T-Mobile forced to withdraw mobile broadband advert

Following a display of excessive exuberance in the wording of a T-Mobile advert, the company has been heavily criticised for favourably comparing its mobile broadband offering with that of a fixed-line service.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said that the advert--which stated "All the benefits of home broadband, on the move. No wires, no waiting, no worries"--mislead consumers into thinking mobile broadband would deliver the same speed and quality as traditional home broadband.

The ASA stated mobile broadband was unlikely to offer speeds comparable with those of a high speed fixed-line service due to its reliance on cellular technology. "In particular, we were concerned that activities such as streaming, downloading and online gaming were unlikely to be available to mobile broadband users to the same standard as to fixed-line broadband users," it added.

The ASA ruled T-Mobile could not run the same advert in the future and must avoid the implication its mobile broadband service was of a comparable standard to fixed-line broadband.

In its defence, T-Mobile claimed the advert referred to the capacities of mobile broadband--not its speed, and maintained there was no implied direct technical comparison to fixed-line broadband.

This display of marketing zeal reflects the burgeoning ambitions of the mobile operator community to take market share away from existing fixed-line broadband players.

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