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Home Rulings CELL C / GET BLACK / LUAN SCHUTTE / 2018-7878F


Mr Schutte lodged a consumer complaint against a Cell C radio commercial on Algoa FM.
The Radio commercial states the following, inter alia:
"Get on Cell C and start enjoying world class entertainment, because we’re giving all our customers unlimited FREE data to watch Black. That’s right, whether you’re on pre-paid or on contract, you’ll get unlimited FREE data to watch Black and enjoy the latest movies, series, kids shows, music, sport and more. So get on Cell C, Download the Get Black App today and start enjoying endless entertainment with exclusive, unlimited FREE data. 
Cell C. Connect your way! T’s and C’s apply”


The Complainant took issue with the claim "get BLACK absolutely free with unlimited data for prepaid and contract”, arguing that the claim is misleading, as the unlimited data offer is only valid for 7 days. He submitted that the Respondent should state this material term on the advertisement. 


In light of the complaint the Directorate considered Clause 4.2.1 of Section II as relevant.


The Respondent submitted that the Complainant’s understanding of the free BLACK data promotion is incorrect.  The Respondent explained that the promotion in question is valid from 7 May until 10 August 2018, during which all qualifying Cell C customers on contract voice and data plans and prepaid voice and data plans would be able to access BLACK data for free, during the promotional period, for streaming and downloading content on Black. The Respondent argued that it is unclear from the complaint what the 7 day validity period refers to, and from where he ascertained this period.


The ASA Directorate considered all the relevant documentation submitted by the respective parties.

Clause 4.2.1 of Section II of the Code states, "Advertisements should not contain any statement or visual presentation which, directly or by implication, omission, ambiguity, inaccuracy, exaggerated claim or otherwise, is likely to mislead the consumer”.

The Complainant is of the view that the advertising is misleading in that it does not communicate that the free data is only valid for 7 days. The Respondent submitted that it is incorrect that free data is valid for only 7 days. The terms and conditions spell out that customers will be able to access Black for free during the promotional period of 7 May to 10 August 2018.

From the above, it would appear that the bases of the complaint is incorrect, meaning that the advertising cannot be said to be misleading for the reasons set out in this complaint.

In light of the above, the advertising does not contravene Clause 4.2.1 of Section II of the Code.

The complaint is therefore dismissed.    

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