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ASA right to clampdown on misleading broadband ads, says Citizens Advice

4 May 2016

Citizens Advice has welcomed an announcement by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that it will clampdown on misleading broadband advertisements.

The national charity has campaigned for tougher actions – after uncovering that 56 per cent of the population would be unable to pick out the cheapest broadband deal when looking through ads.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“Broadband suppliers have been misleading customers for years.

“During our campaign we found that consumers were regularly being duped by attractive headline offers that didn’t include line rental costs, which made it impossible for people to work out the best deals. Our evidence also shows some people are paying up to six-and-a-half times more for broadband than advertised.

“It’s good to see the Advertising Standards Authority stand up to these companies – this announcement is a major victory for consumers. It will make ads easier to understand and help ensure customers can compare prices across the market.”

The ASA says that future ads will have to:

  • Show all-inclusive up-front and monthly costs; no more separating out line rental

  • Give greater prominence for the contract length and any post-discount pricing

  • Give greater prominence for up-front costs

Notes to editors

  1. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local Citizens Advice, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  2. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  3. To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice in England and Wales, visit citizensadvice.org.uk
  4. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers.
  5. Local Citizens Advice in England and Wales advised 2.5 million clients on 6.2 million problems in 2014/15. For full service statistics see our publication Advice trends.
  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 service outlets across England and Wales.