The television advertisement for Hutchison 3G Ireland referred to the following:
“Right now with Three you get everything for only €29.59 a month. That’s all calls, all texts and all data for less than €30. Terms and conditions apply…”
The voiceover to the advertisement was accompanied with the following onscreen text in large print:
“All calls, all texts, all data, everything only €29.95 a month.”
Smaller text contained within a footnote at the bottom of the screen then offered the following information:
“30 days minimum term. Fair usage applies to calls and text. €29.95 for each of the first three months. €39.75 thereafter. Sim only. See three.ie.”
The complainant expressed concern at not being able to read the small on-screen text. He considered that as the text was too small for him to read that he was unable to access the full details of the offer.
The advertisers said that they considered the text used in their advertising to adhere to the relevant guidelines set out by the broadcasting authorities in the UK. They also said that they considered that all the details in relation to the offer were made available to consumers prior to them signing up to the offer. In the circumstances they did not consider that they had breached the requirements of the Code.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. They noted that while the advertisers had referred to the fact that that the price was a promotional price for three months that they had only done so through onscreen text which had not been linked by way of an asterisk to the main headline claim. They considered that the fact the offer was an introductory/promotional offer was a major condition and some indication of the price change should have been given in the main copy. In addition they considered that the light font colour used mainly on an active grey background impacted on the legibility of the text. The Committee considered the advertising to be in breach of Sections, 2.22, 2.24, 2.41 and 3.16 of the Code.
The advertising must not run in its current format again.