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TalkTalk watchdog smackdown after ad complaint

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The Advertising Standards Authority has upheld a complaint brought by BT against TalkTalk for exaggerating savings claims it made in a TV ad.

It said TalkTalk had misled viewers of the advert by overstating the savings that customers might achieve.

The regulator said the ad's on-screen declaration that punters could "Save over £140" was "surrounded by numerous question marks", but only briefly and it was not clear that this was a question rather than a claim.

TalkTalk told the watchdog that the savings reference for its current customers was based on an "average total bill spend without being selective of certain charges or features".

The telco said it believed strongly that the ad was not misleading.

BT successfully won its argument on two points: Firstly, that TalkTalk had exaggerated the savings that customers were likely to achieve by switching to the provider.

Secondly, that the savings claim was based on savings that had been achieved by customers who had already switched to TalkTalk, and not on the savings that could be achieved by the customers of other providers to whom the ad was addressed.

The ASA ruled that TalkTalk's ad "must not be shown again in its current form". The ruling can be viewed here. ®

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