reports. The CCC concluded that the claim “The World’s Largest 4G Network”, was substantiated. The complaints were NOT UPHELD” Earlier: The Advertising Standards Council of India’s (ASCI) Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) has upheld complaints (pdf) against 80 out of 133 advertisements brought to it in February 2016. These advertisements belonged to various categories: 48 in education, 13 in healthcare, 5 in Food & Beverages, and 14 from other categories. Note that 2 ads from Ola Cabs and 2 other ads from Hike Messenger has been called by ASCI in its latest report. In telecommunication and broadband -Bharti Airtel’s ‘Airtel 4G’ ad was found to be breaching ASCI’s guidelines on ‘supers’—disclaimer text displayed on a visual. The language used and the hold duration of the ‘super’ text violated previous guidelines issued by ASCI. -Vodafone India’s claim in its ‘Vodafone 4G Network’ ad, which read “World’s Largest 4G Network, now in Kochi” was not substantiated with evidence. In addition, the claim was found to be misleading in the absence…

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