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Orange rapped over broadband ad

Production error led to small print problem


A close-up of a telephone cord a man is using to make a call.

Mobile giant Orange has been criticised over a magazine advert which claimed a broadband package provided unlimited phone calls and downloads.

It fell foul of industry rules because the calls were subject to a 1000 minutes per month ‘fair usage policy’, which was not stated in the advert.

Similarly, the downloads were also subject to a fair usage policy – which limits heavy users – the Advertising Standards Authority said.

Orange told the industry watchdog that a production error meant the details were omitted from the ad’s small print and that it had no plans to use it again in its current form

Fair usage policy

Orange said at the end of March 2007, just under 2 per cent of its customers had exceeded the fair usage policy limitation of 1000 minutes per month.  

It added that no action had been taken against those customers although it planned to draw their attention to the policy in future.
The ASA noted Orange’s assertion that the problem was due to a production error, but added:

‘We also noted Orange had omitted to include that reference on at least two other occasions and on both those occasions it had also claimed the omission was due to an error.

‘We had received assurances from Orange on those occasions that it would ensure it included a reference to the fair usage policy in its ads. We were concerned that Orange had failed to adhere to its assurances.’

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