Ad Standards Canada, which is a self-regulating body created to ensure the integrity of advertising, says Telus ran a “misleading” ad about wireless prices.
The Vancouver-based national carrier ran an advertisement stating: “It’s a myth that Canadians pay some of the highest wireless prices in the world. The average Canadian household spends just 1.6 percent of their disposable income on wireless versus 2.6 percent in the U.S. – PWC Canada.”
The advertising watchdog found that the PWC study the carrier cited did not support the claim that it’s a myth Canadians pay some of the highest pieces in the world for wireless.
“The study discussed affordability, rather than prices, and it only addressed four countries in total, rather than most, or all, countries in the world,” Ad Standards wrote in its decision.
The watchdog outlines that if Canadians are spending a smaller percentage of disposable income on wireless than Americans, it does not necessarily mean that prices for wireless are lower in Canada than they are in the U.S.
“In Council’s view, the advertisement incorrectly conflated affordability and pricing, and in assessing the truthfulness and accuracy of the advertisement, this claim strongly impacted the general impression conveyed,” the decision reads.
Ad Standards concluded that Council was unanimous in its decision that the advertisement contained misleading claims. It’s worth noting that the claim is still visible on Telus’ website
MobileSyrup has reached out to Telus for a comment.
Source: Ad Standards Canada
Update 03/09/20 6:50pm ET: Telus spokesperson Richard Gilhooley has provided MobileSyrup with the following statement.
“We are confident that the advertisement is fair and accurate. In fact, a recent study commissioned by the CTIA (the U.S. mobile wireless trade association) showed that Canadians receive some of the highest value for their cellphone spending.
With respect to the advertisement’s claim that, ‘It’s a myth that Canadians pay some of the highest wireless prices in the world. The average Canadian household spends just 1.6 percent of their disposable income on wireless versus 2.6 percent in the US. – PWC Canada’, Advertising Standards Canada (ASC) erroneously separated the two sentences and inserted its own definition of pricing rather than reading both sentences together, which makes it clear that affordability was deliberately being used as the context for evaluating pricing.
Telus did not initially respond to the ASC’s complaint because we are not aware of having received it. We are presently waiting to hear from the ASC, and are reviewing remedies against the ASC for its apparent improper process.”