The complaint came after Sky ran a national press ad and a magazine insert for a combined Sky TV, Sky Talk and Sky Broadband package, which included the offer of free evening and weekend calls within the UK.
BT challenged whether the claim was misleading, because it believed that the element had previously been available as part of the Sky Talk package on its own and the calls were therefore an inclusive part of the package rather than 'free'.
Sky responded to the complaint by claiming that it was aware that the ASA had a policy that elements of packages could be described as free only for a reasonable period, even if the cost of the element had not been included in the package price.
However, Sky believed that its See Speak Surf was not a traditional 'package' by the ASA's definition of the term, because consumers could exercise genuine choice as to how many of the individual services they took.
Sky asserted that the calls could be described as 'free' because their cost was not included in the package price.
The ASA investigated the ads under CAP Code clauses 7.1, which covers truthfulness, and 32.3, which covers free offers and free trials, but did not find Sky in breach.
The ASA noted that consumers were likely to regard the combination of services for one price as a package and as such the 'free' calls would be seen as one element of that package.
However, it was concluded that because the calls were a new element of the package and incurred no extra cost, the calls could be described as 'free' for a reasonable period and hence the ads were not misleading.
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