Broadband News

6 month deadline for business broadband adverts to meet ASA rules

A year ago the line rental wording largely vanished from broadband advertising directed at consumers due to new ASA/CAP rules on how adverts for broadband should be written and this was in response to adverts that would lead with large FREE headlines and then in a smaller font quietly mention line rental of £18.45 per month etc

Now Plusnet in some business to business marketing on Facebook and an advert banner has been told in plain terms by the ASA: "The ads must not appear again in their current form. We told Plusnet plc that when targeting businesses they must ensure they make clear the overall monthly cost of their broadband packages, for instance by merging the monthly cost and line rental into one all-inclusive price. We also told them to make clear all up-front costs that would be paid by most customers, for instance by presenting them together with the total monthly cost."

Essentially adverts for business broadband must now follow the same rules as consumer broadband and to make it clear this applies to all the broadband industry that targets businesses the ruling headlined with some wording from the council.

Following this decision, advertisers in the sector have six months or until 15 May 2018 to ensure that their business-to-business advertising makes clear the overall monthly cost of a broadband package and makes clear all up-front costs that are paid by most customers.

ASA Council decision on business broadband adverts

The time to comply is a fairly normal period and gives advert copy writers and those who layout the various product pages on providers websites time to get all the changes down.

We voiced concerns when the consumer change happened about what will happen for those providers who advertise broadband but you are free to use any wholesale line rental (WLR) voice service e.g. line rental from the Post Office and broadband from IDNet and to date nothing has changed in that regard, perhaps the assumption is people with split packages are savvy shoppers. Given the consumer market is based around bundles of phone and broadband thought, it was never much of an issue. In the SME broadband sector things are more varied and there is more scope for confusion if people assume that that great low price package is broadband+phone, when in reality the phone service would remain with whoever you have your voice line rental with now.


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