AN operator is expected to lodge a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority over a ‘misleading’ campaign for the Samsung Galaxy SIII LTE.
EE has heavily promoted the handset with posters in shop windows. They promise the device with unlimited data, unlimited texts and 1,000 minutes for £31 per month, with a £49.99 upfront payment.
As pictured (right), the poster features the T-Mobile logo and its Full Monty proposition but makes no mention of how the unlimited data is across its 3G network, rather than its 4G, which the handset supports.
Mobile understands a complaint is being prepared to be sent to the Advertising Standards Authority over the poster and is expected to be filed by the end of the week
One rival operator said: ‘It’s an issue for the general consumer. While more techy customers may understand that you couldn’t get 4G speeds on a 3G network, your average consumer is likely to be mislead by this. They would be expecting unlimited 4G data, which isn’t on offer.’
As Mobile went to press on Tuesday evening (5 February), EE said it had yet to receive any complaint about the campaign. A spokesman said it was standard practice to have 4G handsets advertised on 3G networks, pointing out its rivals sell the same Samsung device, among others.
The move is the latest broadside between operators involving the ASA as competition for consumer acquisition hots up.
Vodafone was criticised by EE when it launched a £4.5m advertising campaign in November for its 4G price promise. It had said customers who upgrade to an iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy SIII LTE or Galaxy Note II can upgrade to a future 4G contract by paying off 30% of their remaining line rental.
EE initially threatened to complain to the Advertising Standards Authority over the advert, claiming it was misleading to promise a 4G service when it had not yet purchased any spectrum.
However, EE later rowed back from its threat, choosing instead to ‘raise concerns’ with Vodafone about the content of the campaign.
Author: Graeme Neill