Vodafone complaint upheld, on “unlimited” ad

June 15, 2008

The ASA have upheld a complaint about a Vodafone advert which according to the ASA implied unlimited mobile internet.

The advert said “Any website, any time. £7.50 a month. Make the most of now.” It was only in the small print at the bottom of the advert which said that there was in fact a 120MB limit!

The ASA said

However, we considered that consumers would also infer from the headline claim that they could access the internet as often as they liked for £7.50 a month.

We noted there was a disclaimer stating “120MB UK data allowance per month” at the bottom of the ad, but considered that this was not prominent enough to avoid being overlooked and also that it contradicted the impression created by the headline claim. We considered that the download allowance was a significant condition attached to the service and was likely to influence consumers’ decisions about whether to purchase the product. Because that information was not stated in, or immediately next to, the headline claim, we concluded that the ad was likely to mislead about the nature of the service being offered.

I have to agree with the ASA, the implication of the advert was any time, any where, when ever you wanted. However a 120MB download limit in this era of photographs, YouTube’esque video, audio podcasts and other media-rich internet means that 120Mb (even on a phone) would not really be sufficient for a month, and I suspect a lot of users would go over this limit and then be hit with high charges.

When marketing new goods and services to customers you need to ensure that not only do you upsell the benefits and features of  your product, but that you do not breach ASA codes on advertising, by “hiding” or “misleading” consumers on the full details of the product.

The role of the ASA and other regulatory bodies is to ensure that companies do not breach either legal regulations or voluntary codes when operating in the business environment.

Full adjudication.

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Apple announce 3G iPhone

June 12, 2008

Apple announced iPhone 3G on Monday in a keynote by Steve Jobs at the WWDC in San Francisco. It will be available in the UK on the 11th July via O2.

New features include:

  • 3G-capable. 2.8 times faster than EDGE.
  • GPS built-in
  • Thinner
  • Better battery life – 300 hours of standby, 2G talk-time 10 hours (as opposed to 5), 5 hours of 3G talk-time (competition is 3 hour 3G talk time), 5 to 6 hours of high-speed browsing, 7 hours of video, 24 hours of audio.
  • Flush headphone jack

Other new features are:

  • contact searching
  • complete iWork document support
  • complete Office document support (now includes PowerPoint)
  • bulk delete and move for Mail
  • save images you receive
  • scientific calculator in landscape mode
  • parental controls
  • language

It will be interesting to see also if iWork (or even Office) support includes editing and creating support, or is it just going to be reading, I suspect the latter.

Of course there are also all the features announced when the iPhone SDK was released earlier this year which include:

  • Exchange and ActivSync support
  • Applications
  • VPN

These final three are squarely aimed at the business and enterprise customer.

The iPhone 3G is an innovative piece of technology and the operational implementation of such technological devices in organisations will have an impact on the organisation. Whether that is a positive or negative impact will depend on the way the technology is implemented by the organisation. Management of change is a key factor here.

More on technology and innovation.