South Africa’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ordered Cell C withdraw an advertisement, ruling in favour of a customer complaint that it was “misleading”.
The authority ruled the advertisement, which said: “If it costs more than 15c/MB you’re paying too much”, must not be used again in its current form after customer discovered he had exceeded his data bundle and was being billed 99c per MB.
The ASA ruled: “This is misleading. The concern here relates more to what is not being said than what is being said. The initial impression when confronted with this billboard is that Cell C is offering a rate of 15c per MB. There is no qualification or mention of the fact that this is an opt-in and/or extra expense. It is, therefore. reasonable to conclude that this is the going rate for any and all Cell C customers.”
Cell C argued in its defence that it offered two types of data charges: a flat 99c rate and a ‘smart data bundle” of 15c per MB.
“The advertisement invites the consumer to query the statement online or in store. It does not promise the 15c/MB rate to all Cell C customers, nor does it link it to a particular package,” the company said.
HumanIPO reported in July the ASA had upheld a complaint by Cell against Vodacom over the latter’s print advertisement “Say more Hellos for just 89c” in the Sunday Times.
The authority in July also upheld a complaint by Cell C against MTN.
Earlier this year the ASA labelled an 8ta advertising campaign “false and misleading”, but took no action against the operator.