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BT Broadband ISP Advert Banned Over Misleading 6 Months Free Offer

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013 (8:03 am) - Score 561

The Advertising Standards Authority UK (ASA) has also banned a TV and press advert for one of BT’s broadband and phone bundles after it misleadingly claimed to be “free for six months” when in fact the line rental was still payable.

The two adverts shared a common problem of context confusion. For example, the TV advert promoted BT’s package as costing “just £13 a month plus £14.60 for a BT line. And now free for six months,” which naturally caused some people to assume that the cost of line rental was also included with the “free” aspect when in fact it was not.

BT agreed that the ads “could have been clearer” and blamed the ambiguity on an “unintended consequence” of the ASA’s recent line rental ruling, which requires ISPs to clearly state the cost of line rental alongside their broadband bundle prices.

ASA Assessment (Complaint Ref: A12-210713)

Because the line rental was in fact payable from the start of the contract and this was not made clear in the ads we concluded the claims were misleading.”

A separate complaint, which noted that BT’s line rental would increase to £15.45 in January 2013 and thus challenged whether the claim “£14.60 for a BT line” in the TV ad was misleading, was not upheld “because the date and amount of the price increase was made clear in the on-screen text“.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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