MRF Tyres said that the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) had pulled up rival JK Tyres for misleading advertisements in the print media, which claimed that it was the number one four-wheeler tyre manufacturer in the country.
JK Tyres in its advertisement earlier in July this year had claimed that it was the number one four-wheeler tyre manufacturer in the country with a 20.8 per cent market share.
According to MRF Tyres the claim was wrong because as per ATMA (All India Tyre Manufacturer’s Association) classifications, there was no such category titled ‘four wheeler’.
ASCI in its decision said that the advertisement “JK Tyres - The No 1 Tyre Manufacturer” was misleading, since the source mentioned was ATMA, which in its publication cited that it did not have a specific classification for ‘four-wheeler tyres’. The claim did not appear to convey to the consumers that Vikrant Tyres would be clubbed with JK Tyres.” ASCI, had also intimated MRF Tyres that JK Tyres has assured appropriate modification in the advertisement.
MRF believed that turnover figures from the audited balance sheets were the only figures which could be entertained as authentic since ATMA figures are not audited nor can they be held as totally authentic.
“In the absence of this classification, the only figure that may be considered to justify the claim “largest or No 1 tyre manufacturer” is the total tyre production. The difference between MRF and JK production in the very period quoted by JK Industries ie April 2001-March 2002, is a staggering 74,30,878,” ASCI said.
ASCI also said that the light commercial vehicle (LCV) tyres share of JK at 23 per cent is wrong with ATMA giving MRF a 19 per cent market share versus 18 per cent for JK Tyres.