O2 advert banned over “misleading” claims

The company’s 2020 advert has been removed after a complaint from rival network, EE, over O2’s boast that they were “Britain’s best for coverage”.

Man holding mobile phone

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned an avert from telecoms firm O2 over misleading claims.

The claim on the advert for the Samsung S20 5G handset was based on the results of a Uswitch survey involving 12,000 UK adults. However, rival EE felt that network coverage should be gauged using objective, technical measures.

O2’s owners, Telefonica, disagreed with the challenge, and felt that coverage could be evaluated in other ways. 

The company acknowledged that technical tests could be carried out to assess the strength of coverage to a certain, but not definitive, extent. The company raised that these measures are influenced by a number of external factors like weather, traffic or difference in population by area at a time, making them less robust.

The ASA ruled against O2’s argument, finding that the advert misled customers to believe that the company had won a Uswitch award for best coverage rather than a survey.

The watchdog also found that the survey data showed only highly subjective experiences and did not conclude that one network was the “best”.

The ASA ruled that the ad must not appear again in the same form.

This comes after Vodaphone was given a similar ban following an EE complaint over claims of being “UK’s best mobile data network”.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: