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Telus Stands By Wireless Prices Ad, Saying It’s “Fair and Accurate”

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Yesterday we read about how Ad Standards Canada, the country’s industry regulator, slammed a recent Telus ad in Quebec as “misleading”.

The issue involved an ad in Quebec which stated, “It’s a myth that Canadians pay some of the highest wireless prices in the world. The average Canadian household spends just 1.6% of their disposable income on wireless versus 2.6% in the US. – PWC Canada,” said the Telus full-page advertisement.

Now in response to the Ad Standards Canada ruling, Telus has responded noting it believes the ad in question is “fair and accurate”.

According to Richard Gilhooley, Manager, Communications, at Telus, he told iPhone in Canada in an email late Thursday, “we are confident that the advertisement is fair and accurate.”

Gilhooley added, “In fact, a recent study commissioned by the CTIA (the U.S. mobile wireless trade association) showed that Canadians receive some of the highest value for their cellphone spending. In this study, Dr. Christian Dippon of NERA Consulting showed that Canadian cellphone users save close to $1.3 billion per year compared to what they would pay for the same services outside of Canada. When compared to the G7 countries and Australia, Canada is in first place with prices 4.7% lower than the average international price for the same quality of service.”

The Telus Communications Manager also pointed out other independent sources “that verify the tremendous value and affordability of Canadian wireless services against international peers,” mentioning PWC Canada specifically, “which ranked Canada’s unlimited plans first amongst the G7 countries plus Australia based on speed, access, latency, and price per [gigabyte].”

Referring to the Telus ad’s specific claim that “It’s a myth that Canadians pay some of the highest wireless prices in the world. The average Canadian household spends just 1.6% of their disposable income on wireless versus 2.6% in the US,” Gilhooley says Ad Standards Canada was wrong in its ruling.

“Advertising Standards Canada (ASC) erroneously separated the two sentences and inserted its own definition of pricing rather than reading both sentences together, which makes it clear that affordability was deliberately being used as the context for evaluating pricing,” said Gilhooley.

The Ad Standard Canada decision also pointed out Telus never responded to the complaint. In response, Gilhooley explains, “TELUS did not initially respond to the ASC’s complaint because we are not aware of having received it. We are presently waiting to hear from the ASC, and are reviewing remedies against the ASC for its apparent improper process.”

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