Feeds

BT's 'six-month free broadband' offer is a big fat FIB - ads watchdog

Misleading advert banned in second ruling of 2013

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

BT misled customers by wrongly claiming that one of its broadband products was "free for six months", says Blighty's ad watchdog. This is the second time this year the national telco has been scolded by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The offending press advert boasted that "the UK's most complete broadband package" would be "free for six months", with text underneath that stated: "Then just £13 a month, plus your line rental at £14.60 a month."

However, the small print at the bottom of the ad read: "Offer ends 10/01/13. For new BT broadband customers only that sign up for an 18 month minimum term and pay BT line rental of £14.60 a month (rising to £15.45 on 05/01/13)." BT's telly ad carried similar claims for the same offer.

Two complainants challenged the telecoms giant's "free for six months" claim for being misleading because a line rental charge would be applied to the product - making it anything but free.

The ASA upheld those complaints and banned the ads from appearing again in that form.

BT admitted that its press and TV campaign could have been clearer, but it insisted the ambiguity was due to an "unintended consequence" of its "attempts to comply with a recent ASA adjudication, relating to another telecoms provider, regarding the prominence of line rental" - in other words, BT drew up the ad after an unnamed rival was rapped over line rental costs, but still managed to fall foul of the watchdog's code of conduct.

"We told BT [to make] clear the extent of the commitment consumers must make to take advantage of 'free' offers in future," the ASA stated.

Just last week, the national telco was lambasted by the watchdog, which found that BT had "misled" customers on when its broadband products would be available in their areas. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
iPhone 6 shunned by fanbois in Apple's GREAT FAIL of CHINA
Just 100 Beijing fanbois queue to pick up new mobe
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
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?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.