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Advertiser: Virgin Media
Medium: Internet (Company Website), Television
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 2.4(c), 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10, 4.27, 5.16
The television advertisement featured words falling on to each other to build a stack. These were:
With €49 appearing at the top. Text then stated
“The sale that stacks up”
MVO: “With Virgin Media, you can build up the entertainment and tear down the price. Switch to Virgin Media and get superfast broadband and tv for just €49 a month for an awesome 12 months. The sale that stacks up now on. see virginmedia.ie”
“T&C's apply, see virginmedia.ie. Subject to availability. 12 month contract Mix 240, €89 a month after offer. 240Mb achieved by at least 50% of customers on a wired connection at peak times. Fastest in home WiFi as awarded by Ookla, for verification see speedster.net/awards/Ireland. Ends 27/02/19”
The advertisement on the advertisers’ website stated:
The Sale That Stacks Up
Build up the entertainment and tear down the price this January. Get superfast 240Mb broadband and TV for just €49 a month for an awesome 12 months.
√ 240Mb broadband
√ 50+ TV Channels (22 in HD)”
Below the advertisement there is a question:
“Can you join Ireland’s fastest broadband network?
Find out instantly by telling us a couple of details
County / Postal address (include house, street and area)
Further below the details of various TV, Broadband and home packages are outlined.
The complainant considered the advertising for a range of TV, broadband and phone packages on sale at a reduced price to be misleading as there was nothing to indicate the offers were available only to new customers. He considered that the initial terms and conditions should have mentioned the promotion being restricted.
The advertisers said that ‘The sale that stacks up’ campaign offered their new customers a discount on new TV, Broadband and Home Phone bundles purchased. They said that in the terms and conditions on their website, they clearly stated that this offer was available to new Virgin Media customers who ‘purchase a new broadband, home phone and TV product’, and provided a screenshot of the information on their website. They said they further re-iterated that the offer was only available to new customers ordering new products alongside each of the offers listed in the terms and conditions, and provided a screenshot of the information on their website.
The ASAI Executive asked the advertisers to also comment on their TV advertisement. In their reply, they said that the terms and conditions were included in the small print on their TV advertisement during the ‘Sale that stacks up’ campaign directing their customers to their website for full Terms and Conditions where they explicitly stated that all offers were only applicable to new customers.
To ensure they avoid any confusion, the advertisers said that in subsequent campaigns they included an additional line of text in their TV advertisement’s small print stating ‘All offers apply to new customers only’.
Complaint upheld in part.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response.
Advertisement 1 – Not in Breach:
The Committee noted that the television advertisement said ‘switch’ and considered it was clear that the offer was only for new customers. In the circumstances, they considered the advertisement was not in breach of the Code.
Advertisement 2 – In Breach:
The Committee noted that while the detailed Terms and Conditions indicated the offer was only available to new customers, this should have been referenced in the body copy of the advertisement. They concluded the advertisement was in breach of sections 4.1, 4.4 and 5.16 of the Code.
No further action was required in relation to the television advertisement.
The website advertisement must be amended to reference the condition that the offer was only available to new customers.