A Vodafone advert starring Martin Freeman has been banned for being misleading.
The television advert features the actor appearing to break up with a partner, before it is revealed he’s actually trying to leave his mobile phone provider.
The Advertising Standards Authority acted on complaints that the advert implied customers can leave a phone contract at any point, despite Vodafone’s service guarantee only applying to the first 30 days of a new deal.
His character in the ad said: “I haven’t got the strength to keep arguing with you,” before a voice-over said: “Breaking up’s never easy but, unlike other networks, Vodafone has a 30-day service guarantee, so if you don’t love us, you can leave us.”
Eleven viewers complained to the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) that the wording was misleading because it did not make clear that customers could only cancel in the first 30 days of a new deal.
The ASA said the ad gave the impression that Freeman’s character was wanting to leave a contract that had been in place for some time, but the service guarantee acted as a 30-day cooling-off period.
The ASA said: “After that point, consumers would face those same difficulties in trying to leave their contract with Vodafone, and whilst we acknowledged Vodafone’s reference to the small print which referred to the terms and conditions on the website, we did not consider that this altered the impression presented by the ad.