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Vodafone Gets Three UK TV Ad Banned for Misleading Snapchat Offer

Wednesday, October 24th, 2018 (8:35 am) - Score 2,420
three uk mobile broadband

Mobile operator Three UK has been told to pull yet another advert for their service after Vodafone complained that one of their TV promotions, which told viewers that they could “use Snapchat all you like, without using up your data … only on Three“, was “misleading” because they offered a similar plan.

According to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), Vodafone pointed out that their sub-brand VOXI also promoted “unlimited use of social media apps without eating your data” (i.e. their 3G or 4G mobile broadband data allowance), although Three UK countered that VOXI was only available to consumers aged 25 and under.

Three also said that they believed the small print in one of the adverts sufficiently qualified the claim, by stating: “Only on Three on selected plans can anyone use Go Binge to enjoy Snapchat without using up data, with no upper age limits. Snapchat minimum age 13. Must have regular data.

The ASA didn’t agree with Three’s position and decided to uphold Vodafone’s complaint.

ASA Ruling (REF: A18-455041)

We acknowledged the partnership that Three had with Snapchat, which meant that unique content was available to customers of Three. We also acknowledged their reference to the small print in ad (b) and to further information on their website. However, we did not consider that the text in the small print was sufficient to override the impression that they were the only network to offer a service that allowed customers to use Snapchat without using monthly data.

Therefore, because the ads implied Three was the only network to allow customers to use Snapchat without using up their monthly data allowance when those under the age of 25 (or 30) received the same service from Voxi, we concluded that the claim “Only on Three” was likely to mislead.

As usual the ASA told Three UK to stop promoting the offer as being only available on their network. The development comes only one week after the advertising watchdog forced Three UK to pull another promotion that claimed customers could “Roam the world in 71 destinations at no extra cost,” even though limits did apply to Mobile Broadband data usage (here).

Leave a Comment
6 Responses
  1. Avatar GNewton

    As long as ASA doesn’t even know the difference between fibre and copper, no one will take them serious enough.

    The telecom providers will continue running misleading ad campaigns. And by the time ASA occasionally stops an advert the latter often has served its purpose.

    • Avatar Lol@Vodafone

      It is not misleading, Vodafone had copy the Three product, the advert was out there way before Vodafone snapchat campaign

  2. Avatar Mike

    I’d never consider Vodafone so Three weren’t entirely wrong.

  3. Avatar Tori Gratton

    Been a 3 customer for five years. No regrets love the go binge and take joy in pointing out to friends how much cheaper my bill is because of it being sim only. Plus I can upgrade my phone to anything I choose.

  4. Avatar Michael V

    Three didn’t do wrong, they put the important information in the small print. However these companies must make the text bigger, especially on a TV screen & simplify it.

  5. Avatar Lol@Vodafone

    This is all funny because Three introduced it first, and then Vodafone came out with Voxi brand which is again after Three’s Smarty brand, it is funny how one of the biggest trying to catch up with one of the smallest network in the UK.

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