A Sky Mobile advertisement featuring actor Tom Hardy has been dubbed as ‘misleading’ by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
Update: The original video appears to have been swiftly removed from YouTube after this article was published, but we’ve replaced it with a mirrored version that you can watch below.
In a damning report, the ASA has condemned a Sky Mobile TV advertisement, stating that the the commercial may have misled customers.
The advertisement, which features acclaimed British actor Tom Hardy, originally aired on April 15 and April 24 this year, and was used to promote Sky Mobile’s Swap scheme for upgrading contracts.
In the advert, Sky Mobile claimed that customers would be able to swap their old phone for the latest model every 12 months “free of charge” – but the ASA says this isn’t strictly true.
Check it out:
The ASA was prompted to investigate the issue after receiving a number of complaints from viewers. The issue was that the “free of charge” claim was misleading, because you’d actually have to take out a 24-month loan with a data plan to get a new handset.
“Two complainants, who noted that subscribers needed to take out a 24-month, interest-free loan with data plan to receive their new phone, challenged whether the claim that the swap was ‘free of charge’ was misleading,” the report reads.
It continues: “One believed that early clearance of the balance from the first loan meant they would lose the benefits of the calls, texts and data they would have received in the year had they remained in their original contract.”
In a response to the ASA, Sky said that the ad had “ceased running in May 2017”, and there there were “no plans to bring it back to air”.
According to the ASA ruling, Sky would have to edit the advertisement if it wanted to broadcast it again, and noted that Sky needs to “ensure that any material information relating to an offer was stated sufficiently clearly in their ads” going forward.
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