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Plusnet radio ads banned after terms and conditions read out 'too quickly'

Wednesday, May 31st 2017 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

Two Plusnet radio ads have been banned because their terms and conditions were read out “too quickly” for listeners to understand.

One ad was for a broadband package and the other was for a mobile plan. Both featured the voice of the character ‘Plusnet Joe’.

After hearing the ads on 3 March, a listener complained to the advertising watchdog that the terms and conditions were spoken too fast and were therefore unintelligible.

The ASA agreed, noting that the terms and conditions that followed the statement “Plusnet, we’ll do you proud” were spoken at a much faster pace than the rest of the ad.

It said those conditions, including the fact the monthly price for broadband could change during the contract term, were vital to consumers trying to make an informed decision.

“We considered that the words were difficult to make out and that they had been delivered too quickly to be understood by listeners,” said the ASA in its assessment.

“Because those conditions had not been presented in a clear and intelligible manner, we concluded that the ad was misleading.”

Plusnet, in its response to the complaint, said it believed the terms and conditions were spoken at an “acceptable speed”.

The provider also said it had recently reviewed its radio ads and was revising them to be read at a slower speed and more clearly.

Radiocentre, the industry body for commercial radio, said the terms and conditions at the end of both ads could have been presented more clearly.

The ASA has told Plusnet the ads must not appear again in their current forms.

Price increases

Earlier this month, Plusnet announced it would be increasing the price of its line rental and phone packages from 29 June.

Line rental is going up by £1 – from £17.99 to £18.99 – taking it into line with the amount charged by parent company BT.

Plusnet’s Line Rental Saver, which lets customers pay for 12 months’ line rental up front, is going up by £12 and a number of call plans, call set-up fees and early termination charges are also going up.

A Plusnet spokesperson said: “We’re always reluctant to increase prices, and we’re the last big provider to do so.

“We strive to provide the best for our customers and have been heavily investing in our products and services.”

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