‘Misleading’ Phones 4U press ad banned by the ASA

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Advertising regulator deems upfront handset price was not prominent enough

A press advertisement from Phones 4U has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for not making the upfront price clear in an advertisement for a contract deal.

Following a complaint from Carphone Warehouse, the ASA investigated an advert for the Samsung Galaxy SIII which claimed the brown version of the handset was available for ‘only £26 per month’ with small print at the bottom adding details of a £49 upfront fee.

Carphone argued the upfront cost was not prominent enough and as a result the offer was misleading.

P4U argued the asterisk next to the £26 claim would lead readers to the terms and conditions at the bottom of the advertisement, however, the ASA agreed with Carphone and decided the price was ‘insufficiently prominent’.

The ASA concluded: “We considered that in an ad that focused on a particular handset and gave a headline price of ‘only £26 per month’, the initial cost of the handset was insufficiently prominent and should have been given in body copy immediately following the monthly price.”

The advertisement must not appear again in its current form.

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