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ASA Slaps Wanadoo & NTL Over Ad's

Posted: 16th Nov, 2005 By: MarkJ
Both Wanadoo and NTL have been slapped several times by the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) today following several broadband Internet and telephony adverts.

Firstly NTL once again made the mistake of saying "MEGABYTES" (MB) where it should have said "Megabits" (Mb) in its advertisement. The cable giant also had its knuckles wrapped for failing to clearly state that free installation was part of a ‘promotion’.

Meanwhile both Telewest and BT ganged up on Wanadoo to highlight their concerns with three national press advertisements and a poster for the ISP’s broadband Internet and telephone call package.

The ASA upheld all of the following five complaints:

1. BT, Telewest Broadband and the member of the public objected that the poster and the three press ads were misleading, because they did not make clear enough that the free off-peak calls were for six months only, after which consumers were charged £4 a month;

BT objected that:

2. The claim "Plus they don't have to pay £25 for a plain old modem" on press ad (a) was misleading, because BT customers who ordered online did not pay £25;

3. Press ad (a) was misleading, because it did not state that BT also had a promotional offer of £15.99 for three months;

4. The claim "OK, we may have to charge £20 to upgrade an existing customer to 2 Meg - but you know why that is don't you? Yes, it's because you folks at BT charge us to do it" in press ad (a) was misleading and denigratory, because the rate charged by BT Wholesale to all operators was only between £5 to £11 but the claim implied BT was responsible for the whole amount.

5. Press ad (a) was misleading, because it implied the offer was available to existing broadband customers.


Readers will likely recall Wanadoo's above promotion as the one they formed as part of a public letter/advertisement addressed to BT's CE, Ben Verwaayen.
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