A television advertisement featuring comedian Rhys Darby has been found to be misleading and taken off air.
The advertisement for mobile phone company 2Degrees for its Share Everything service said people who subscribed to it could share their unlimited calls, texts and data with up to three other people for $29 per person per month.
In the advertisement, Darby says: "Because you clever people switched to 2Degrees, you get unlimited calls to anyone in New Zealand or Australia, unlimited texts and a very large caboodle of data."
A man sitting next to Darby says: "So if it's unlimited, shouldn't we be able to share it?"
"Brilliant!" Darby replies.
"To share unlimited calls, texts and a whole load of data, switch to 2 degrees now."
The on-screen text says: "Share with up to three others for just $29 each per month."
However, the offer was only for existing customers.
J Conneely complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that after viewing the advertisement, they rang 2Degrees to sign up for the service, and was told it would cost them $70, not $29, per month.
"I am also complaining that the 'small print' that's at the bottom of the screen is too small to be readable. I looked at it on a 55-inch full HD TV, and it's not possible to read it, which is, I believe, unfair", Conneely said.
The ASA upheld the complaint, which it said contained contradictory statements.
2Degrees said the central message of the advertisement was true and disagreed it was misleading. However, it said it would take the complaint into consideration in future descriptions of the Share Everything service, and took the advertisement off air.
The Commercial Approvals Bureau, which approves the content of television commercials before they are broadcast on any television or digital media, defended the advertisement saying it was clear it was aimed at existing customers and the on-screen small print did not diminish the Share Everything offer.
"The average viewer will not have any misgivings over the nature of the Share Everything deal as a result of these graphics", it said. adding it did not believe the complaint should be upheld.