WhiteHat Jr, a platform owned by Byju’s and based on teaching coding to children from a young age, has recently went on an advertising spree, which has not sit well with the audiences. The company has advertised success stories of children, claiming that it can help your child secure a place in the Silicon Valley. However, the Advertising Standard Council of India (ASCI) has found some of these ads to be misleading, asking the company to take them down.
According to a report from Forbes India, ASCI has processed 15 complaints against seven advertisements from WhiteHat Jr, and found that 5 of these ads were in potential violation of the ASCI code. However, no discrepancies were found in the other two ads, and thus, the regulatory body has not taken any action against them.
ASCI immediately asked for a response from WhiteHat Jr, which took down the ads without any major pushback.
WhiteHat Jr has been using apps made by kids as examples of success, using them to promote its own platform by saying things like “Your kid will be on the next flight to Silicon Valley, USA,” and “This (will) shape their future destiny as tech creators”. However, according to Forbes India, while most of the apps advertised by the company do exist on Play Store, they only have a few thousand downloads and sub-par reviews. Moreover, the worst part, these apps have been published under the name of Whitehat Jr and not the kids themselves.
The company has also been advertising a great amount on social media, which has also been criticized by audiences. In fact, secretary general of ASCI, Manisha Kapoor notes that “In recent times, some advertisements (from WhiteHat Jr) have come under scrutiny on social media, and ASCI has been tagged.”
Nonetheless, the platform has agreed to co-operate with the advertising self-regulatory body, saying that it will adhere to the ASCI code going forward.