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ASA slaps down Three over two ad complaints

James Pearce
July 27, 2016

Complaints about adverts for LG G4 across multiple platforms and for Three’s “All You Can Eat” data tariff upheld

The Advertising Standards Authority has upheld a number of complaints about two separate advertising campaigns by Three.

The advertising watchdog ruled a YouTube ad for the LG G4, which received three complaints, had breached advertising rules. A website and online display promoting the operator’s “All You Can Eat” tariffs was also criticised.

The five minute YouTube advert aired in August 2015 promoting the G4 through mascot Jackson (pictured) travelling through some woods, spoofing traditional horror movies.

A number of parents complained that the ad had been incorrectly targeted, and was likely to cause fear or distress to children. The advert came with a warning that it was not suitable for those aged under-15.

The ASA upheld the complaints, saying: “We told Three to ensure that future ads which were unsuitable for viewing by children were appropriately targeted.”

A spokesperson for Three said they would take the ASA’s “comments on board for any future campaigns.”


In a separate investigation, the ASA also ruled against Three’s advert on its site promoting “all you can eat” data on the “Business Mobiles” and SIM-only sections of its website.

Two complainants argued that Three’s claims about AYCE data was misleading, given restrictions to data use during peak times for peer-to-peer file sharing, and the possibility of being cut off once a customer has used a set amount of data while tethering.

Three denied this, saying All You Can Eat is not the same as “unlimited”, likening it to a food buffet where you could only physically eat a certain amount.

Banning the ads in the existing form, the ASA said Three must in future make any caps on tethering clear.

A spokesperson for Three said: “We stand behind our marketing and have had no consumer complaints about advertising of all-you-can-eat data. The only feedback we have had in relation to all-you-can-eat and the ability to tether your phone is how much customers love it.”

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