Britvic could be Tangoed by furious parents when an advertisement for its orange soft drink breaks on August 6, encouraging customers to run up phone bills.
Viewers will be told in a TV campaign to ring an 0891 number printed on cans to order an orange Tango doll. The premium-rate phone call will cost 2.99.
Britvic says it complies with industry regulations by adding a statement asking children under 18 to seek permission from parents. It will also state the cost of the premium call, both on the can, and at the start of the call.
The promotion – the first of its kind – is just within legal limits. The Independent Committee for the Supervision of Telephone Information Services says Tango is “using rules to the limits” – the maximum cost allowed for promotions aimed at children is 3.
Britvic defends the promotion, claiming that most of its target market are responsible for their own phone bills.
David Atter, Tango brand group manager, says: “0891 numbers are common currency. Teenagers really can’t be bothered with collecting ring pulls.”