WhiteHatJr has been asked by the Advertising Standard Council of India (ASCI), the advertising self-regulatory body, to pull down at least five of its advertisements which were in violation of the advertising code for making dubious and unsubstantiated claims.
Its ads are peppered on all social media platforms, meant to sell the advantages of learning coding. Most of these advertisements are targeted towards parents. They give examples of pre-teen children who learnt to code and earned benefits that were unusual for their age, such as a trip to Silicon Valley to meet top scientists and engineers. One such advertisement by the company on Instagram has the tagline, “INR 20 Cr salary at age 13”.
Forbes India reported that ASCI processed 15 complaints about seven advertisements of WhiteHatJr, and found five of them to be in potential violation of the advertising code. The company agreed to immediately pull down those advertisements.
WhiteHatJr, like its parent BYJU’S, has also been accused by several netizens of silencing dissent. Several posts by social media users that criticised WhiteHatJr’s ubiquitous advertisements and the company’s marketing strategies have been pulled down from these platforms on grounds of “copyright infringement”. As for BYJU’S, the silencing of online dissent is a more elaborate play.