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Plusnet hit with ad ban over 'unintelligible' radio small print voiceover

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By Rebecca Stewart | Trends Editor

May 30, 2017 | 3 min read

Yorkshire-based telecoms provider Plusnet has been hit with an ad ban over two radio slots which presented the terms and conditions of a promotion in an "unclear and unintelligible manner."

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Plusnet hit with ad ban over 'unintelligible' radio small print voiceover

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned the radio campaigns – one of which promoted a broadband package and the other a mobile tariff offer – following one complaint that the terms and conditions in both ads were spoken too quickly, and thereby misleading.

Plusnet said it believed that the small print had been spoken by the voiceover actor who plays the brand's ambassador 'Plusnet Joe' at an "acceptable speed."

Radiocentre said it felt the terms and conditions at the end of both ads could have been presented more clearly. The group stated that it had cleared the scripts for both ads with the advice that important qualifying or legally required information must be read in a way that could be easily heard and understood by the listener, for example, in relation to speed and clarity.

The regulator disagreed, saying that the terms and conditions in both ads were spoken at a much faster pace compared to the rest of the slot. "We considered that the words were difficult to make out and that they had been delivered too quickly to be understood by listeners," said the ASA, adding: "because those conditions had not been presented in a clear and intelligible manner, we concluded that the ad was misleading."

The spots must not be broadcast again in their current forms, with the ASA warning that significant ​limitations and material information were presented in a clear and intelligible manner in future ads.

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