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ASA slaps down Vodafone 'unlimited' data claims

Plus ça change

Vodafone has today been ordered to withdraw an advert for one of its data packages which falsely implied customers could get unlimited mobile web access.

The ad copy bellowed: "Any website, any time. £7.50 a month. Make the most of now." The small print whispered that a usage limit of 120MB per month applies.

Vodafone argued against a complaint made to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), saying that the word "any" meant "some, or even the smallest amount of". Consumers would interpret the ad as implying mobility, not unlimited data, it claimed.

The ASA however ruled that the ad could be construed as an 'unlimited' claim, and that the small print was not prominent enough. It concluded that Vodafone was likely to mislead potential subscribers.

The operator has been told not to use the ad in its current form again. And, er, that's it. The adjudication is here.

We've been here before of course, many times. It remains to be seen whether Ofcom's new voluntary broadband code of practice has any effect when it kicks in in about six months' time (although at present it only covers fixed line broadband). ®

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