An unexpected turn of events has resulted in the telecom company MTN being criticised by the Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB) for what is being called a misleading advertisement providing “10GB of data for R99.”
The Advertising Review Board (ARB) raised objections to the advertisement because it was not clear how the data was being split down, which the ARB considered to be deceptive. The distinction between the Anytime Data portion (consisting of 5GB) and the Night Express Data portion (consisting of 5GB) of the 10GB data limit was not made apparent in the advertisement.
MTN defended itself by pointing to the terms and conditions, which, according to MTN, outlined in great detail how the BozzaGigs LTE bundles were supposed to be distributed. This defense, on the other hand, was shot down by the ARB, which argued that the terms and conditions should not be utilised to clarify or explain anything.
The ARB acknowledged that the costs of the BozzaGigs LTE packages were straightforward; nonetheless, they pointed out that the distribution was not apparent, which may have contributed to a misunderstanding of the product. As a direct consequence of this, the ARB required that MTN immediately eliminate unlawful marketing from any channels that were impacted by it.
The response from the general populace in South Africa was, as was to be expected, very animated:
“It seems like @MTNza is applying dishonest tactics in its marketing and advertising,” said a user on Twitter by the handle bigkoostar.
During this time, another person on Twitter named @BougaSimon made the following assertion: “@MTNza also with 100GB worth R200, because it is only applicable to certain people.”
In a more lighthearted tone, @uMzala_SA yelled, “Good!” in favour of the decision, and Jane Jane remarked, “I was so shocked to see that advert.” Carmen Cloete, in response to the decision made by the ARB, expressed gratitude to those who “called them out on this,” saying “Thanks for calling them out on this.”
CIC Malhotrah Return made a funny connection between MTN and other institutions that have recently come under investigation. He stated that “MTN, Capitec, ANC, and Eskom are always playing mind games.”
This choice demonstrates how important it is to promote items to people straightforwardly and honestly. As consumers continue to gain more knowledge and regulatory authorities continue to become more careful, misleading advertisements will likely be rapidly called out, and it is likely that they will be penalised. In the end, these acts might weaken consumer faith in the brand, which is vital in today’s market because of the competitive environment. If MTN and other companies in a similar position want to steer clear of predicaments like these in the future, they must exercise greater caution and candour in their advertising.
Keep in mind that those that shop with more acumen tend to make better purchases. Always make sure to read the tiny print and stay informed on the most recent developments in the business and financial worlds.
About The Author:
Thabo Matlala is a fintech journalist with Africa Nova. A finance graduate, Thabo has an eye for exciting trends and startups disrupting the traditional South African landscape.