ASA Adjudication on Vectone Services Ltd
Vectone Services Ltd
58 Marsh Wall
16 June 2010
Computers and telecommunications
Number of complaints:
A TV ad for a mobile phone service stated “We’re bringing you 1p weekends. Calls cost just 1p a minute all weekend, that’s right, international calls to fixed lines and mobiles are just 1p a minute every weekend.” The on-screen text stated “Number of 1p minutes varies according to destinations.”
A viewer objected that the ad was misleading, because it implied that all calls would be 1p per minute for all destinations when that was not the case.
BCAP TV Code
Vectone believed the on-screen text in the ad made clear that the number of 1p minutes was limited by destination and argued that there was sufficient information to make viewers aware that not every call would be 1p per minute.
The broadcaster, NDTV Imagine (NDTV), supported Vectones view that the on-screen text made the limitations of the service clear. They also said the ad directed viewers to the advertisers website where consumers could calculate the number of 1p weekend minutes available to a chosen destination based on the amount the consumer topped-up. NDTV stated that the international service was available in over 85 destinations and argued that it would be impractical to state the number of 1p minutes available for all destinations. NDTV said their in-house sales team checked the ad prior to broadcast and were satisfied that the limitations of the offer were made clear and believed that the ad would not mislead.
The ASA considered that the claim "Were bringing you 1p weekends. Calls cost just 1p a minute all weekend, thats right, international calls to fixed lines and mobiles are just 1p a minute every weekend" implied that international calls, to all destinations, were charged at 1p per minute. We acknowledged the presence of on-screen text that said the number of 1p minutes available was limited; however, we considered that the text was not sufficiently prominent and, furthermore, contradicted the overall impression of the ad that all calls to all destinations were 1p per minute at weekends, which was not the case. We concluded, therefore, that the ad was likely to mislead.
The ad breached CAP (Broadcast) TV Advertising Standards Code rules 5.1.1, 5.1.2 (Misleading advertising) and 5.2.3 (Qualifications).
The ad must not be broadcast again in its current form.
Adjudication of the ASA Council (Broadcast)