Telkom’s Do Broadband advertising campaign came under fire from the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) after a complaint from Mr. MS Moorad.
Mr Moorad lodged a consumer complaint against Telkom’s “do” broadband campaign, arguing that the advertisements claims of being suitable for ‘movies, gaming and music’ is misleading.
According to the ASA website, the complainant submitted that the advertising states that one can “do” music, movies and on-line gaming, but only affords the user 1GB. “This is misleading as a DVD-quality movie is at least 4GB and online gaming needs at least 20 GB monthly to play daily.”
Telkom said that it is willing to insert the following disclaimer in its online advertising: “Depending on the activity (movies music, gaming, education, communication, business or on line gaming) the onus is on the customer to ensure that there is sufficient bandwidth to cater for such activity.”
The ASA found that the website material is currently not sufficiently clear as to the capabilities and limitations of each “do” package, which is likely to mislead consumers, and ruled that the Do Broadband website advertising must be amended immediately to clearly reflect the material limitations of the service offerings.
Telkom’s Do Broadband television commercial only promotes the 1 Gigabyte package while stating that it offers “movies”, “gaming”, “education”, “business”, and “music”.
“Unlike the website, there is no indication that there is more than one package. The voiceover merely states ‘…broadband access from only R199 per month…’,” The ASA website points out.
The ASA found that the commercial is likely to mislead consumers in their expectations about the capabilities of the advertised product.
It subsequently ruled that the commercial must be withdrawn and may not be used again in its current format.
Telkom’s Do Broadband gaming claims may not only be misleading regarding monthly usage limits, but is contradicting the company’s earlier statements about the shaped ADSL service.
In its submissions to ICASA, Telkom clearly stated that "Telkom's ADSL service was never intended for bandwidth-hungry applications, such as gaming or online trading."
These submissions by Telkom are however often overlooked by the company’s marketing department which leads to complaints like the one above.