TalkTalk to pull ad as BT complaint upheld

TalkTalk's advert didn't make it clear the ISP was talking potential savings
Kerry Butters

July 20, 2011
TalkTalk Logo Electric

TalkTalk will have to rethink its advertising after the Advertising Standards Agency ruled that the company’s “ad must not be shown again in its current form”, following a complaint made by BT.

BT challenged the adverts, calling them misleading, in a complaint made to the watchdog which claimed that the ads exaggerated the amount of savings that could be made by customers switching from another supplier.

This is because the savings offered as evidence on the ad were based on customers who had already switched to TalkTalk - and not on the savings that could be made by potential customers switching in the future.

TalkTalk said that a survey of its current customers was carried out and found that many of them enjoyed savings of up to £150 when they had switched to TalkTalk.

The firm went on to say that the question marks used onscreen invited viewers to see if they could make the same sort of savings by switching.

TalkTalk further defended the ad by insisting that the survey confirmed that savings were obtainable, and that the claim was posed as a question, as it understood not everyone could attain such savings.

Because of this, the company believes that the ad was not misleading and that they “therefore believed that the ad did not contain a savings claim and there could consequently be no exaggeration.”

The ASA disagreed with TalkTalk’s assertion that the question marks clearly posed the “Save over £140″ statement in the advert as only a possible saving.

It said the question marks around the statement only appeared very briefly, and therefore could have been easily overlooked, with viewers interpreting the saving as a “whole-bill savings claim”.

Furthermore, the ASA felt that the advert implied that making a switch to TalkTalk would mean viewers could make such a substantial saving, as well.

The ASA stated: “We considered that such a claim would need to be substantiated with a comprehensive, robust set of comparisons which showed that TalkTalk’s phone and broadband tariffs were lower than those of their competitors.”

“The ad breached BCAP Code rules 3.1, 3.2 (Misleading advertising), 3.9 (Substantiation) and 3.12 (Exaggeration),” the report concluded.

The TV ad promoted savings that could be made if customers were to switch to TalkTalk’s phone and broadband package for £6.99 per month.






 

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