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ASA upholds complaint against Tiscali ad
Wednesday 25 July 2007 18:03:34 by Sebastien Lahtinen

Tiscali has been criticised by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) following a radio ad which focussed on the £9.99 monthly cost of the service. The complaint centred on the fact the terms and conditions (including a rather critical piece of information relating to the price only being for the first three months, then rising to £14.99) was stated at faster speed and lower volume than the rest of the advertisement. BT and two members of the public challenged whether the ad was misleading on the basis of the emphasis being on the introductory offer with the full details being difficult to hear.

In response to the complaint, Tiscali argued its competitors used introductory pricing in exactly the same way, including a BT national press advertisement which carried the full cost in small print. It also argued that it was difficult to fit the ad into 30 seconds so the speed of the 'small print' had to be faster.

The Radio Advertising Clearance Centre had cleared the ad for broadcast noting that previously the same advert had not received complaints, although it points out they reviewed the script rather than the audio recording and as such the terms and conditions would have been expected to be clearly audible.

The ASA upheld the complaint against Tiscali on the grounds the emphasis on the £9.99 price as compared to the £14.99 was significant enough that it should have been clearer.

Comments

Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
"The ASA upheld the complaint against Tiscali on the grounds the emphasis on the £9.99 price as compared to the £14.99 was significant enough that it should have been clearer." Never mind all that how are the scumbags going to be punished, or is it just the normal ya naughty boys dont do it again speech.
Posted by ANZAC over 9 years ago
if you think this ad is bad you should read the tosh that virgin have up on the billboards in underground stations...
Posted by ismoore999 over 9 years ago
Why oh Why can the ASA or OFT agree on a "standard" pricing policy. If there were three basic rules:
1) state the minimum length of a contract and
2) state the average monthly amount to be paid for the duration and
3) the type of connection (ie 1Mb Max etc)
surely that would give Joe Public a level playing ground on which to base the decision.
oh well we can but dream....
Posted by irrelevant over 9 years ago
It was upheld because the character in the ad "sing repeatedly the price of £9.99." So the £14.99 was completely overshadowed.

Full details on the ASA site:
http://www.asa.org.uk/asa/adjudications/Public/TF_ADJ_42923.htm

As for punishment?

"Action:
The ad must not reappear in its current form."

Sigh..
Posted by therockape over 9 years ago
All these regulatory bodies have the same fault. They are about as powerfull as a dead toothless dog. What we must remember about these regulators is, it is jobs for the boys so they must not rock the boat. Roll on The Revolution!!!!
Posted by chrysalis over 9 years ago
More picking on the small boys only from the ASA.
Posted by SteveToplek over 9 years ago
Ads??

What about the complete contempt Tiscali have for prisoners (sorry customere)???

Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote=irrelevant
As for punishment?
"Action: The ad must not reappear in its current form."
That really is weak.The ASA wouldnt know the meaning of the words "standards" if it slap them stupid.Why is it in this country derick trotters of the ISP providing world are continuosly allowed to get away with things like this? I am sick of it.You drop a sweet wrapper on the pavement in my town and you can get a £50 fine but its ok for big business like Tiscali to do as they please... The law in this country has gone to hell
Posted by plesbit over 9 years ago
Wish they'd fine a few more people round here for dropping litter.

I think the level of punishment should accurately reflect the level of transgression. Since it was deemed to be only just crossing the line I would not expect any real punishment. After all, they didn't actually omit anything, just tried to divert attention away from it. All there details WERE there and audible.
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