ASA rules Mercury ad for Bonuscall `misleading’

Mercury Communications has been rebuked by the Advertising Standards Authority for not revealing that its 25 per cent discount Bonuscall scheme is only applicable to business users spending more than £20,000 a month on calls.

Mercury claims the calls ceiling is made clear to users before they make a commitment to the scheme. But the ASA found that the failure to include the information in the ad could give a “misleading impression”.

The ruling follows a six-point complaint about Mercury’s press campaign for Bonuscall and a mailing targeted at residential users by rival BT. BT claimed the press ads were unjustified and misleading.

Mercury’s press ads claim it can beat BT’s equivalent offer on long distance calls “every time” and offer a “25 per cent discount on long distance and international calls”. Mercury did not reveal that the figures were discounted against Mercury’s base prices – which it never charges. The ASA has demanded that Mercury withdraw both claims from its advertising.

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