Feeds

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

Misleading advert banned in second ruling of 2013

Boost IT visibility and business value

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
What's the nature of your emergency, Vodafone?
Oh, you've dialled the wrong number for ad fibs, rules ASA
EE network whacked by 'PDP authentication failure' blunder
Carrier is 'aware' of cockup, working on a fix NOW
ROAD TRIP! An FCC road trip – Leahy demands net neutrality debate across US
You crashed watchdog's site, now time to crash its ears
Google's so smart it's discovered SHARKS HAVE TEETH
Congratulations, world media, for rediscovering submarine cable armour
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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?