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ASA Upholds Tiscali ISP Complaints

Posted: 18th Feb, 2004 By: MarkJ
The Advertising Standards Authroity (ASA) has upheld two complaints against UK ISP Tiscali. The promotion in question combined free European flights with Internet access subscription:

Objection to a promotional e-mail for an Internet service provider. The subject field stated "European flight offer from Tiscali and telegraph.co.uk". The complainant, who received the e-mail, registered with Tiscali and read the terms and conditions of the offer, challenged:

1. whether the description of the flight as "free" was misleading, because the terms and conditions stated that participants had to pay an airport tax of £49 per person and

2. whether the claim "All you'll need to pay for is accommodation from a selection of great value hotels" was misleading, because the e-mail did not make clear enough that participants had to travel as a pair and stay for a minimum of three to five nights, in a room costing a minimum of £103 per night.

Adjudication:

1. Complaint upheld
The Authority told the advertisers not to describe the flight as "free" in future unless they could prove that no taxes or charges were passed on to consumers.

2. Complaint upheld
The Authority told the promoters to amend the promotion to include significant conditions and costs in the main body copy of the text and advised them to consult the Committee of Advertising Practice Copy Advice team before running future, similar promotions.
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