Three’s complaint about Meteor upheld by advertising authority

Advertising body also upholds complaint about Lidl’s 3% cashmere jumper

Meteor ordered not to rebroadcast ad about its “more than you can eat” data offer (above)

Meteor ordered not to rebroadcast ad about its “more than you can eat” data offer (above)


A complaint by mobile phone network Three over an advertisement by rival company Meteor has been upheld.

Meteor was ordered by the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland not to rebroadcast an advertisement about its “all you can eat” data offer.

Although Three was not mentioned by name in the television advertisement, the company argued the use of the phrase “all you can eat data” was associated with it.

The television ad, which ran in February, stated that Meteor was “not just giving you all-you-can-eat data, we’re giving you more-than-you-can-eat data”.

It said that in addition to 15GB of 4G data and unlimited calls for €20, Meteor was allowing unfettered access to social-media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and also to YouTube.

Three argued the advertisement was “completely misleading” because customers were charged extra for usage above 15GB, whereas its offering had no data cap.

In response Meteor said it had clearly differentiated between what was limited and unlimited data. It also denied implying that its product was superior to Three’s.

The authority found in favour of Three. It held the use of the phrase “more-than-you-can-eat data” by Meteor was a reference to Three. It reminded Meteor it was necessary to substantiate a claim of superiority over a rival.


The authority also held against Lidl for its advertisement of a “men’s fine-knit cashmere jumper” which was only 3 per cent cashmere.

Lidl considered the description of its jumper reflected the retail-industry norm for items containing such materials. The advertiser said it had never referred to the garment as being 100 per cent cashmere and the packaging had clearly stated the percentage of cashmere it contained.

The advertising was held to be misleading and the authority ruled it should not appear in the same format again.

A complaint was also upheld against the betting company Boylesports for its crossbar challenge bet during Euro 2016. A customer who placed three bets went to cash in when the ball hit the crossbar in one match only to be told by Boylesports that the ball must bounce back into play to claim a winning bet.

Boylesports claimed it had made that clear in its terms and conditions. The authority acknowledged that was the case but it ruled that such an important provision should also have been in the main body of the advertisement.

The authority ruled the advertisement should not be used in the same format again.

Although the rulings are not statutory, its chief executive, Orla Twomey, said there was a 98 per cent compliance rate with its recommendations.

She said: “This illustrates the effectiveness of self-regulation in Ireland and shows that advertisers in Ireland are completely on board with the [authority] in our bid to protect consumers.”