Airtel asked to amend its IPL campaign by Court


The Sunil Mittal owned telecom operator Bharti Airtel had proclaimed to provide free access to all IPL matches

The Indian Premier League (IPL) does not bring delight only to the cricketers and the fans. The cash-rich tournament is a bonanza time for the broadcasters and sponsors too as they look to maximize their earnings during this festive season. It is probably the best time for the companies to launch marketing campaigns and introduce various offers so as to gain a larger share in the market. For this purpose, companies tend to rope in cricketers and Bollywood stars to add value to their advertisements.

Free access to IPL matches
Telecom operators like Jio and Airtel have launched a plethora of campaigns to boost their sales and increase their brand value. Airtel has launched a campaign proclaiming that it is offering “live and free” access to the IPL cricket live streaming. This campaign did not go in well with Mukesh Ambani’s Jio as it filed a suit in the Delhi High Court against Bharti Airtel for reliefs on being aggrieved by “the false, deceptive and misleading commercial/advertisements”.

The petitioner has also submitted that Airtel further falsely represents that a subscriber needs only to obtain a 4G sim from Airtel and download the Airtel TV app to obtain a virtual “season pass” – live and free access to the IPL coverage. The court accepted the charges laid down by Jio against Airtel and ordered Airtel to display on its IPL digital campaigns that for the viewers watching the live match feed “a) the subscription of HOTSTAR shall only be free, and b) the data charges will be as per subscriber’s tariff plan.”

Bharti Airtel accepted the verdict of the court and decided to amend its campaign. It will now display the content as ordered by the court and run the campaign. Subscribers have to pay for the data charges as per the tariff rates and only subscription to Hotstar is free. The changes are to be incorporated with immediate effect.

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