TalkTalk scolded over “free” YouView box claims

The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority has upheld a complaint by BT that rival telco TalkTalk, a fellow partner in the YouView connected TV initiative, was making misleading claims in its marketing campaign for YouView set-top boxes.

In the campaign, launched on the TalkTalk website a week after YouView boxes became available, the telco claimed to be offering a “free YouView box – normally £299″.

BT also objected to an advert placed in national newspapers last October which made similar claims, on the basis that the devices had not been available long enough to establish a “normal” retail price.

In its ruling, the ASA said: “The claims must not appear again in their current form. We told TalkTalk to ensure that in future, they did not misleadingly imply that a product was generally sold at a particular price if they did not have the evidence to substantiate the claim.”

A spokesperson for TalkTalk told IP&TV News earlier today: “Our bespoke YouView set top box, made by Huawei, provides unlimited access to seven day catch up, 4,000 box sets and shows on demand and premium content including Sky Sports and Movies, and has been on sale at for £299 for almost three months. TalkTalk customers signing up for a Plus TV package, including unlimited broadband and UK landline calls, get the box for free.”

At the time of writing BT had not responded to a request for comment.

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