Feeds

ASA tuts at Orange after 9 months pondering complaint

Don't do it again

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

The Advertising Standards Authority has upheld a complaint against Orange's claims that its 3G network is the biggest in the UK.

Orange won't be able to repeat the claim that its 3G network "covers more people in the UK than any other operator", but coming nine months after 3UK filed its complaint the decision is hardly going to hurt Orange.

3UK cherry picked snippets from the adjudication, quoting from the ASA that Orange's claim "had not been substantiated" and that it was "likely to mislead".

The problem with broad claims like these is that sufficient manipulation of figures can prove just about anything. In this instance Orange based its claim on population coverage, but 3UK argued that someone viewing the ad might assume that the claim was geographic – a view the ASA agreed with.

Network operators are free to make up their own coverage figures, and they not only use different methodologies but refuse to share them, so direct comparisons are just about impossible. 3UK is generally reckoned to have the best geographic coverage, based on Ofcom's maps, but debates about what constitutes "coverage" and "population" mean that exact figures are hard to come by.

Broad claims should always be suspect, and it's good to see them challenged, but even for a complicated issue like this nine months is way too long. 3UK reckons that Orange spent £4m running the campaign, which surely achieved all it was intended to achieve despite the slap on the wrist from the ASA. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
EE buys 58 Phones 4u stores for £2.5m after picking over carcass
Operator says it will safeguard 359 jobs, plans lick of paint
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names
Handbags at dawn over free content ad network's ID policy
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.