“Unlimited” is limited, but “truly unlimited” isn’t. Got it?

Confused-woman-462x561We’ve long known the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) takes a rather liberal view of dictionary definitions, but an adjudication against T-Mobile this morning at last provides clarity over exactly how our fearless advertising watchdog defines the term “unlimited”.

“Unlimited” is limited, but “truly unlimited” isn’t. Got it?

T-Mobile was sent to the headmaster’s office for describing its smartphone data contracts as “truly unlimited”, even though it barred services such as tethering, VoIP and P2P.

That was beyond the pale, according to the advertising overlord, which delivered the following guidance in its adjudication:

“The ASA considered that ‘Truly Unlimited Internet’ was a very strong claim, and went beyond a typical ‘unlimited’ internet claim, which we considered consumers understood would be likely to be subject to some limitations such as a FUP [fair-use policy].”

So, just so we’re clear: according to the ASA, consumers expect “unlimited” services to be limited.

You truly couldn’t make it up.

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