ASA Warns TalkTalk Over Misleading Ad After Rival's Complain

The UK's Advertising Standards Authority has decided to uphold four complaints made against ISP TalkTalk by rivals BT and PlusNet over a misleading print advertisement.

The ad in question compares TalkTalk's phone and broadband packages with BT and PlusNet offerings, claiming that it offered “unbeatable value phone and broadband”.

BT and its sister ISP PlusNet filed four complaints with the ASA, alleging that the prices quoted in the commercial were unsubstantiated, compared dissimilar products, or did not include the discounts offered by BT.

Both the companies claim that the advertisements were misleading because they portrayed TalkTalk offered cheaper services than BT and PlusNet.

“We put this to TalkTalk who said the claim "unbeatable value phone and broadband" referred to value, a concept which, while related to price was not solely assessed on price. TalkTalk stated that Plusnet was attempting to introduce an objective element (price) to the interpretation of a subjective claim (value)” the ASA said in its ruling.

According to PC Pro, the regulator finally ruled that TalkTalk's reference to value was related to the 'price' of the products, which was indeed misleading.

The ASA warned TalkTalk that the advertisement should not appear in its current form.