Vodafone mobile broadband ads 'misleading'ASA rules on 'fastest' and 'most reliable' claims

31 October 2008

Vodafone mobile broadband modem

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld three complaints about press ads for Vodafone’s mobile broadband service.

In adverts Vodafone described its mobile broadband service as the ‘fastest’ and ‘most reliable.’ It also claimed Vodafone mobile broadband was ‘light years ahead.’

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Fastest mobile broadband

Complaints from rival T-Mobile and the public questioned whether Vodafone could prove its claims of offering the fastest and most reliable mobile broadband.

T-Mobile complained the claim ‘mobile broadband that's light years ahead’ misleadingly implied Vodafone's mobile broadband was superior to all other mobile broadband services.

Vodafone responded to the investigation with results of independent speed and reliability tests. It also said the phrase ‘light years ahead’ was used to reflect the space travel theme of its adverts rather than the quality of the mobile broadband service.

Independent tests

The ASA pointed out flaws in the independent tests and ruled that as another mobile broadband provider offered the same speeds as Vodafone, it could not claim to be the fastest. It also ruled that Vodafone’s ads were misleading as they did not explain the basis of the claims.

The ASA upheld all three complaints and ruled the ads must not appear again in their current form.

You can find out which broadband providers have been voted top for customer satisfaction in our broadband review.

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