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UK ASA Upholds Complaints Against Vodafone Mobile Broadband Booster Ad

Posted: 16th Jun, 2010 By: MarkJ
asa uk vodafone complaintsThe UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld 4 out of 7 complaints made my rival operators T-Mobile and O2 against a poster advert for Vodafone UK's Sure Signal (femtocell based) indoor mobile phone and Mobile Broadband reception boosting device.

A poster for Vodafone showed someone leaning out of a window to get reception on their mobile. The ad stated "Only Vodafone can guarantee mobile signal in your home". The device itself costs just £50 (or £5 a month) and uses your existing fixed line broadband ISP to link with Vodafone and distribute a stronger indoor signal.
The following complaints were upheld:

1. T-Mobile, O2 and two complainants objected that the ad was misleading because it did not make clear that broadband and a 3G handset were required to use Sure Signal;

2. T-Mobile, O2 and one complainant challenged whether the claim "can guarantee mobile signal" could be substantiated;

3. O2 and eight complainants challenged whether the ad was misleading because it implied Vodafone were superior to other networks and were capable of guaranteeing coverage to all customers and did not make clear a particular product was being promoted;

...

5. O2 and one complainant challenged whether the ad was misleading because it did not make clear that additional payment was required for the service;
The three gripes that were NOT UPHELD had complained that the device did not work on cable broadband connections (not true, apparently), did not make clear that Sure Signal could only be used by up to four people at the same time (the ASA did not consider this to be misleading) and that other mobile operators in the UK also offered similar femtocell/signal boosting services (it seems only Vodafone does).
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