Advertising by eircom in various media for their Quad-Play Bundle featured the following:
The television advertisement is set in a family home. Some of the family are asleep in bed. A laptop television, mobile phone and a portable phone are shown flying around the living room. Text is featured on the laptop screen stating "Bundles from just €30 a month". The mobile phone is then heard to ring and a girl (previously asleep in bed) wakes up and lifts it from her bedside locker to answer the call. She is then shown walking in the living room, while reading/texting on her phone while a man is shown sitting down to watch TV. The final scene shows the man sitting on the couch watching TV, the girl walks past him texting on her mobile phone, a boy is shown sitting at a counter using a laptop and a woman is talking on the home phone.
The male voiceover stated:
“Only eircom can bring it all together for your home. With fibre broadband, home phone, mobile and TV. Great value bundles from just €30 a month. To find the bundle that’s perfect for you call us today on 1800 503303. eircom. All together now.”
Text on screen during part of the advertisement read:
“Bundle combinations vary and are subject to availability. 18 or 24 month contracts apply. Home phone and broadband bundles start from €30 a month for first 6 months. €45 a month thereafter. For terms see eircom.ie.”
The final on screen text stated:
Eircom All Together Now. 1800 503 303
Go to an eircom store. Visit eircom.ie"
The radio advertisement stated:
“Only eircom can bring it all together for your home. With super-fast fibre broadband, home phone, mobile and TV. Call eircom today and we’ll help find the bundle that’s perfect for you. From just €30 a month.” Call us on 1800 503303. eircom. All together now.”
The eircom website offered similar information to that featured on radio and television i.e. “eircom bundles from only €30 a month. All four services were depicted on the website.”
The complainants, UPC, said that the information in the eircom campaign was factually misleading. They said that the only bundle eircom could offer for the price of €30 was a two service bundle which included Broadband and Home Phone. They also said that the bundle did not include a third or fourth service such as Mobile or TV and it was therefore misleading for eircom to give the impression to consumers that all four products were available “from €30” per month. They considered that the entire visual and vocal representation of the advertising strongly suggested that all four products were available in the bundled offer and therefore consumers were being misled by inaccuracies in the overall campaign.
UPC also said that the offer in question was a promotional offer and the €30 price for the two bundled service increased to €45 after six months.
The advertisers said that at no point in their TV, radio or online advertising had they asserted that a four product bundle was available to consumers for €30 a month. They said that the campaign in question had highlighted the four products which they could currently offer to their customers. They said that it was also factually accurate that they were the only operator in Ireland who could offer these four products to new or existing customers and that is why they claimed “Only eircom can bring it all together for your home- with superfast fibre broadband, home phone, mobile and TV.”
The advertisers also said that the purpose of their campaign had been to promote the various combinations of bundling which they could offer. Furthermore they said that consumers were invited to ‘call eircom today’ to find the bundle which would be best suited to them as ‘Bundle combinations vary.’ They said they considered that they had been clear in their advertising that they were promoting a range of bundles and not just one bundle made up of four products. Likewise they said that they had been clear that their bundles were ‘from €30’ for the first six months and that this price increased to €45 thereafter.
Finally the advertisers said that the “All together now” line used was not specific to the campaign complained of and it was their intention to use this new brand line in all their campaigns for the foreseeable future. The advertising campaign in question they said had ceased in April 2014.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. They considered that while eircom had been clear in the fact that the offer was a promotional offer for six months and had invited consumers to call them to see which bundle best suited their needs, that the overall impression created from the visual representation and voiceover used was that consumers could, if they wished, bundle the four products depicted i.e. Broadband, Home Phone, Mobile and TV for €30 per month. The Committee therefore considered that the advertisement was in breach of Sections 2.22, 2.24 and 2.26 of the Code.
As the campaign in question was no longer running, no further action was required in this case.