ASA orders broadband advertisers to end 'misleading' practices by October

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is to crackdown on broadband advertisers after concluding that current practices are ‘misleading’ consumers.

New rules are set to take effect from October which will require advertisers to use plain English when highlighting costs and contract lengths amidst research that suggests most people are completely bamboozled by an array of complex deals and offers.

In an attempt to introduce clarity, the ASA has recommended that all future advertising should bundle all associated monthly costs into a single comparable figure, including line rental, whilst also being clearer about any applicable upfront costs.

Broadband providers will also be obligated to afford greater prominence to contract length and charges applicable once introductory offers come to an end.

ASA chief executive Guy Parker said: "We recognise the importance of broadband services to people's lives at work and at home. The findings of our research, and other factors we took into account, showed the way prices have been presented in broadband ads is likely to confuse and mislead customers.

"This new tougher approach has been developed to make sure consumers are not misled and get the information they need to make well-informed choices."

In an effort to steal a march on its rivals, TalkTalk was first out of the blocks to announce that it would unify line rental and broadband pricing.

Join us, it's free.

Become a member to get access to:

  • Exclusive Content
  • Daily and specialised newsletters
  • Research and analysis

Join us, it’s free.

Want to read this article and others just like it? All you need to do is become a member of The Drum. Basic membership is quick, free and you will be able to receive daily news updates.