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Medium: Internet (Company Website)
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 2.4c, 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10, 4.33
A webpage on meteor.ie outlined information and awards for their network. It stated “There’s never been a better time to be a Meteor customer!” Included in the awards detailed was “Voted Ireland’s fastest mobile data network at the Switcher Awards 2016”.
Vodafone Ireland challenged the claim that Meteor had been awarded the fastest mobile data network award on the basis that Meteor had not been conferred with the award. They forwarded a link to the Switcher Awards which listed eir as the recipient of the Fastest Mobile Broadband award.
Eir responded and said that having reviewed the matter, they considered that the complaint was without merit.
They explained that Meteor was a wholly owned subsidiary of eircom Limited which traded as “eir”. They said that Meteor and eir shared, used and operated the same mobile network. This mobile network was in actual fact owned by Meteor and relevant 4G spectrum licences had been issued to Meteor for joint use by eir Mobile and Meteor by ComReg (1). Therefore any mobile network awards were directly relevant to both corporate entities, one of which in fact was owned by the other.
They also explained that no advertisements were produced for Meteor without prior approval from the awarding body, in this case Switcher.ie, who had confirmed to eir that credit for the award “Fastest Mobile Broadband” could legitimately be claimed by both eir and Meteor. They provided confirmation of same from Switcher.ie.
(1). Commission for Communications Regulation
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. The Committee noted the information provided concerning the relationship between eir and Meteor, that both entities used the same mobile network and that confirmation had been provided that both entities could use the “Fastest Mobile Broadband” award.
The Committee were concerned however, that from a consumer perspective, the use of the claim by Meteor could be understood as meaning that no other mobile provider, including eir, could offer as fast or faster mobile broadband. This was not the case, however, as because eir used the same network, they would have the capability to provide a similar offering to existing and potential customers. The Committee considered that the use of the superlative ‘fastest’ in this case was likely to mislead consumers and they found the advertisement to be in breach of Sections 4.1, 4.9, 4.10 and 4.33 of the Code.
The claim should not be used again in the current format.