The petty squabbling between phone networks continues: Vodafone has gone to the ASA about one of Three's ads and got it pulled.
In fairness, the 'Puggerfly' ad was pretty much the most unbearable thing ever, and we can't imagine anyone will be sad to see it go.
Instead of coming up with actual concepts, the creative team seem to have mashed together a load of LOL RANDOM internet things – pugs, 'Africa' by Toto, eye-meltingly bright stickers, farting rainbows (yes, really) – and wrongly assumed that those would make people want to buy its products.
However, since the ad contained the words "use Snapchat all you like, without using up your data" and ended with "only on Three," Vodafone managed to get it withdrawn for being misleading, on account of the fact that Vodafone's sub-brand Voxi, which no one has ever heard of, also lets people use Snapchat without diminishing their data allowance.
In response, Three pointed out that Voxi is only available to under-25s (it's actually under-30s now, but still). The whole thing might end up backfiring on Voxi, because people are now aware that Vodafone thinks it's absolutely fine to discriminate based on age.
Beloved tech curmudgeon Ian Morris gave the PR team hell for this on Forbes and they came back with a load of politician-style non-answers, which suggests they know it's wrong.
So yes, Three's ad was cringeworthy, yes it was technically incorrect, but Vodafone thinks it's OK to discriminate based on age, and that's not cool.
We think you're walking away with that one, Voda.