The complaint stated that a subscriber recently exceeded their data bundle only to discover that he was being billed 99c/MB.
When he queried this, he said that Cell C informed him that he needed to purchase an additional data bundle on top of the data allowance included in his contract to qualify for the 15c/MB.
Cell C did not dispute this, with its representative, Clear Copy, explaining that the advertisement was a call to action for two groups of people:
- Cell C customers not aware of smartdata bundles; and
- Subscribers of other networks who are probably paying more than 15c/MB.
Clear Copy told the ASA that Cell C has two types of data charges: a flat 99c/MB rate and a 15c/MB rate available through the operator’s SmartData bundles.
In its ruling on the matter, the ASA said that the billboard creates a misleading impression by omitting material pricing information, and is ambiguous as a reasonable person would assume that the 15c/MB data price applies to all Cell C’s subscribers.
The ASA instructed Cell C to withdraw the advertising.