ASA blasts telecoms companies over ads

Five telecoms companies were rapped in this month’s Advertising Standards Authority report for making inaccurate or misleading claims.

The report, which was delayed by a week after Direct Line Financial Services was granted an injunction to stop publication over a contested adjudication (MW August 14), also contains criticism of blue-chip car manufacturers Audi and Volvo for using references to excessive speed in their advertisements.

BT objected to a direct mailing and a local press ad from Bell Cablemedia, which claimed cable lines are clearer, while a member of the public complained about a press ad for a Nokia mobile phone from Dial-A-Phone, which stated an extra cost in a small footnote.

Both complaints were upheld by the ASA, which also rapped First Telecom for not including VAT in its prices in a regional press ad, and One2One, which claimed in a poster by Bartle Bogle Hegarty that its coverage was “now 80 per cent” without specifying this was population, not geographical, coverage.

A complaint about a press ad for Peoples Phone through Banks Hoggins O’Shea, which offered a free hands-free phone so motorists can “talk and drive in complete safety”, was also upheld.

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