Telecom major Airtel today assured the Delhi High Court that its latest advertisements, offering “live and free access” to the IPL coverage, would include a bold disclaimer that only subscription to video streaming platform Hotstar would be free and data charges according to the subscriber’s plan would apply.
The assurance was given before Justice Yogesh Khanna, who was hearing a plea moved by Reliance Jio, a new entrant to telecom sector, alleging that the commercials of Airtel were “deceptive and misleading”.
Jio, represented by senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi and advocate K R Sasriprabhu, claimed the advertisements “falsely proclaim” that Airtel was offering “live and free” access to T20 cricket coverage, and “falsely represent that a subscriber need only obtain a 4G sim from the defendant company and download the Airtel TV app to obtain a virtual season pass i.e live and free access to T20 coverage”.
Airtel, represented by senior advocate Rajiv Nayar, contended that Jio was a “jealous competitor” and what it meant by its advertisements was free subscription to Hotstar.
The commercials “specifically provide that if one intends to watch the game, one has to use data as per the plan taken by him/her”, Airtel said.
Airtel in a statement later said, “A frivolous complaint was filed against Airtel’s new ad campaign in the Delhi High Court seeking a stay on the same. No stay was granted. In fact, the High Court has suggested minor clarifications to the existing disclaimers. After seeing the order we will take appropriate steps. Our ad campaign will continue.”
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.