Optus Ordered to Place Corrective Adverts in National Newspapers
Published on: 1st Apr 2014
A further blow for Australia's Optus after a court has ruled that it must publish a series of apologies in the newspapers for misleading the public over its coverage claims.
The mobile network was sued by rival Telstra when it ran a series of adverts comparing their respective coverage, but did so based on population covered, which is similar, rather than geographic coverage, which is substantially different.
As the adverts used an image of the country landmass though, the Victorian Supreme Court found its advertisements to be misleading.
Justice Elliott ruled in favour of Telstra and said that an ordinary or reasonable person would have believed it to mean geographic coverage rather than, as the small print stated, population coverage.
Every customer who signed up for a contract agreement while the adverts were running is to now receive a corrective letter from Optus, and the mobile network will have to run adverts in major newspapers wherever the TV advert was broadcast.
Every retail outlet will also need to show a large poster issuing the correction.
"While we're disappointed in the court's ruling, Optus remains committed to the strength of our network," a spokesperson wrote in a statement. "We have been consistent and transparent in how we communicate the less than 1 per cent difference in the population reach of the Optus mobile network compared to Telstra's, and these clear facts have not been in dispute."