EE has clashed with Three regarding the use of the term ‘undisputed’ by the Hutchison Whampoa owned brand in its marketing material.
As part of a major advertising campaign Three used the phrase ‘Undisputed. UK’s most reliable network. Again.’ The claim is in reference to the YouGov poll on network reliability which Three has won on five consecutive occasions.
EE felt that it was unfair of its rival to describe its network as ‘undisputed’ when it had recently been ranked first in a number of reliability tests.
The UK’s largest network took to Twitter to point out that the term ‘undisputed’ could only be used when several awards from different bodies could be unified.
A spokesperson for EE said: ‘We’d agree that reliability is critical to mobile customers. Purple puppets aside, it’s well known that to claim undisputed you need to win and unify the awards across all the awarding bodies. EE has recently won reliability awards, but that doesn’t make us ‘undisputed’. We’ve simply asked Three to reflect this.’
Responding to EE’s complaint Three a spokesperson for the network reference the results of the YouGov surveys, which are based on responses from UK consumers: ‘According to YouGov, Three has been rated the most reliable network by consumers on five consecutive occasions.
‘Customers rated Three highest on all topics relating to reliability, such as reliability for calls and texts, reliability during the day and reliability during the evening. Three also came out top for ‘Overall Reliability’’. We are very proud of this accolade, which is why we have chosen to celebrate it in our current ATL (above the line) activity.’
Mobile understands that the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) are currently looking into Three’s use of the term, with the network adamant that it will defend its decision to use the phrase.
Clashes between mobile firms involving ASA have been a trend for a number of years. Back in 2014 Three lodged a complaint with the regulator over Lycamobile’s use of the phrase ‘UNLIMITED 4G DATA’ resulting in Lycamobile having its advert banned.
Lycamobile's 4G ad banned by UK watchdog
Vodafone also had an advert banned by ASA in the summer of 2014 after Telefonica complained that customers were being misled by the statement in a TV campaign. The operator claimed '77% of the emergency services use Vodafone' alongside scenes of a firefighter’s wife leaving her husband a message whilst he was firefighting.
Vodafone ad banned by the Advertising Standards Authority