Delhi HC has directed Bharti Airtel to change its Indian Premier League (IPL) advertising campaign after Reliance Jio Infocomm alleged that largest telco was misleading customers, marking another legal tussle between the operators in their battle for subscribers.
Mukesh Ambani-owned Jio had approached High Court against Sunil Mittal-owned company, contending that Airtel’s campaign suggested subscribers could live-stream the ongoing IPL cricket matches free, without mentioning that they would incur data charges.
According to Court order, Jio had alleged that advertisements were deceptive and “aimed at enticing and luring viewers” to subscribe to Airtel’s service and give preference to Telco over other operators, including Jio.
Airtel stated that Court’s order won’t have a major impact on its campaign.
According to Delhi High Court’s order, Senior Advocate representing Airtel agreed that its advertisements would carry the caveat that only subscription to Hotstar will be free and data charges will apply as per the subscriber’s tariff plan.
Both operators are betting big on this IPL, which is expected to attract 700 million viewers, and have rolled out advertisements and content-driven partnerships to get maximum attention, including a tie-up with Hotstar for live coverage.
Tariff War that broke out with entry of Jio in September 2016, it has garnered about 175 million subscribers. Airtel currently has about 292 million.