Carphone Warehouse 'surprised' by ASA decision

Mobile phone retailer The Carphone Warehouse said it was "extremely surprised" by a ruling the Advertising Standards Authority...

Mobile phone retailer The Carphone Warehouse said it was "extremely surprised" by a ruling the Advertising Standards Authority made against it concerning a text message advertising campaign.

The ASA upheld last week two complaints about an SMS message sent by Carphone Warehouse to its customers.

The message said, "For fantastic free handsets, inc up to 6 months free line rental or a free DVD player, call Carphone Warehouse on ... t&c's apply ...".

The ASA received two complaints, one saying that the message was misleading regarding the free DVD player and the conditions necessary to get one, and another saying that the customer had not given consent to be contacted.

Carphone Warehouse "clearly stated that terms and conditions applied in the most appropriate way for a limited character text message".

The company also obtained its database from "a very well known company that guarantees that all members of the list have opted in" to receiving advertising messages, the statement said.

Both complaints came from the same man, the only one out of 80,000 customer to complain, said Carphone Warehouse.

The use of SMS advertising is growing in Europe and analysts say that companies will have to strike a balance between promoting products and antagonising customers.

Gillian Law writes for IDG News Service

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