Opinion

Businesses must stick to ASA's rules

Making claims about a product or service is nothing new, nor is the making of misleading claims. And as if to prove the point, it's worth highlighting that TalkTalk has had a complaint upheld against it by the Advertising Standards Authority over an exaggerated savings claim.

At issue was a TV advert where TalkTalk said that customers that moved to it away from other providers could save over £140, albeit that the claim was on screen for a second or so and was surrounded by question marks.

TalkTalk defended it's stance saying that the saving was based on an 'average total bill spend without being selective of certain charges or features'. However BT won the day because TalkTalk had over egged the savings that customers could make and also because the claim was not based on the savings that could be made by customers of other providers, at whom the advert was aimed.

Advertisers need to remember the ASA rules that are based on the CAP Codes. Breaching the rules can lead to public admonishment and the withdrawal of advertising space - both in print and online.

This was first published in August 2011

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