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Broadband ad speed guidelines extended to mobile services
Guidelines regarding advertised broadband speeds have been extended to include mobile data packages.The Committee of Advertising Practice has extended guidelines on broadband speed claims in marketing materials to include mobile data services.
Working with the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice, it has released a revised Help Note for ISPs to ensure customers are given realistic expectations regarding the broadband speeds that can be achieved.
The new version of the note reminds advertisers that the maximum speeds mentioned in promotional materials "should be based on the actual experience of an ISP's customers" and that they must be able to prove the speeds can be "achieved by a reasonable proportion of consumers".
These rules were introduced in September 2011 with the aim of protecting consumers from misleading claims regarding achievable speeds and whether 'unlimited' services truly had no data cap. As a result, companies that want to claim their service is 'unlimited' cannot suspend services on the basis of excessive usage.
Wording has also been changed to ensure the guidelines apply to firms operating in the mobile industry and providers have been given a three-month grace period to update their advertisements.
During this period, the Advertising Standard Agency has agreed to not consider any complaints made about speeds advertised for mobile services.