Advertising has always been a battle for our attention span, which when picking up the post from your doormat is probably under a second, hence why you tend never see 'this is a circular please recycle me responsibly' emblazoned across the front of the numerous circulars you get.
Hyperoptic has had the ASA now ban a circular that has been delivered some 50,000 times after a complaint where the complaint was that the circular was not obviously a circular and looked like a communication from BT.
The circular (which if someone has a copy of we would be interested in seeing a copy with a view to sharing a copy) apparently was suggesting that the residents BT Contract was about to go up in price - therefore we presume the timing was around a set of BT price rises which does fit in with the complaint being received in February 2017. One problem is that BT use their own circulars so if the style is too similar people might be confused, but those are usually random pushing upgrades like BT TV and are never used to convey information about changes in your contract etc
The ASA concluded 'Because we considered the marketing communication was not obviously identifiable as such, we concluded that the ad breached the Code' that it should not be shown again in its current form, with the presence of a Hyperoptic return address, logo and mock language not being enough to mark the circular as advertising.
A circular, advertising broadband services, received in February 2017, stated in small print on the top-left of the front page "Sent by Hyperoptic Ltd. If undelivered, please return to [their address]". The circular was addressed to "The Resident" and terms and conditions of the offer were listed in small print at the foot of the front page.
Text on the back page stated "Your BT CONTRACT is about to cost you even more ..." and appeared to be in the form of a contract. At the top right of the page text stated "Your Scheme Reference Number: XXXXX Membership: XXXXXXXXXXX. A sub-heading stated "IMPORTANT: THE SERVICE AGREEMENT BETWEEN SERVICE PROVIDER AND CUSTOMER IS COMPROMISED ON FOLLOWING UNDERNEATH TERMS AND CONDITIONS; ...". An image overlaying the 'contract' stated "BREAK FREE & BEAT THE PRICE RISE". Small print at the foot of the page stated "PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS NOT GENUINE [sic] A BT CONTRACT, OBVIOUSLY."
The back page opened out and the interior contained further information about the offer.
ASA Description of Circular
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