New rules for broadband advertising

New rules from the ASA call for clearer costs.

The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) have implemented a new set of rules requiring the UK’s broadband suppliers to be much clearer on the cost of a contract within adverts.

From Monday 31st October, all British broadband providers must display both their upfront and monthly costs without having separated out the price of line rental, clearly show any post-discount pricing and prominently feature the length of the contract throughout any advert.

These new guidelines were originally supposed to be implemented in May, but were delayed at the request of many of these broadband suppliers as they needed more time to properly phase in the changes.

“A recent study of ours highlighted that the general public were likely to be confused and misled by price claims in these adverts,” said ASA Chief Executive Guy Parker, “so these new guidelines should have a real positive effect on how consumers are able to understand and engage with these ads”.

This study, conducted in conjunction with regulatory board Ofcom in 2015, discovered that a huge percentage of consumers were unable to correctly calculate their bills based on the information provided by a selection of these broadband ads.

Digital and Culture Minister Matt Hancock was pleased with the ASA’s decision, stating “making broadband providers show all-inclusive, upfront prices in their advertisements means consumers will be much better placed to make an informed choice when deciding on a service”.

However, the ASA’s new guidelines say nothing about the way in which these broadband suppliers are able to advertise the speed of their broadband. 

Source: BBC

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