Broadband Ads Misleadingly Imply 6G, Says Watchdog

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The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled that two broadband adverts implying the existence of 6G technology are misleading and must not be used in their current form. Lancashire-based broadband provider 6G Internet was ordered by the watchdog to amend the adverts after a complainant challenged whether the company name implied the existence of a sixth-generation mobile network. The ASA investigated a leaflet and the company’s website following the complaint. While the company argued that “6G” referred to home internet, the ASA said consumers would likely make a connection to mobile technology when seeing the name.

ASA Investigation and Company’s Response

The ASA launched an investigation after a complaint questioned whether the use of “6G Internet” misleadingly implied a fully operational sixth-generation mobile network. The company, 6G Internet Ltd, argued that they had been using the brand name since 2013 for home broadband services and that “6G” related to home internet rather than mobile technology generations. The company further explained that their services were delivered through networks operated by affiliated companies, using full fibre distribution and core networks, along with fixed wireless technology.

Misleading Implication and ASA Decision

The ASA found that even though consumers might understand the most advanced mobile technology as 5G, they would still connect the name “6G Internet” to mobile technology generations. The watchdog’s ruling stated that the name’s presentation in the adverts was likely to mislead consumers, especially as 5G is the most advanced mobile technology currently available. The ASA directed 6G Internet Ltd not to suggest the existence of a sixth-generation mobile network that is usable by consumers.

Company Response and Future Steps

A spokeswoman for 6G Internet expressed disappointment with the ASA’s decision but indicated the company would respect it. The company reiterated that its advertising clearly indicated the nature of its services and that it provided home broadband, not mobile broadband using cellular technologies. Despite disagreeing with the findings, the company stated its intention to abide by the ASA’s decision and reiterated that it had no intention to mislead customers. The case underscores the importance of clear communication and accurate representation in advertising to avoid consumer confusion.

SOURCE: Ref Image from Lancs Live

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