Advertising Of Broadband Prices May Be Leaving Consumers Dazed And Confused

Author:Mr Askandar Samad, Huw Morris and Anne Rogers
Profession:Reed Smith

A new research study conducted by Ofcom and the Advertising Standards Authority ('ASA') has ruled that the current industry-wide approach to broadband price advertising is "likely to confuse and mislead" consumers.

The study surveyed 300 participants and focused on the presentation of broadband ads and consumers' understanding of additional pricing elements, such as introductory deals, one-off installations, discounts, activation fees, delivery charges and the length of the contract.

In the past year, broadband price advertising has been a hot topic. The ASA reported that in the past year it received 730 complaints about 555 broadband ads, and in July 2015 the Citizens Advice Bureau published research showing that consumers can pay up to six-and-a-half times more a month for broadband than advertised, and called on the ASA to "set new clear rules" for broadband price advertising.

Some facts and figures from the study

Only 23% of participants could correctly identify the total cost per month of an advertised deal from a first viewing of the ad, without being prompted. 34% recalled pricing information, but their recollection was limited and often incorrect, indicating that this needs to be much clearer or prominent in the ad. 22% could not correctly identify the total cost per month after seeing the ad for the second time. 64% of those who were not able to identify or calculate the total cost per...

To continue reading