An advert run by Carphone Warehouse has been banned after watchdogs ruled it was potentially misleading to consumers.
Earlier this year the retail giant ran a radio ad which stated:
“Arabella splurges her £152 on a luxury pampering session for her chihuahua, Mr Fluffles. Switch with Carphone Warehouse and save, on average, £152. Visit us in store or online. Saving compared with major networks over 24 months. Promotion incentives excluded”.
The claims were challenged after it emerged that Carphone Warehouse’s comparison excluded Three, the UK’s smallest mobile network operator.
In its response to the advertising watchdog, the ASA, Carphone Warehouse said its comparison was against Vodafone, O2 and EE, and did not include deals available from Three and that other adverts running as part of the campaign referred to the three networks by name.
However the firm claimed it wasn’t possible to namecheck them in the radio advert due to its 20 second length.
However the ASA ruled the ad was misleading because Three’s status as a full-fledged mobile network operator, as opposed to a virtual network renting capacity from a wholesale partner, meant consumers would understand it to be a “major” network.
It ruled “As the comparison did not include Three, we concluded that the ad was misleading.”
Carphone Warehouse has been told not to repeat the advert in its current form.