The Carphone Warehouse’s advert for ‘free’ TalkTalk broadband has been criticised by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) again following a complaint by BT.
An advert for TalkTalk broadband claimed that customers joining its Talk3 call plan would get ‘8 MB broadband free!’ by paying £8.99 per month, together with £11 per month for TalkTalk line rental, which it pointed out was ’the same as you’d pay BT’. The ad continued: ‘When you take calls, broadband and line rental together there is a minimum contract term of 18 months.’
BT claimed that the description of ‘free broadband’ was misleading, as the minimum contract term for pre-existing Talk3 customers was 12 months, whereas the minimum period for Talk3 with free broadband was 18 months.
The ASA upheld BT’s complaint that that the new package increased the customer’s commitment and could be classed ‘as a new package of which broadband was an intrinsic, not free, element’.
The Carphone Warehouse argued that it thought the ad complied with ASA regulations, as before it was published the ad had been submitted to copy advice team of the Committee of Advertising Practice.
The Carphone Warehouse added that the only complaint about the ad was from BT.
The ASA advised TalkTalk to ensure that future ads use the term ‘free’ appropriately.