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Advertising regulator asks ET NOW to withdraw misleading ads

Channel has until June 22 to withdraw or modify appropriately the said ads

Urvi Malvania  |  Mumbai 

The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has upheld business broadcaster CNBC-TV18’s complaints against the advertising campaign by ET NOW, its rival business channel, on May 31. ET NOW has until June 22 to withdraw the ads or modify them appropriately.

The campaign under question, launched on May 31, 2015, was declared to be based on the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) and their internal data.

The advertising council gave its observations while upholding CNBC-TV18’s claims.

On ET NOW’s claim that it is ‘India’s No. 1 Business Channel’, ASCI observed: “ASCI has upheld the complaint against this claim. Firstly, the data provided by the Advertiser (ET NOW) is for leadership among English Business channels only and it does not consider the other regional business channels. Hence, it was concluded that this declaration is misleading by omission on the advertiser’s part and contravenes Chapter I.4 of the ASCI Code.”

The body added, “Secondly, BARC covers only two weeks of data. It refers to TV audience in the 10 to 75 lakh town class and this does not constitute the whole of India and this contravened Chapters IV.1 (b) & (d) of the ASCI Code.”

Another claim made by ET NOW in its advertisement was “Built on Expertise. Monthly Positive Stock Calls: ET Now – 1044 CNBC TV18 -326”. ASCI upheld the complaint against this claim and stated that the proprietary data source quoted for the claim, was for the period between Nov ’14 to Apr ’15 and this data period did not overlap with the viewership data period referred to in the advertisement. The data provided therefore, was likely to mislead by implication and ambiguity and this contravenes Chapter I.4 of the ASCI Code.

The third claim by ET NOW was “Built on Speed. 6 out of 10 Business Stories Break on ET Now”. To this, ASCI observed that it was not substantiated with evidence to prove that the Advertiser was indeed able to break more stories / break stories faster than others and was therefore misleading. This contravened Chapters I.1 and I.4 of the ASCI Code.

First Published: Mon, June 15 2015. 14:18 IST