The Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) has ordered Telkom to withdraw a radio commercial where it poked fun at MTN’s “Bozza network”.
The Telkom advertisement promoted its FreeMe mobile products, which it said provides users with 1GB of data, free WhatsApp, free calls, and free Wi-Fi for R99.
“That’s a saving of up to 150 bucks compared to other networks. There’s no comparison really,” stated the ad.
“So why stay with the bozos [coughs], uhh Bozzas, when you can switch to Telkom, the best data provider.”
The ad followed MTN promoting its network as “SA’s Bozza mobile network”, and the company did not enjoy Telkom poking fun at its marketing slogan.
MTN lodged a complaint with the ASA, arguing that the Telkom advertisement ridiculed and disparaged its brand.
The ASA agreed, saying Telkom’s radio commercial disparages MTN. It ordered Telkom to withdraw the commercial with immediate effect.
MTN loses follow-on
In a follow-up complaint, MTN said Telkom continued to flight the radio advertisement which uses the terms Bozzas and bozos.
MTN argued that Telkom had exhibited a pattern of disregard for the provisions of the ASA code, and should face sanctions.
Telkom responded, stating it did not deliberately continue to air the commercial. The company provided emails to its agency as proof that it asked for the commercial to be stopped.
The ASA agreed that Telkom took all reasonable steps to prevent the advertisement from running again, and dismissed MTN’s complaint.