The Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) has instructed Telkom to withdraw its “best data provider” claim in its UnlimitedHome advertising.
The ruling followed a complaint by Vodacom which argued that Telkom’s “best data provider” claim is unsubstantiated, and its reference material is out-of-date.
To substantiate its claim, Telkom used a MyBroadband article from July 2016 – where Tarrific rated its FreeMe 1GB data package as the best in the market.
Vodacom said the information was outdated, and therefore does not constitute an up-to-date substantiation.
Vodacom also pointed out that the article refers to Telkom’s FreeMe mobile packages, whereas the advertisement refers to Telkom’s uncapped fixed-broadband products.
Telkom responded, saying it has received numerous awards in the broadband market over the years, which included “Best mobile broadband provider in South Africa”.
It added that it erroneously used the 2016 article to substantiate its “best data provider” claim for its UnlimitedHome deal.
Instead, it said it will use the MyBroadband article titled “Not all uncapped fair use policies are created equal”.
This article lists the fair use policies of prominent fixed-broadband ISPs.
The ASA said that while the MyBroadband article titled “Not all uncapped fair use policies are created equal” compares fair use policies, it says nothing about “best data provider”.
It added that there is no claim that one ISP offers a superior product to another, or that one fair use policy is the best.
The ASA said it is perplexed as to why Telkom would try to reference this article to substantiate its “best data provider” claim.
It subsequently ruled that Telkom’s advertising is misleading and should be withdrawn with immediate effect.