Bharti Airtel had previously launched an ad campaign which turned out to be a reason for a legal battle between Reliance Jio and the biggest telco in India. Following up on the matter, Delhi High court has set aside a previous order which the bench had passed directing Bharti Airtel to make changes in their advertisements for IPL over various advertisement channels. This new update implies that Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel may continue to have a struggle over this matter since the former took the matter to court last month saying that the claim which was being made by Bharti Airtel regarding streaming of ongoing IPL cricket matches for free without any mention of data charges was actually “malicious”.
Airtel countered Jio’s move by appealing against the bench’s order which had directed the telco to make certain changes to their advertisements in print, broadcast media and billboards. ??A twist came to the directive when the court retained an order which directed Airtel to issue a disclaimer in the newspaper in font 12 instead of 10.
ET also tried to throw questions to Jio’s ways however Jio stalled the interrogation at that time but later replied that Airtel’s claims of ‘live and free access’ were deceptive and were aimed at ‘enticing and luring viewers’ to subscribe to their services. They further alleged that this was providing an unfair advantage to the telco which was coming as a result of malicious advertising practices.
Airtel had countered Jio’s allegations by calling them “frivolous” and rejected them. Now Bharti Airtel is being represented by P Chidambaram’s Council member, Harsh Kaushik.
Both the top two biggest telcos of the country are trying to leverage the attention of the cricket watching crowd which is supposedly 700 million in numbers spread across the country. Airtel and Reliance Jio have both doubled down on their strategies for the content driven partnership to get all the attention they can. This includes a tie-up with Hotstar for live coverage.
This is not the first time that Airtel and Reliance Jio have been caught in a spat regarding misleading advertisement. Both have also been involved in a legal battle in Bombay High Court which was based on Jio’s allegations over Airtel regarding global broadband speeds tester Ookla, on the basis of which Airtel was running advertisements proclaiming itself to be India’s fastest network.