Mobile phone company lied about "unlimited data", but that's OK says ASA

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unlimited: not limited or restricted in terms of number, quantity, or extent.

It seems that the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has a problem interpreting the standard dictionary definition of “unlimited”, because it has ruled in favour of a mobile phone company which used the word before “data” but really meant “250MB per month”.

Yes, it’s one of those words that should bring joy to the hearts of consumers (well, unless it precedes “torture” or “bills” or some other unpleasantness) — and yet so many tech-related companies abuse it mercilessly.

The ASA has already proved itself ineffectual in complaints against broadband providers who boast of “unlimited data plans” and yet cap or throttle users for breaking the obscure “fair use” policies…

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Andy MerrettMobile phone company lied about "unlimited data", but that's OK says ASA

Apple forced to drop misleading iPhone ads

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Turns out that the 3G iPhone isn’t “really fast” after all. In fact, by saying so, Apple broke Advertising Standards Agency rules.The ASA upheld complaints by 17 people who said that their iPhone 3G was anything but fast, and that the TV advert had misled them.

The ad, if you’ve not seen it, goes on and on about how the iPhone 3G is ‘really fast’, and shows maps and news sites appearing in milliseconds. 3G’s good, but even in central London it’s not that good. Apple, therefore, will not be able to broadcast the advert again in its current state.

No word whether a new version of the ad will include 20-second ‘loading’ pauses and random Safari crashes.

ASA’s ajudication (via the Big British Castle)

Related posts: Apple to be sued over iPhone web browser because it makes pages smaller | Apple releases iPhone firmware 2.2: better maps, Mail, Safari, podcasts, call quality

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Duncan GeereApple forced to drop misleading iPhone ads

Vodafone radio ad banned, it zips through T&Cs too fast

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The Advertising Standards Agency has been busy vetting technology ads recently. No sooner has it finished rapping Apple for misleading iPhone ads, or Virgin Media for sending bullet-hole mail through people’s letterboxes, then it’s on Vodafone’s case for blurting out the terms and conditions too quickly on a recent radio ad.

A whale-eared listener complained to the watchdog because the words were so fast that it was hard to hear the message. To be honest, I’m of the opinion that there are always several reams worth of finely printed contractual legalese attached to any product, and am happy for the cursory nod any radio advertiser gives to them to be over with as possible…

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Andy MerrettVodafone radio ad banned, it zips through T&Cs too fast

Advertising watchdog clears BT Gremlins ad following complaints that it gives children nightmares

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The Advertising Standards Authority has given the all clear to a recent BT TV advertisement after some people complained that a recent ad featuring Gremlins wreaking havoc on a hapless office worker was frightening children and giving them nightmares. The ad stars Peter Jones who you may know from such thrilling business TV shows as Dragon’s Den.

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Al WAdvertising watchdog clears BT Gremlins ad following complaints that it gives children nightmares

Virgin Media's broadband speed claims misled the public, ASA rules

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A recent advertising campaign for Virgin Media’s broadband packages has been deemed misleading to the public, because it didn’t make its traffic management policies plain enough.

BT complained about Virgin Media’s “hate to wait” campaign, which claimed it possible to download a half-hour TV show in under 26 minutes on their “up to 2Mbps” ‘M’ package. The size of the TV show used in the ad was 341MB, which exceeds the 300MB peak-time download threshold…

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Andy MerrettVirgin Media's broadband speed claims misled the public, ASA rules

Sky warned over broadband speed claims – had better not do it again or else

virgin-broadband-sky.jpgVirgin Media and two members of the public complained to the Advertising Standards Authority over a Sky Broadband advert which boasted its service is faster than Virgin’s.

Being a Virgin Media broadband user myself I can attest that it almost certainly is, as is a letter taped to the back of a tortoise, but that’s…

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Gary CutlackSky warned over broadband speed claims – had better not do it again or else