ASA upholds complaint against Tiscali ad
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.