The Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) has dismissed a complaint from MTN against Vodacom’s claim to have South Africa’s best network.
MTN lodged a complaint against Vodacom’s advertising which states “We have Vodacom Next Level on SA’s best network”.
MTN argued that the commercial contains no contextual reference and it is therefore difficult to ascertain the basis on which the claim is made.
It said whether this superiority claim is based on speed, dropped calls, or on overall performance is irrelevant, as it remains misleading.
Vodacom responded, saying MTN erroneously asserted that the advertisement does not contain any explanation of the claim.
“The advertisement clearly depicts the use of the Vodacom network to upload and view videos, with no reference to calling whatsoever,” said Vodacom.
Accordingly, the Vodacom NXT LVL advertisement would be interpreted to relate to download and upload speeds.
In support of its claim, Vodacom submitted a report from Catalyst Research & Strategy, together with letters from Ookla and ATIO Telecoms, which showed it had the best network data speeds.
“Vodacom provides the fastest overall mobile network speed experience to South African customers,” stated the Catalyst report.
The ASA dismissed MTN’s complaint, saying Vodacom’s best network claim was substantiated. The evidence showed that the claim was neither misleading nor dishonest, it said.