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ASA rules against O2 over streetmap promo

Out-of-date ad kerbed

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

O2 has been rapped over the knuckles by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for a recent advert promoting its deal with Streetmap.co.uk.

The ad features an animation of a chap unfurling a landscape, with a voiceover suggesting you will always know where you are going with free maps from O2 and (exclusively) streetmap.co.uk. However, the on-screen text states that the offer ends on 21 August.

T-Mobile complained to the ASA that the service wasn't exclusive or free, and that the end date was misleading.

The ASA upheld T-Mobile's complaint that the end date was misleading, as customers may have thought the service would be free forever - providing they signed up before 21 August. Interestingly, no customers complained about the advert, or had apparently been confused.

It ruled in favour of O2, however, that the deal could be called "exclusive" as while any mobile internet user can log on to streetmap.co.uk, O2 customers got a special mobile version of the site.

It also said the service could be labelled as "free" as users of O2's iMode service wouldn't have to pay for the data.

On the basis of its ruling on the end date complaint, the ASA said O2 was never to show the advert again, though it seems unlikely the mobile company was going to anyway, as the offer has long expired. ®

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