An ad for a mobile phone retailer in which the business claimed to be ‘pro-choice’ has run afoul of the advertising watchdog, which has ordered the company not to run the ad in future.

The Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland said it received more than 40 complaints regarding two adverts by the Carphone Warehouse, one featuring a picture of a denim jacket with a badge pinned beneath the collar that read: “We’re pro-choice.”

The second featured a picture of a baby with the caption “what makes a family?”, with the options “Mum & Mum, Mum & Dad, Dad & Dad”, and the slogan “we’re pro-choice”. Both adverts featured the slogan: “The only place you get to choose your network, phone, and plan.”

A third ad with a pro-choice slogan featured a picture of a person with short hair and glasses, and the caption: “What do you see?’ with the options ‘Guy’, ‘Girl’, and ‘Me’.”

The ASAI said the complainants found the ads to be “highly offensive” in light of the ongoing debate around the eighth amendment and that it “trivialised a very sensitive topic”, while the third advert was said to be “extremely offensive to transgender people”.

Complaints against all three ads were upheld.

The latest report from the ASAI shows that 25 advertisements were found to have been in breach of its code on grounds relating to misleading advertising, decency and propriety, health and beauty, and alcohol advertising. The ads complained of related to the internet, brochure, press, outdoor, social media, print, and radio.

The ASAI upheld three complaints against Eir.

A member of the public said Eir’s claim that it provides “superfast” broadband was misleading as there was no qualification offered or any mention of average speeds. The complainant said his average speed was 25Mb, which is “well short of the 100Mbs advertised for some of the bundles offered”. It was one of two complaints which the ASAI upheld against Eir after the company failed to respond to the grievances raised.

The second complaint to which Eir failed to respond regarded an ad in which the company claimed its broadband had “absolutely no usage limits”.

The complainant said the terms and conditions, which were accessed via a link at the end of the webpage advertising the deal, stated that broadband deals with unlimited usage “are subject to a fair usage policy of 1TB [one terabyte] per month”.


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