Phones 4U ad banned after rival Carphone Warehouse cries foul

Phones 4U: ASA bans ad
Phones 4U: ASA bans ad

The advertising watchdog has banned a Phones 4U ad promoting an upgrade to a Samsung Galaxy SIII, after rival Carphone Warehouse complained the ad was misleading.

The print ad, created by adam&eveDDB, stated: "What's the upgrade deal of the week? Get this SAMSUNG GALAXY III, exclusively in AMBER BROWN from only £26 per month!"

However, the small-print revealed that the offer was only available with an initial handset cost of £49 a month.

Carphone Warehouse complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that the ad was misleading, as it argued the price of the handset was insufficiently prominent.

Phones 4U argued that the aim of the campaign is to communicate its best upgrade deal each week, and that the "average consumer" would know they would have to pay an initial upfront price for the handset. It also claimed an asterisk referring to the upgrade cost was "sufficiently prominent" to draw the reader’s attention.

However, the ASA ruled that, as some packages did not include an initial cost for the handset, it may mislead consumers reading that the upgrade was available for only £26 per month. As a result, the ad may not appear again in its current form.

Phones 4U has had previous run-ins with the ASA. In 2011, its horror-themed TV ad featuring a ghost-like girl was the most complained about ad of the year. It received 659 complaints from viewers who believed them to be "offensive, irresponsible, unduly distressing and inappropriately scheduled".

Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

Ex-Thomas Cook marketer Mike Hoban resurfaces at Morrisons
Barbour creates real-time illustrations of consumers' stories for summer campaign
Viral review: Samsung goes for Apple’s jugular but fails to connect
View from Brazil: why we didn't believe we could lose the World Cup
Heineken unveils ‘Open Your City’ drive with Metro for ‘men of the world’
Unilever continues portfolio 'reshaping' with Slim-Fast sale
Amazon to fight US authorities over in-app purchase claims
Google set to invest $100m in Europe's tech start-ups
Metcalfe's set to release quirky debut TV ad
Samsung pities the iPhone 'wall huggers'
Smirnoff campaign aims to make Formula One less elitist
Apple wins EU battle to register store layout as trademark
Marketing directors need to step outside 'marketing box' to earn seat on the board
Hottest virals: Burger King’s emotional gay pride Whopper ad, plus Apple and Guinness
Developer creates software enabling Google Glass mind-control
Kick-ass girl beats up shopping centre staff in music video
Top 10 ads of the week: Aldi's World Cup cider ad scores with consumers
Sony relives Germany's 7-1 victory against Brazil in Subbuteo Vine
Burberry credits 9% revenue hike on strong online sales and 'more targeted marketing'
Ritz returns to UK TV screens after 30-year hiatus
Mars creates chief health and wellbeing officer role
Brands make the most of Germany's dramatic victory over Brazil
Adios Justin King! Watch our video tribute as he leaves Sainsbury's after a decade
Nike calls time on 13-year Manchester United kit deal
Three TV ad banned over misleading 'free' call claims
GNM boss David Pemsel: 'The Guardian has got its mojo back'
M&S has missed a massive opportunity to put digital strategy at its heart
Google partners with the Barbican to show coders are artists
Samaritans encourages men to talk about issues with #DownNotOut campaign
Lego's partnership with Shell 'not awesome', according to Greenpeace viral