ASA Gives Three a Slap on the Wrist Over "3.9G" Adverts

By Gerald Lynch on at

The Three network has got itself into hot water with the Advertising Standards Agency, after rival network EE claimed the "3.9G" branding of Three's "Ultrafast" DC-HSPDA mobile connection was misleading.

Siding with EE on the matter, the ASA has ruled that the term is indeed inaccurate, and will now be banned, despite Three's best efforts to prove that its service was technically close to the speeds offered by 4G networks.

According to the ASA website:

Three provided information on the differences between 3G DC-HSDPA and 4G LTE technology. They said it showed that DC-HSDPA was extremely close to 4G LTE in performance, and in some cases outperformed it. They said the 1, 2, 3 and 4 mobile phone generation technologies were not based on technical standards, but merely described the evolutionary nature of the user experience [...] They said that although they had not intended the term "3.9G" as a technical one, they believed it was not misleading because their DC-HSDPA network was very close in terms of capability to 4G LTE.

Despite the technical clarification, the ASA will still now prevent Three from using the 3.9G term. Rubbing salt into the wounds, Three's advertising tagline "Our Ultrafast network is built for more" has been deemed unclear and unverifiable by the ASA too, meaning that will now also have to be altered. EE: 1, Three: Nil, it would seem. [ASA via The Inquirer]