A T-Mobile advert claiming to offer users "unlimited free texts forever" has been investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority, after two people queried the existential issue of whether something can really be proven to last "forever."
T-Mobile responded by telling the ASA that it had no current business plan in place to remove the free text promotion, so that ought to be enough assurance as to the meaning of "forever" in terms of the mobile phone world, a place where even 18 months ahead is seen as something of an unknown distant future.
The ASA itself went a little further, pointing out that most consumers aren't complete idiots and would probably understand the limitations of such an offer and the language used, and that it's probably a bit unrealistic to expect T-Mobile to still exist and to be continuing to offer unlimited free SMS messages three billion years from now.
Here's the awesome quote delivered from the ASA in response:
We considered consumers were likely to interpret the claim as containing an element of advertising puffery and were unlikely to infer that texts would be available literally forever.
Fantastic work from the ASA there. The term "advertising puffery" will now be used here on a daily basis. The fun the staff there must have dealing with the stupid letters of bored, awkward people on a daily basis. [ASA]
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