n a blow to Byju’s owned kids coding startup, WhiteHat Jr, the Advertising Standard Council of India (ASCI) has asked the company to take down its advertisements that it said has made misleading claims.
“ASCI has in total processed fifteen complaints against seven advertisements of WhiteHat Jr. Five of these advertisements were in potential violation of the ASCI code, and the advertiser agreed to immediately withdraw these advertisements when ASCI intervened”, said Manisha Kapoor, Secretary General, ASCI.
As for the other two advertisements, she explained that they were not in the violation of the ASCI code, and hence the complaints were not upheld. However, the regulation body mentioned that the one of the advertisements could be violating the Emblems and Name (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, and has asked the complainant to approach the government.
The advertisements have used the pictures of figures like Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, Apple founder Steve Jobs in order to sell the product to the people. People on social media have also been criticizing the startup pointing out how it puts pressure on the kids and the parents under the garb that having knowledge about coding can help them become app developers and founders. Since the social media furore, the advertisements featuring these prominent figures have been removed.
Talking about the issue, the app founder and CEO Karan Bajaj, said, “Feedback on our marketing needing improvement is well taken and we’ll do better with it.”
The Mumbai based startup was acquired by education tech app Byju’s in $300 million deal with Byju’s plans of integrating the two brands which will help their plans of US expansion.