The Advertising Standards Authority (opens in new tab) upheld a complaint, brought up by BT, against an advert by Carphone Warehouse's Talktalk.
The crux of the complaint revolved around a deal which highlighted the fact that Talktalk would give out free broadband with its Talk3 package (opens in new tab); however the Talk3 package with and without broadband have different contract lengths; this has since been corrected.
This, BT argues (opens in new tab), "involved an increased burden on the consumer" than the Talk3 package without broadband, so it was an entirely new product of which broadband was an "intrinsic, not free element".
The advert said that a free broadband service, offering up to 8Mb, would be provided for a total price of GBP 20.99 - includes line rental and talk3 call package.
Although Talktalk was found guilty, the Carphone warehouse company merely got a slap on the hand.
The ASA told them "to ensure that, in future ads or promotions, the use of "free" was appropriate. We advised them to seek guidance from the CAP Copy Advice team before making similar claims in future."