The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has finally asked India's largest telecom service provider Bharti Airtel to " modify or "Withdraw" the advertisement which claims to be "officially the fastest network".
The advertising industry watchdog said the complaint against Airtel was considered by the Fast Track Complaints Committee (FTCC) at a meeting held on March 29. Adding that, "we have advised the advertiser to modify appropriately or to withdraw the said TVC (television commercial) and the website advertisement by April 11, 2017."
Meanwhile, Airtel also issued a statement in which the company says that "we do not agree with ASCI's decision and will file an appeal as per guidelines. Our campaign is 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 provide more details, if required, and hope ASCI will reconsider its decision," it said.
"Ookla fully stands behind the accuracy and reliability of the methodology used to designate Airtel as 'India's Fastest Mobile Network'. The award designation was validated using the IP methodology described above for all Speedtest results during the last 6 months of 2016 (Q3 & Q4)," said broadband testing and network diagnostic application Ookla.
"When analyzing the data for all of 2016, Airtel was still the clear leader. When analyzing data for 2017 to date, Airtel is still the clear leader. It is worth noting that after correcting for the Android limitation, Airtel's lead over Jio increases for all aforementioned date ranges," Ookla added.
To recall, the whole issue actually started when Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio filed a complaint against Airtel and Ookla in Advertising Standards Council of India for claiming that it is the fastest network.
Jio has also sent a legal notice to Ookla, the broadband testing and network diagnostic application that has rated Airtel as India's fastest mobile network.