Airtel Teases Jio Again With ‘Fastest Network’ Ad Campaign

Airtel on Wednesday morning teased Reliance Jio once again with its ‘Ookla-certified fastest network in the country’ ad campaign. Though Jio had earlier approached advertising watchdog ASCI over this and sought withdrawal of the said advertisement, Airtel, it seems, is in no mood to back down.

The Sunil Mittal-led telecom firm painted the city red with full-spread ads in major national dailies that shouted out the same ‘India’s Fastest Network’. We’re sure this will not go well with Reliance Jio which must be mulling its next move by now.

Both the firms are involved in a bitter spar over last couple of days over Airtel’s claim to be the fastest network in India that was certified by data speed expert Ookla.

When the Airtel TVCs were out with this claim, Reliance Jio cried foul and approached the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) seeking withdrawal of this ad saying the same is misleading and Ookla’s speedtest was based on a ‘flawed’ technology. Jio claimed that Airtel’s use of ‘Officially Fastest Network’ is misleading as Ookla is not affiliated to Indian Government in any way. The new operator has also sent a legal notice to Ookla LLC through its legal firm Khaitan & Co seeking a reply.

To support its claim, Airtel on Tuesday showcased the certificate offered by Ookla and its official statement quoting the speedtest firm’s COO Jamie Steven.

Jio was also not to sit back. By evening the 4G operator also hit back at Airtel saying the operator is misleading the public with the ad and it may go to any forum to take proper action on the misleading nature of the advertisement.

“We will initiate actions as we deem fit at appropriate forums. The public should not be misled by these false claims based on the Ookla results,” a Jio spokesperson said.

“The core issue is that the speedtest results are attributed to the primary sim even though the sim for which the data speedtest is conducted is the secondary sim in the case of dual-sim phones. In India, more than 90% of 4G phones are dual-sim. Therefore, there is no guarantee that the speed which is attributed to Airtel is of the Airtel data network. We are surprised that Ookla in its press release has not talked about this issue even though they had acknowledged the blunder to us earlier. Ookla has baldly stated that they stand by their results and has skirted the main issue,” it added.

And in the morning, Airtel published full-spread advertisements in major newspapers claiming to have the fastest network in the country, though not forgetting to remove the word ‘official’ from it.


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