The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) today ruled that an claim made in an advertising campaign by Orange about its 3G network coverage ‘had not been substantiated’ and ‘was likely to mislead’.
The ASA investigated Orange's claims to have the country’s ‘biggest 3G network covering more people than any other’ after complaints by rival operator Three.
In response to the ruling, Three’s sales and marketing director, Marc Allera, said: ‘Orange’s claims in its advertising to have the UK’s biggest 3G network were completely unsubstantiated and misleading for consumers.
‘Right now consumers struggle to get a consistent picture of how 3G networks compare when it comes to coverage. It is in the interest of consumers for there to be a definitive view on 3G network coverage.
‘Three is pleased the ASA has now agreed that Orange’s adverts breached advertising codes. We believe that we have the UK’s biggest 3G network – both by population coverage and geographic coverage - and that we have the data to prove this in a like-for-like comparison.’
Three asked the advertising watchdog to investigate the poster adverts at the end of September 2009. Orange’s campaign was only published on posters and in print media.
Three disputed the claims Orange made in the adverts. The network says it has more 3G sites than any other operator, with 11,470 as of 30 June 2010, offering a coverage figure of 94.85% based on its own metrics.