Vodacom successfully defended its claim that it has the “best network for smartphones” after Telkom lodged a complaint at the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) about the Vodacom advert.
Vodacom’s advert features a toddler watching a streaming video on a smartphone. The video is then interrupted because of slow network speeds, and the toddler starts crying.
This phone is then replaced with one featuring a Vodacom logo, and the video streams uninterrupted. A voice-over states that “best network for smartphones, only with Vodacom”.
Telkom was not impressed, and lodged a complaint with the ASA arguing that it is misleading for one operator to claim that it’s network is consistently and permanently better than a competitor.
“This is an attempt to discredit its competitors, and to attack and disparage the service offerings of its competitors,” Telkom said.
Telkom submitted surveys conducted by MyBroadband to show that Vodacom is not listed as the best service provider.
Vodacom hit back, saying that the MyBroadband speed test results submitted by Telkom are predominantly conducted by broadband users, and hence not smartphone users.
Vodacom showed that only 2% of broadband speed tests conducted on MyBroadband are done via smartphones.
Vodacom submitted research by Catalyst Research and Strategy, Ookla, and other confidential results which showed that its network outperforms its competitors in both upload and download speeds with respect to smartphones.
The ASA ruled that Vodacom’s claim “the best network for smartphones” as used in the commercial is substantiated by Vodacom’s research submissions.
“As such, it cannot be argued that the claim is misleading or disparaging,” the ASA said. Telkom’s complaint was hence dismissed.