HomeInsightsCAP and BCAP consult on new guidance for telecoms ads and mid-contract price rises

The new guidance would require information about mid-contract prices to be more prominently stated in telecoms ads across media, to avoid misleading consumers.

CAP and BCAP explain that many contracts for mobile and broadband services include price increases (usually linked to inflation) during the term of the contract. This is permitted under statutory rules, subject to certain conditions.

Under the Advertising Codes, information about the presence or possibility of and, if known, the nature of any price rise is clearly material to consumers’ decision-making and should be made sufficiently clear in advertising to avoid misleading them.

There are a range of factors to consider in determining what is likely to constitute sufficiently prominent presentation of information about mid-contract price rises in ads for telecoms services. Drawing on previous ASA casework in this area, CAP and BCAP are examining the issue in the round through a consultation process. While a change to the advertised price during the term of the contract would be material information under any circumstances, they note that in the current climate, rises in the cost of living mean that such increases are likely to have an even greater impact on consumers.

The guidance contains a set of principles that CAP and BCAP consider are likely to help telecoms ads be more likely to comply with the Codes and less likely to mislead consumers in their presentation of information about mid-contract price increases.

The consultation is open for responses from organisations and members of the public until 5pm on Thursday 17 November. To access the guidance and the consultation, click here.