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Three TV ad banned by ASA after challenge by Vodafone

Campaign 20 Jul 2021 03:38

A TV ad for Three Mobile has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority after its claims over 5G speed and efficacy were challenged by rival Vodafone. 

The spot, seen in March 2020, promoted the company’s 5G service and depicted fantastical scenes set in the future with a voiceover stating “Hold on to your crumpets. Three is building the UK’s fastest 5G network. Next stop, the future”, accompanied by on-screen text which repeated the claim. Small on-screen text stated: “Limited coverage, includes NI from March 2020. 5G compatible phone required. For verification see three.co.uk/fast5G." At the end of the ad, the voiceover said: “Join the future on Three, it’s real 5G.”

In a complaint made to the ASA, Vodafone UK questioned whether the claims “Three is building the UK’s fastest 5G network” and “Three, it’s real 5G” were misleading and could be substantiated. 

In response, Three argued its network would be the fastest based on four key technical factors, which positioned it to provide the fastest speeds in its 5G locations. 

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Wieden Kennedy London
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