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Product: Mobile Broadband
Medium: Online - Company Website, Outdoor, Television
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 2.4(c), 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10, 4.22
The website stated
“Gigabit Fibre has arrived and you can get it from only €29.99 a month
Enjoy Ireland’s fastest fibre broadband with speeds up to 1Gb in every room of your home. Plus our best ever WiFi.
Broadband & Landline
A MONTH FOR 12 MONTHS
Up to 150Mb Fibre
Totally Unlimited Broadband
Amazon Prime Video on us for a year!
Our fastest WiFi with our new fibre box
Unlimited Off-Peak local & national calls
FREE eir sport pack with Virgin Media Sport
12 month contract”
The television advertisement featured a woman freestyle dancing (an artistic dance style). The voiceover stated:
“Get eir Gigabit Fibre Broadband. Our fastest, strongest most reliable broadband connection straight to the heart of your home. Sign up today and get totally unlimited broadband, plus the eir sport pack free and Amazon Prime Video on us for a whole year. All from just €29.99 a month for the first six months. For more call 1800 500 300, go instore or visit eir.ie. eir lets make possible.”
Onscreen it stated
Eir sport pack FREE
Amazon Prime Video
From €29.99 a month
1800 500 300 in-store eir.ie “
The footnotes at the bottom of the screen stated
“Subject to location and availability”
“Offer subject to change. Amazon Prime Video has a value of €5.99 per month. Price depends on the chosen bundle. €29.99 p/m for 6 months (€65.99p/m thereafter)”.
“Price shown is for eir gigabit fibre 150Mb on 12 month contract. Eir sport channels subject to change. Installation & bundle activation fee may apply. For full terms see eir.ie.”
The outdoor posters featured the same woman from the television advertiser and stated
“Faster, more reliable broadband. This is eir Gigabit Fibre Broadband from just €29.99 a month. call 1800 500 300, go in-store visit eir.ie”.
“Your own broadband line straight to your home. is eir Gigabit Fibre Broadband from just €29.99 a month. call 1800 500 300, go in-store visit eir.ie”.
A complaint from Virgin Media and two consumer complaints were received regarding various advertisements in the campaign.
The complainants all considered that the advertising was misleading as it was promoting gigabit fibre broadband to describe all speeds within their fibre broadband portfolio. They felt it was misleading to state a “from” price of €29.99 when this price referred to 150mb broadband.
The advertisers stated that they had launched a new campaign highlighting their 100% Fibre to the Home network which they called the eir Gigabit Fibre Network. They said their campaign was aimed at driving awareness for this network and that access to it was "from €29.99 a month." They said consumers had a choice of speeds and tariffs on the Gigabit Fibre Broadband network called eir Gigabit Fibre 150Mb, eir Gigabit 500Mb and eir Gigabit Fibre 1Gb. They said they were very clear in their terms that price was dependent on the product chosen and that the €29.99 a month pricing was for eir Gigabit Fibre 150Mb. They said their campaign, in all its forms, clearly stated "from" €29.99 a month. They said their terms then clearly stated that "Price depends on chosen FTTH bundle of either Gigabit Fibre 150Mb, Gigabit Fibre 500Mb or Gigabit Fibre 1Gb. €29.99 p/m for 6 months (€65.99 p/m thereafter) is for eir Gigabit Fibre 150Mb on a 12 month contract.” They said none of their ATL communications mentioned their 1Gb speed. They said they were advertising the eir Gigabit Fibre network and had correctly stated that access to that was from €29.99.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response, including their comments that the campaign related to the company’s 100% Fibre to the Home network which was called eir Gigabit Fibre Network. However, they also noted that the advertising referred to Gigabit Fibre and Gigabit Fibre Broadband, with a lead in ‘from price’.
The Committee noted that the Code provided that a claim could be direct or implied, written, verbal or visual and that the name of a product could constitute a claim (Section 1.1(h)).
The Committee considered that consumers would understand a Gigabit product offering as one that would offer gigabit speeds, and as the product offered for the lead-in price of 29.99 was a lower speed, they considered the advertising was likely to be misleading and in breach of Code sections 4.1, 4.4 and 4.22 of the Code.
The campaign must not appear in its current format again.