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“Misleading” Orcon forced to pull Dotcom broadband ad

17 Dec 2013

Orcon has been forced to pull its TV advertising campaign featuring Kim Dotcom, after a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority was upheld.

Relating to onscreen text repeating the phrase "Truly unlimited broadband", the ASA branded the ad ambiguous, calling on the Telco to end the campaign.

Screened on October 12 at 6:20pm, the advert showed Dotcom discussing the apparent plight of third world internet in New Zealand, with both parties joining forces to smash Kiwi restrictive data caps.

The ASA ruling, announced yesterday, states:

The television advertisement for Orcon featured Kim Dotcom. Mr Dotcom stated, in part: “.. join today and start living with truly unlimited fast broadband.”

The onscreen text repeated “Truly unlimited broadband.”

The ASA also claimed that because of Orcon’s Fair Use policy, the company can apply charges if it believes a customer is using too much.

"The Complainants said this means the statement “truly unlimited broadband” is misleading," the statement read.

"The majority of Complaints Board said there was a high level of ambiguity about the advertisement.

"It was of the view that the average consumer would associate the word “unlimited” with data and “truly” to speed, however, it noted the original plan was “shaped” or limited.

"Therefore, the majority of the Complainants Board said Orcon’s Fair Use Policy that charged for extra use, even if that use was excessive – was a limit and, as such, contradicted the claim of offering “truly unlimited” data.

"Therefore, the majority of the Complaints Board found that the statement in the advertisement that said “Truly unlimited broadband” was likely to deceive or mislead the consumer.

"In accordance with the majority, the Complaints Board ruled to Uphold the complaint."

Orcon comment:

Following the ruling, Orcon has appealed the decision, which the company brands as "a small technicality in Orcon’s advertising campaign."

The internet company stands by its uncapped plans claiming that Kiwis can still ‘go for gold’ when it comes to data use.

Orcon CEO Greg McAlister says although it’s good the ASA is ensuring the industry is delivering what it promises, he wants to ensure Orcon customers that the Orcon unlimited plans are truly that, unlimited.

“While we have had unnoticeably small traffic shaping on peer-to-peer downloads in the past, there are now no implemented restrictions whatsoever on our unlimited plans so on those grounds we have appealed the ASA’s decision,” McAlister says.

“Last week we even scrapped our Fair Use policy, which we had never enforced anyway.

“Orcon customers are free to go crazy and use as much data as they want. We have some customers using nine terabytes per month on our residential unlimited plans which shows just how unlimited they really are."

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