A major ad campaign from Three has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), following complaints from rival network EE.
EE said that Three’s ad, featuring Muppet–like character Jackson and the tagline ‘The Undisputed’, was misleading. In the same ad, Three claimed it was: ‘The UK’s most reliable network. Again.’
The ASA said that because the claim was based on consumer research and not objective data, Three could no longer run the ad, which has appeared prominently on public transport and in city centres throughout the UK.
Three said the basis of its campaign was YouGov research which showed it to be the most reliable network for five quarters running.
“Because we understood that there were no commonly agreed objective measures of network reliability against which Three UK had undisputedly scored higher than their competitors, we concluded that the claim ‘The undisputed’ as used in the context of the ad was likely to mislead,” said the ASA in a statement.
Three owner Hutchison is in the process of buying out major rival O2. EE has already been sold to BT in a multi-billion pound deal.
It all suggests that this could be the start of a protracted battle between the pair for customers.