The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has filed a complaint with the Ministry of Consumer Affairs against Flipkart and Bollywood actor, Amitabh Bachchan for an advertisement about the upcoming 'Big Billion Days' sale. The traders organisation expressed their 'deep disappointment in Bachchan for openly endorsing Flipkart's misleading and frivolous claim that deals and discounts on mobile phones are not available in offline stores and are only available on Flipkart.'
This comes on the back of the body raising concerns over the advertisement by e-commerce major Flipkart featuring the actor.
The traders’ body, which claims to be India’s Apex Trade Body representing eight crore traders and over 40,000 trade associations, also wrote a letter addressed to the actor expressing their anguish to him and informing him that the advertisement is 'misleading and false' and has not gone down well with India's retailers.
Aggrieved with misleading advertisement of #Flipkart endorsed by @SrBachchan , @CAITIndia today filed a strong complaint with #ccpa of @jagograhakjago demanding penalty for Mr Bachchan & imprisonment & penalty for #Flipkart as per Sec 2(47) of CCPA Act. No one how big may be… pic.twitter.com/QHlYorGMrs— Praveen Khandelwal (@praveendel) October 3, 2023
The association has appealed to the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) of the ministry for 'immediate and urgent intervention' to suspend the advertisement and punish both Flipkart and Bachchan for violation of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA), 2020.
The association also requested the ministry to direct Flipkart to immediately suspend the advertisement; penalise the e-commerce major for false or misleading advertisement with imprisonment for a term of two years and a fine of INR 10 Lakh, and also penalise Bachchan with a fine of INR 10 Lakh.
The CAIT message also claimed that 'misleading advertisements are not just unethical but also distort competition and manipulate consumer choice, they added, noting that this particular advertisement by Amitabh is unethical because it is false, distorts competition by tilting the consumer in favour of Flipkart by misinforming them and manipulates consumer choice by foreclosing their options to reach out to physical retailers to buy mobile phones amongst other things'.
The association further accused both Flipkart and Bachchan of not acknowledging their previous letters or withdrawing the advertisement.
However, the ad has since been removed from Flipkart's YouTube channel, in which Bachchan was purportedly heard stating that the mobile deals offered by the e-commerce portal were 'exclusive' and unavailable at retail outlets.