ASA slaps TalkTalk for "FREE" broadband ad

The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld a BT complaint against an advert for TalkTalk's (Carphone Warehouse) "FREE" broadband service:

A brochure ad, for TalkTalk, was headed "FREE Broadband" and claimed " ... This year, why not join our Talk3 call plan and get up to 8 Meg (speed depends on proximity to exchange) broadband free! All you pay is £8.99 per month plus TalkTalk line rental at £11 per month (the same as you'd pay BT)".

A footnote stated "When you take calls, broadband and line rental together there is a minimum contract term of 18 months".

BT complained that it was misleading to advertise the broadband service as "FREE" because the minimum term contract on the pre-existing Talk 3 call plan was 12 months, whereas the contractual period for 'Talk 3 with free broadband' was 18 months.

The ASA concluded that the different contract terms effectively made the promotion into a new package and that the ad was likely to mislead.

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