The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has issued a formal warning to Vodafone for breaching the Telecommunications Consumer Protection (TCP) code.
The warning relates to Vodafone failing to prominently display standard charges for a mobile phone in a Herald Sun advertisement which ran 18 April this year.
While Vodafone displayed the charges on its advertising, the ACMA found it was not displayed prominently, as is required under the TCP code.
“The ACMA expects industry to prominently display key information when advertising their telecommunications offers to assist consumers in their purchasing decisions,” Chris Chapman, the ACMA’s chairman, said in a statement.
“While the ACMA is pleased that Vodafone acted to rectify subsequent advertisements, mistakes like this really shouldn’t happen.”
A spokesperson from Vodafone attributed the mistake to a “last-minute” error.
“Regrettably, this was a human error due to a last-minute change in creative that slipped through the internal systems we have in place. We picked up the error almost immediately so the print advertisement only ran for one day,” the spokesperson said.
“We’re taking this warning seriously, as we do all of our obligations under the TCP Code.”
The ACMA said it is the first time a formal warning has been issued for an advertising breach. It is the seventh warning the ACMA has issued since the TCP code came in effect in September 2012.
Southern Cross Telco also found itself in trouble recently for contravening the TCP code, with the ACMA issuing a warning to the telco for emailing invoices to more than 1000 consumers who weren’t the account holder.
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