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The UK advertising watchdog's decision to clamp down on misleading broadband ads has been welcomed by Citizens Advice.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is introducing new rules that will require broadband providers to be much clearer about costs and contract lengths in their advertising material.

From October 31st 2016, the ASA wants broadband ads which include price claims to show all-inclusive up-front and monthly costs, with no separating out line rental.

Ads must also give greater prominence to the contract length and post-discount pricing, as well as up-front costs.

This has been hailed by Citizens Advice, as it believes broadband suppliers have been "misleading customers for years".

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of the charity, commented: "It’s good to see the Advertising Standards Authority stand up to these companies.

"This announcement is a major victory for consumers. It will make ads easier to understand and help ensure customers can compare prices across the market."

Citizens Advice has been campaigning for tougher rules on broadband advertising for some time.

Indeed, it warned recently that more than half of the population would not be able to identify the cheapest broadband deal when looking through advertisements.

"During our campaign we found that consumers were regularly being duped by attractive headline offers that didn’t include line rental costs, which made it impossible for people to work out the best deals," Ms Guy said.

"Our evidence also shows some people are paying up to six-and-a-half times more for broadband than advertised."

This backs up the findings of a recent ASA and Ofcom survey, which found that just 23 per cent of respondents were able to correctly identify the total monthly cost after the initial viewing of an advert. 

Meanwhile, 22 per cent were still unable to work out the total monthly cost even after viewing an ad for a second time.

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