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BT and 118 888 clash in ‘half price’ slogan row

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BT is claiming victory today after insisting that it has forced the operator of the 118 888 directory enquiries (DQ) service to withdraw its claim that it's "half the price of BT directory enquiries" from its advertising.

The monster telco claims Conduit - the company behind 118 888 - has provided a "written undertaking following the threat of legal action by BT on the grounds that such a claim was inaccurate and highly misleading".

In a statement BT Directories chief exec, Paul Elliott, said: "BT challenged Conduit's claim that 118 888 is half the price of BT Directory Enquiries because it is just not true. The only truth is that Conduit has been misleading customers.

"When you take into account the full spectrum of calls to BT Directory Enquiries, as well as the range of our services for residential customers and businesses, Conduit has no grounds to claim its price is half ours. Therefore, the decision to withdraw the slogan from all its advertising is very welcome," he said.

However, the move has incensed Conduit. While it admits BT wrote a legal letter setting out its case, Conduit maintains it replied informing BT that it was already planning to drop the "half the price of BT directory enquiries" slogan from the end of September since that ad campaign was coming to an end .

A spokesman for Conduit insisted that this move "was not the result of any threat of legal action".

Said the spokesman: "If BT wants to make an issue out of this we're more than happy to look into this [the half price claims].

And on the issue of whether 118 888 is half the price of BT's DQ service the spokesman said: "It's up to consumers to decide." ®

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