ASA condemn speeded up legal terms in radio ads

fine-print, legal-information, small-print
Rob Waller

If you ever wondered what the point is of the garbled 'small print' at the end of radio ads, it's now official - there is no point to it at all. At least, that is one interpretation of a recent ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in response to a complaint against the broadband provider Plusnet.

Referring to the content of the spoken small print, the ASA said:

"We considered those conditions were material information that consumers required in order to make an informed decision, and therefore must be presented to listeners in a clear and intelligible manner. We noted that the terms and conditions that followed the statement “Plusnet, we’ll do you proud” in both ads (a) and (b) were spoken at a much faster pace compared to the rest of the ad. We considered that the words were difficult to make out and that they had been delivered too quickly to be understood by listeners. Because those conditions had not been presented in a clear and intelligible manner, we concluded that the ad was misleading."

So if the information is not relevant to the consumer decision, it is pointless to say it at all. And if it
relevant, it is pointless to speed it up because your ad will be banned.

Plusnet have had to withdraw the ads. Interestingly, the ASA ruling was in response to just one complaint. So it's worth having a go at other advertisers.

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