The advertising standards agency (ASA) have banned a regional press advert by TalkTalk from re-appearing after four complaints from BT and Plusnet were all upheld against the company. The TalkTalk ad was promoting a bundled phone and broadband package which claimed it could save up to £154 over 18 months when compared with a similar option from BT.
BT challenged three points about the ad which it said were misleading whilst Plusnet challenged one point:
- the BT package used in the comparison was not the most similar to the advertised TalkTalk package;
- the comparison was based on a line rental charge higher than BT's best available price; and
- it failed to mention that BT currently had price promotions on both the most similar line rental and broadband and calls products.
- Plusnet challenged whether the claim "Unbeatable value phone and broadband" was misleading because they believed they offered a comparable and cheaper package in the region where the ad was published.
All four complaints were upheld. The ASA noted that although BT's proposed comparison package (Broadband and Evening & Weekend Calls) didn't have the same download limit as the TalkTalk package or the one they compared against (More Broadband and Calls), they felt the advert was aimed at telecom users and that users would hold more value to the inclusive evening calls.
Plusnet's argument over value was also upheld on similar grounds that users would likely be looking for a low cost telecoms package, and in this case, where Plusnet offered a lower priced phone and broadband option, this would be better value.