November 7, 2016
Advertising Standards Authority changes to fixed broadband advertised price claims came into force on 31 October 2016. This follows the ASA indicating that transparency in broadband price ads must improve if advertisers are to be confident that their ads will not mislead consumers and risk being banned.
Earlier this year, the ASA said that it would be taking a tougher approach on how the price of broadband packages are advertised following the outcome of its research jointly produced with Ofcom. This research found that the presentation of pricing in fixed broadband ads was likely to confuse and mislead consumers about the cost of broadband services. 81% of participants were unable to calculate correctly the total cost of a broadband contract when asked to do so after viewing an ad.
From now on, in order for broadband providers to ensure they stay within the rules, their price claims should:
- show all-inclusive up-front and monthly costs: no more separating out line rental;
- give greater prominence to the contract length and any post-discount pricing; and
- give greater prominence to up-front costs (such as delivery fee, activation fee, installation fee).
The ASA has engaged with industry and other key stakeholders, including consumer groups, on this issue and it is aware that some broadband providers have already made changes and are no longer separating out line rental. To read the ASA’s announcement in full, click here.