T-Mobile's £17 million TV advertising campaign has run into trouble after its rival, 3UK, filed a complaint with an advertising watchdog. The advert, which promises the best-value tariff from any U.K. mobile operator, has been slammed by 3UK as incorrect given that it offers consumers a better deal. The new T-Mobile campaign--its first for 18 months, features people unsuccessfully searching for more call minutes than are available under the new pricing from T-Mobile. However, 3UK claims that the message: 'you won't find more minutes for £30, guaranteed,' is untrue given that it can offer more minutes for customers at a price point of £27.
While the Advertising Standards Authority is reported to be examining the complaint, these price-guarantee campaigns are more focused on discouraging customers from looking elsewhere. Cell phone tariffs are deliberately made confusing to prevent a price war, with few consumers willing to work through the complex and ever-changing combination of voice, text and data bundles on offer. Outsiders agree that 3UK might have scored a technical win over T-Mobile, while others argue that, based on strict comparisons with other operators' tariffs, the £30 claim made by T-Mobile can be upheld. Looks like one for the lawyers.