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Slap on the wrist for Meteor after Three complains over 'more than you can eat data' ad

Three had claimed that it had the superior data offer, and that Meteor’s advert was misleading.

Source: Meteor/YouTube

THE ADVERTISING STANDARDS Authority for Ireland has upheld a complaint made by mobile operator Three against Meteor for its “more than you can eat data” promotion.

The query related to a television advertisement that directed people to the Meteor website, where customers could read about the “more than you can eat data offer”.

Three argued that this offer was not only similar to its “all you can eat data” offer, but that the Meteor ad was misleading as it was Three who offered the most data.

The ASAI concurred with Three, and ordered Meteor not to use the advert in the same form again.

The advert

The video, a version of which appears above, opens with an image of a clifftop building, called “Meteor HQ”.

A male voiceover said: “Well we’re not just giving you all you can eat data, we’re giving you more than you can eat data with unlimited access to your favourite social networks plus 15gbs of 4G data and unlimited calls for just €20 top up. Meteor we get it”.

On its website, it said that its deal offered “more than you can eat Youtube” . In the terms and conditions, however, it is pointed out that “you will have unlimited access to YouTube until 28 February 2017″.

The complaint

Three said the variety of deals on offer from Meteor capped data at allowances of 10gb, 15gb and 30gb, while its own “all you can eat” offer did not have any data cap.

It argued that Meteor provided free data to specific sites, such as Facebook and Whatsapp, while Three’s offer was not restricted to just those sites.

It said that the Meteor’s advertising was misleading because Three was the operator which offered “more”.

Meteor’s offer was misleading, Three said, for offering their product as superior.

Rebuttal

Meteor, however, contended that their advert did not make any reference to Three or that company’s product offerings.

The “more than you can eat data” slogan was used to highlight their campaign aimed at a particular segment of customers who wanted “more for free”, Meteor argued.

The operator said that it had clearly differentiated between what was unlimited (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat etc.) and what was limited, by emphasising that it all came with 15gb of data.

It also said it never claimed either implicitly or explicitly that its product was superior to Three’s.

“Breach of code”

In its judgement, the ASAI determined that there was a “clear indication” that Meteor was “claiming to offer more than their competitors and that consumers would see this claim as such”.

The ASAI said that claims of a product being superior requires substantiation.

The agency also noted that the unlimited access to YouTube was actually only over a limited period of time, and customers would likely use their 15gb allowance quickly if they believed that Youtube data was unlimited.

The committee concluded that the advertising had not been clear in content and was likely to mislead consumers and to be in breach of Section 3.2, 4.1, 4.32 and 4.33 of the Code.

“The advertising should not be used in the same format again,” the ASAI concluded.

Read: ‘En March! Vive La France’ – Barack Obama releases campaign video for Emmanuel Macron

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