Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Tuesday, May 20, 2003
Marketing - Advertising
MRF, JK spat over truck tyre ad
NEW DELHI, May 19
TYRE majors MRF and J.K. Industries continue to spat with each other on their respective advertising claims. J.K. Industries (JKI) has claimed victory in the latest round, with the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) recently concluding that MRF's claim in an advertisement that ``MRF tyres are always the favourite choice of Indian truckers'' was not substantiated.
ASCI has directed MRF to modify the advertisement, to which an assurance has been received from MRF that the ad has been discontinued.
The advertisement in question, which was published in leading Indian dailies on February 1, 2003, is a campaign on truck tyres and related to one of the claims that ``MRF is the ONLY approved OE supplier of Tyres (Radial and Crossply) to VOLVO''.
While supporting JKI's complaint, ASCI said ``the complaint was upheld as the advertisement contravened Chapter 1.1 of the (regulatory) code''. The Consumer Complaints Council concluded that the claims ``always the favourite choice of Indian truckers'' and ``standard and quality unmatched in the world'' were not substantiated.
Chapter 1.1 of the ASCI code states that advertisements must be truthful. Further, ``all descriptions, claims and comparisons which relate to matters of objectively ascertainable fact should be capable of substantiation''.
Advertisers and advertising agencies are required to produce such substantiation as and when called upon to do so by ASCI.
In its complaint to ASCI, JKI had contended that the advertisement was ``highly misleading'' and that ``competition has yet again tried to frame wrong facts and manipulated them in a fashion so as to grab maximum mileage for the brand''.
JKI, which manufactures JK Tyres, held that the headline `MRF is the ONLY approved OE supplier of Tyres (Radial and Crossply) to VOLVO' is an incorrect statement.
``We have been supplying JK branded radial truck tyres, manufactured at the subsidiary manufacturing unit at Vikrant Tyres Ltd, Mysore, to VOLVO for more than one and half years now,'' the complainant said in a letter to the ASCI.
JKI on Monday used the latest decision of ASCI to highlight that this was the second instance when ASCI had upheld JK Tyre's claims in ``light of correct facts''.
Earlier, when JK Tyre advertised its No 1 position as regards manufacture of four-wheeler tyres, MRF had raised objections at the ASCI platform. However, considering that JK Tyre had manufactured the largest number of tyres during the period in consideration, ASCI had upheld JK Tyre's claims and rejected MRF's complaint.
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