Three advert ruled misleading by ASA

The advertising regulator has said Three must change its adverts on contract deals to make it clearer that monthly charges are not fixed

An advert detailing contract deals from Three has been banned by the advertising standards authority (ASA) for being ‘misleading.’

The ASA ruled today that the advert, which features various pay monthly deals from Three, “must not appear again in its current form”.

It follows a complaint from a customer who said it did not make clear that Three could increase the monthly price within the term of the contract.

Three increased some monthly tariffs in the middle of this year in line with RPI.

Although the ASA noted that the advert did not say monthly tariffs would remain fixed for the duration of the contract, it said that “without any further qualification, consumers would be likely to understand that those prices would remain fixed for the entire term of the contract.”

It said that as the price of the contract was likely to be very important to the customer, and risk that it would be increased “amounted to a significant term, which should have been made clear.”

As well as telling Three to change the advert, the ASA told the operator to “ensure that they made any significant terms clear in future.”

Three had argued that because that was the first RPI increase in nine years, “it would not be reasonable to have expected them to reference that contractual term in every piece of marketing they had done for the last ten years on the basis that they may one day exercise that provision.”

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