If advertising complaints were judged on the number of complaints received then this latest adjudication against Orange would never have seen the light of day, as the only complainant was BT.
In a newspaper advert Orange compared its Home Max Package against the combined packages of BT Broadband Option 3 and BT Together Calling Plan Option 2. The advert claimed that based on BT pricing in December 2007 that the Orange package saved people over £190.
The ASA took into account that Orange had tried to compare the most alike packages, but ruled that the BT complaint be upheld as it felt there was significant differences, namely the BT Home Hub phone, Norton Security Suite and inclusive Wi-Fi minutes and that these should have been highlighted in the advertising so people could make a fair comparison.
What is interesting is that the ASA appears to have missed the fact the the £24 a month (first three months at £12 a month currently) price only applies to around 60% of the country, a £4 non-LLU surcharge applies to areas where Orange does not have its LLU service, whereas BT currently has uniform pricing across the country. The small print for both providers can raise the price of course Orange charge £2 a month extra if you don't pay by direct debit, BT charge £1.50 a month if not using a direct debit plus 50p a month for those who want a paper bill.
One interesting area is that the recent Ofcom Broadband Speeds Code of Practice requires publication of the criteria for falling foul of the fair use policy (FUP) both products use. Once providers finally update their websites to provide some concrete information comparison will be easy, for now it could be that Orange's FUP is more relaxed than the BT, or vice versa.