The Carphone Warehouse has been told to drop the phrase “0% commission” from its advertising. A complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority from rival Phones 4U argued that “100% impartial advice” and “0% Commission” were misleading. Phones 4U said they thought Carphone Warehouse staff were rewarded on the basis of store sales figures, which meant they could not be totally impartial.
The ASA said the ‘impartial advice’ claim didn’t breach guidelines because profit margins on individual products were not circulated to regional or branch managers, which meant staff wouldn’t able to ascertain the profit margin on individual products or services.
However, it said the ‘0% Commission’ claim suggested there was no financial incentive for a sales consultant to sell more products or services, which was misleading because The Carphone Warehouse bonus system was based to a large extent on an individual's contribution to their branch meeting its target. As a result, the ASA has told The Carphone Warehouse to remove the 0% Commission claims from its ads.