ASA bans Carphone Warehouse ad over “lowest price” claim

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Three complained about website promises that retailer would check prices so customers don’t have to

The Advertising Standards Authority has banned a website claim from Carphone Warehouse that it would check for the “UK’s Lowest Price” mobile deals so customers don’t have to.

The claim, which appeared on www.carphonewarehouse.co.uk in February, stated “UK’S LOWEST PRICE^ WE CHECK SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO”. The small print said it was based on new connections on selected 4G tariffs.

Three, who does not work with Carphone unlike rivals EE, O2 and Vodafone, complained about the claim. They said two parts (“UK’S LOWEST PRICE” and (“AT THE BEST PRICE”) were misleading because the comparisons were only based on a select number of providers.

Upholding the complaint, the ASA said: “Because we considered that the claim gave the impression that Carphone Warehouse had compared the prices and offers of all UK retailers in order to ensure that the price they offered was the lowest, which was not the case, we concluded that the claim “UK’S LOWEST PRICE” was likely to mislead consumers.

“The small print stated that the price promise only applied to three competitors, which we considered was insufficiently prominent to warn consumers of the significant limitation to the offer and contradicted the overall impression that Carphone Warehouse prices were better than all other retailers.”

The ASA ruled Carphone Warehouse cannot promote the ad again in its current form.

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