The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has ordered Orange to remove an advert claiming that the company "covers more people in the UK than any other operator".
The agency acted on a complaint made by rival 3Mobile in September 2009, after Orange had launched the £4 million advertising campaign to promote its 3G network.
Orange admitted that 3Mobile has the largest 3G coverage in the UK, but maintained that its advertisement referred to the fact that Orange covers a larger number of people than any other service provider.
The ASA ruled that Orange had failed to provide the population coverage data on its advertisement, making the claim ambiguous.
In a statement, the ASA said: “'The Orange 3G network covers more people in the UK than any other operator', was ambiguous and likely to mislead consumers because it did not make clear whether it was referring to population or geographical coverage.”