The latest from the Advertising Standards Authority is another fun bit of stupidity.
It is well intentioned but lacks understanding of the market.
We have seen a lot before including a requirement to only piss off 90% of people confused by the term "up to" instead of 100% (by quoting 90th percentile figures), and hence lying to 10% of people who get more than the quoted "up to" figure.
We have also seen the idea of describing something that is absolutely and categorically a COPPER coax cable as "Fibre optic".
But the latest tackles the issue with "line rental"
So, let's explain. Many broadband services are an '"extra" on top of a "phone line", which means you have to pay someone for the phone line rental as well as someone for the broadband service.
For a start, this is not always the case, but it is often the case. What makes adverts annoying is that some broadband offers only work when you buy the "line rental" from the same company.
So you see the likes of "free broadband for 6 months" with "when you spend £zillions a month on line rental with us". OK, to be fair £17 or £18 is pretty typical for the line rental there.
You can understand the problem, and I sympathise. I would say that any offer that ***REQUIRES*** line rental from the same provider as part of the offered package should include that in the headline price to be clear.
The problem is that a lot of ISPs (hundreds) sell broadband separately or independently to any "line rental". Many do not even do "phone lines" at all, only the broadband side. Such people have no tie in that you have to get their (expensive) line rental as part of the price, and so for them, even attempting to quote an "All-inclusive up-front and monthly costs; no more separating out line rental" makes no sense.
The good news is ASA seem to actually have no power, all they actually do is refer people to trading standards, but we assume trading standards do listen to some of their crap - who knows. The bad news is that OFCOM are involved and they do have some powers. We'll see what the actual rules are.
For A&A is it tricky - we do offer (but generally do not required) "line rental" but we don't sell a phone service on it, we sell as a "copper pair to support broadband". So we may have to sell our Home::1 package not as £25/month but as "£35/month* including line rental of £10/month which may be considerably higher from other providers" or something whacky like that!?!?
What is needed is simple - adverts to be *CLEAR* on what they mean. If they require line rental from same provider, say so and say total. If not, say so. Avoid the stupid small print!