Vodafone Direct Mail Advertisement
14 November 2008
Complainant: P. Davey
Advertisement: Vodafone New Zealand Ltd
Complaint: The direct mail advertisement for Vodafone was in the style of a postcard and personally addressed to recipients, who were existing Vodafone customers. It promoted greater use of the Vodafone service by inviting people to switch to a more expensive calling plan. It began "Hello...When you're on a great plan, you can use your mobile even when you're close enough to holler. It's a much better way of staying in touch. Based on the way you've been using your mobile recently, we reckon....would be the best plan for you".
Complainant, P. Davey was of the view that the advertisement was misleading where the advertisement said this "would be the best plan for you" and said "This is patently unable to be substantiated, and a call history search of the past 12 months will prove that a case for this can not even begin to be built".
The relevant provision was Rule 2 of the Code of Ethics.
The Chairman noted P. Davey's concern about the advertisement, in particular the marketing approach used by the Advertiser, which referred to the recipient's phone usage. However, in his view the advertisement simply promoted a calling plan offered by Vodafone, and the benefits of that for the individual customer. He noted that the customer was under no obligation to take up the plan. As such he said the advertisement did not reach the threshold to be said to be misleading or deceptive and accordingly was not in breach of Rule 2 of the Code of Ethics.
Accordingly, the Chairman ruled that there were no grounds to proceed.
Chairman's Ruling: Complaint No Grounds to Proceed