The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority has ruled that a TV advertisement for Three didn’t explain the network’s free calls policy clearly enough.
A voice on the TV ad said “At Three, we’ve made 0800 numbers free” and “All 0800 numbers are free on our 24 month plans”. However, an on-screen message added “All 0800 calls free on new Three plans.”
A total of eleven people challenged the claim “we’ve made 0800 numbers free” because this only applied to new customers or new 24-month contracts.
Hutchison 3G UK, which runs the Three network, said the text was displayed in a large font as the first on-screen message, making it unambiguous.
The ASA disagreed, describing the ad’s contents as “three differing messages”. It described the ad as containing “ambiguous and contradictory messages which did not make clear the extent of the commitment consumers must make”.
As a result, it ruled that the ad breached rules on misleading advertising, qualification and ‘free’ claims.
From the end of June next year, all UK mobile phone networks will be required to provide free calls to numbers beginning 080.