Air India locks horns with Builder.ai on building an app prototype without consent; considers legal course


Air India is considering taking action against Builder.ai for using the airline’s name and logo in an unauthorized app prototype, which was also advertised on mainstream and social media platforms.

Air India, the Indian carrier that was recently taken over by the Tata Sons, took to Twitter to share its thoughts on the ad about an Air India app by Gurugram-based artificial intelligence company- Builder.ai, which was allegedly built without due consent.

Air India in a statement shared that a print advertisement seemingly by Builder.ai in leading newspapers includes a QR code, which links to a prototype app, in which the Air India logo and trademark make appear distinctly.

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Builder.ai is a start-up that helps entrepreneurs and businesses develop apps without the need for coding.

In the statement, the airline cautioned flyers about the advertising campaign that has been launched by the developer and added that it has no partnership with Builder.ai and has not given any permission to use their name. The latter has advertised the said prototype app in mainstream and social media.

The statement read, “An advertising campaign in print, digital media, and OOH has been launched by a company with the name Builder.ai. The campaign of this company is claiming to have developed the prototype of an app, especially for Air India. Today a print advertisement seemingly by Builder.ai in leading newspapers includes a QR code, which links to the prototype app, in which the Air India logo and trademark make appear distinctly. This prototype app has been developed without the involvement or consent of Air India.”

The statement added that Air India will not collect any data and all the data shared with this prototype app has the potential threat of misuse and Air India shall not be held responsible in case of any data misuse or financial implications arising out of this.

The advertisement also suggests that free tickets can be won by participants, while Air India has not committed to providing free tickets for this activity. “Air India is contemplating suitable action against the issuer of the advertisement,” the statement said.

Soon after this, Builder.ai left a reply saying that they are ‘heartbroken’ since its genuine intention was to surprise the airline with a gift of a prototype, with love. 

“Let’s meet. Flights are purchased and awarded by http://Builder.ai, as it’s our campaign,” it said.

Netizens have urged Air India to file a case against the developer and media outlets who advertised the campaign, too.

Some even declared the stunt by the developer as the ‘worst faux passe of the ad world’.


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