Saturday, 30 May 2020

EE’s overly boastful adverts next to get banned

by Harry Baldock, Total Telecom
Wednesday 08 April 20

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has brought down the hammer on EE’s latest advertising campaign

Last month, Three’s advertising campaign claiming ‘if it’s not Three, it’s not real 5G’ was slammed by the ASA as being misleading and the operator was told to discontinue it immediately. But Three is not the only operator making big and somewhat spurious claims during these tumultuous times…

Last month, Three’s advertising campaign claiming ‘if it’s not Three, it’s not real 5G’ was slammed by the ASA as being misleading and the operator was told to discontinue it immediately.

But Three is not the only operator making big and somewhat spurious claims during these tumultuous times. Now, EE (BT) has had some of its adverts banned for claiming superiority over its rivals, even though such declarations are not strictly true.

EE’s advertising campaign, which has been running since May last year, included such claims as being ‘unrivalled’ and ‘unbeatable’, as well as being the UK’s ‘No. 1 network’. 

Perhaps there is some irony in that it was Three that first brought the veracity of these claims to the regulator’s attention, suggesting, among other things, that the adverts did not sufficiently support their statements factually in the fine print.

EE argued that these statements were based on independent research by organisations such as Rootmetrics, but the ASA has ruled that this was not made sufficiently clear in the adverts themselves.

As in the case of Three, the ASA’s ruling on EE’s adverts is that they must no longer run, but that is the extent of the sanctions it is able to impose.

With 5G set to flourish this year – although perhaps on a less grand scale due to the ongoing pandemic – operators are fighting harm to differentiate themselves from their competitors in the public eye. 

At least in the cases of Three and EE, the operators are unafraid to overstate their case and, given the ASA’s limited powers to stop them, it seems likely that they or others will continue to do so in future. 

 

How is the coronavirus affecting operator’s 5G rollouts? Find out at this year’s Connected Britain 

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