Broadband adverts, which include price claims, shouldn’t separate out line rental costs from 31 October, following intervention from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
Instead, providers should show the all-inclusive up-front and monthly costs.
From this date broadband ads will also have to give greater prominence to contract lengths, any post-discount pricing, as well highlighting up-front costs.
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If providers don’t comply with the ASA’s recommendations, it says it will investigate ads and can ultimately ban them.
Chief executive of the ASA, Guy Parker, says: “This new tougher approach has been developed to make sure consumers are not misled and get the information they need to make well-informed choices.”
Today’s move follows research published in conjunction with telecoms regulator Ofcom earlier this year, which found that the current approach to presenting prices in broadband ads is likely to “confuse” and “mislead” consumers.
Only 23% of participants could correctly identify the total cost per month after the first viewing of the ad. 22% of participants were still not able to identify correctly the total cost per month even after a second viewing of the ad, and 81% of participants were unable to calculate correctly the total cost of a broadband contract when asked to do so.