T-Mobile free texts ‘forever’ ad not misleading, ASA says

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The Advertising Standards Authority ruled that an advert from T-Mobile that said customers could get free texts “forever” did not contain elements of “advertising puffery”

T-Mobile has escaped punishment for an advert that said customers could get unlimited free texts “forever” if they topped up £10 a month, as the Advertising Standards Authority said it was not misleading.

The TV adverts from the company, which makes up half of Everything Everywhere, stated “At T-Mobile we’ve found out Britain loves an extra day off…And we really love a bargain! So top up £10 a month on pay as you go and get unlimited free texts forever.” On-screen text added: “Texts applied and last for following month. Terms apply.”

Similar offers were promoted by T-Mobile on its website and social network page.

They were challenged by two complainants who asked whether the word “forever” was misleading and could be substantiated. They did not believe the advertisers would be able to demonstrate that the free, unlimited texts would be available indefinitely.

But T-Mobile said they had no business plan to remove the offer from customers who continued to top up at least £10 a month. Advertising service Clearcast said T-Mobile had assured them that customers who continued to top up a minimum of £10 per month would receive texts indefinitely.

Today the ASA ruled: “We considered consumers were likely to interpret the claim as containing an element of advertising puffery and were unlikely to infer that texts would be available literally forever.

“Because of that, and because T-Mobile had given their assurance that they had no business plan to remove the offer for customers who joined during the offer period, we concluded that the claim was not misleading.”

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