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TalkTalk advert slammed over visibility of price comparisons
Wednesday 09 July 2014 08:28:19 by Andrew Ferguson

BT and one member of the public complained to the ASA over a SimplyBroadband advert challenging whether the service was the cheapest as claimed in the advert.

The ASA has upheld the complaints and chastised TalkTalk about the lack of prominence given to the comparison information in the advert which compared their £2.50/month (price has risen since complaint was lodged to £3.50/month) service with BT, Sky, Virgin Media and PlusNet and the standard pricing.

For others in the future looking to promote themselves on price it seems that the ASA wants firms to consider both the standard and promotional offers. Comparing against promotional offers is particularly challenging as the promotions change weekly so any printed advert copy will always be out of date.

Since the complaint was upheld because a smaller provider was under cutting them, does this mean Virgin Media will no longer be allowed to claim fastest UK broadband provider since there are firms offering Gigabit speed connections too? Virgin is of course careful to include the words 'widely available' in their promotional material to get around this small issue of course.


Posted by professor973 over 2 years ago
The ASA seem to be doing a good job. They upheld my complaint against Primus claiming cheapest line rental. The price was only available via a comparison site and Zen standard prices were still cheaper with many other benefits.
Posted by csimon over 2 years ago
Is it really effective though? This site is full of complaints being issued by one provider against another and all that can happen is they're told not run the same campign again. It seems to me that companies take liberties & put something out that they are well aware is not "entirely" truthful or can be misleading, but in the meantime the campaign has done its job. (Or all marketing & legal depts in these companies that thick and incompetent?) Every time a complaint is upheld the company should be fined a not-insignifcant amount of money rather than just receiving a telling off.
Posted by zyborg47 over 2 years ago
If I am comparing broadband on price alone, I look to see what it will cost me once the offers are over. having a good price with BT for six months may be better than say Tt for six months, but after that six months is the problem.
while I hate to say it, Tt is still the cheapest for a basic service. sky and Bt may have a lot of extras, but we don't all want these extras.
Posted by chrysalis over 2 years ago
do the ASA have powers to enforce a fine, as I understand it the isp's comply with what the aSA says as ofcom says they will enforce ASA decisions, meaning any isp that ignores the ASA will have ofcom up its back, so then begs the question does the legislation allow isps to be fined for misleading adverts, if yes then it should be done.
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