The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld a complaint by a viewer who read the caption “The No.1 South Asian Entertainment Network” on ZEE Network UK’s website.
The watchdog ruled that the claim breached the Committee on Advertising Practice Code on the issue of ‘misleading advertising’, ‘substantiation’ and ‘comparisons’.
According to the complaint, a reader challenged the claim on its UK website (visited on 25th April and 9th June) that it was ‘The No. 1 South Asian Entertainment Network’, on the ground that the claim was misleading.
In its response to the complaint, ZEE TV provided evidence that they believed showed they had more channels, both in India and internationally, and that they had a presence in more countries worldwide than any other South Asian television network.
The response said the company also believed that their channels reached more households globally than any other South Asian network and they provided their own market research regarding the comparative reach of their network and their competitors’ networks in the UK.
Upholding the complaint, the ASA considered that readers would interpret the claim ‘The No.1 South Asian Entertainment Network’ to mean that ZEE TV was the most watched South Asian network.
It said, “We noted that they appeared to have more channels than their competitors and that their own market research suggested their network reached more households in the UK than their competitors, but we noted that the market research related only to the UK and that the data had not been verified.”
The ruling added, “Furthermore, we had not seen comparative, independent viewing figures and we considered that without that information, it was not possible to verify whether or not the claim was accurate. We therefore concluded the ad was misleading.”
The ASA said ZEE TV had stopped using the claim pending adjudication and was told that the claim should not be repeated unless they had sufficient comparative data.