Telcos put on notice ahead of footy finals season

By By Frank Chung | 22 August 2012
Optus "It's Possible" campaign.

Telco advertisers targeting viewers during the AFL and NRL finals seasons have been put on notice, with new consumer protections coming into effect on 1 September.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has released the revised Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code, which places a number of new requirements on claims made in telco advertisements.

ACMA said in a statement: "This includes ceasing the use of the term 'cap' and equivalent terms to advertise new offers unless the offer contains a 'hard cap'. Advertisers will need to take care in the use of terms such as 'free', 'unlimited', 'no exceptions', 'no exclusions', 'no catches' to ensure the provider complies with the new rules.

"Claims in advertising about broadband speed, network coverage and other performance characteristics of telecoms products may also need to be substantiated to the ACMA."

The revised code comes as a result of an inquiry conducted by ACMA last year which found the existing code was not providing adequate safeguards for consumers.

In June this year, internet service provider TPG was fined $2 million by the Federal Court over false and misleading advertising in a case brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. The ruling followed a $13,200 fine served to TPG in March over another advertising campaign.

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