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Watchdog to review use of term 'unlimited' in phone plan advertising

The ASAI said new guidelines will help to ensure certain marketing terms are not misleading to consumers.

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THE ADVERTISING STANDARDS Authority for Ireland (ASAI) has introduced new guidelines on the advertising of mobile phone and broadband services and will conduct a review of the term ‘unlimited’.

The ASAI said its new guidelines will help to ensure certain marketing terms used by telecommunications operators “convey clear meanings that are not misleading to consumers”.

The guidelines outline the general legal requirements that telecom operators must follow when using marketing terms for mobile phone and broadband services. They also provide guidance for the telecoms industry on specific marketing terms such as ‘coverage and availability’, ‘speed claims’ and ‘fibre’.

The watchdog said a comprehensive review of the circumstances in which words such as ‘unlimited’ are used will now be undertaken.

“Consumers have a right to be confident that the telecommunications ads that they see or hear are accurate and truthful,” said Orla Twomey, chief executive of the ASAI today.

Marketing terms, by their design, are there to attract consumers to buy certain products and are an essential part of business development in the telecoms industry.

“However, there is the potential to mislead when marketing terms are used incorrectly. To ensure that the code will remain, at all times, credible and relevant, the ASAI regularly reviews and appraises the code, taking account of evolving commercial and societal trends.”

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