Watchdog warns Softbank Mobile on misleading ads

14 Dec 2006

(Kyodo News via NewsEdge) Japan's Fair Trade Commission warned Softbank Mobile of what it says was misrepresentative advertising with regards to mobile phone rates, while three other carriers were cautioned that their advertisements, too, could also have misled customers.

The competition policy watchdog took issue with Softbank Mobile's heavy campaigns in newspapers and also on television hiring American actress Cameron Diaz in late October that stressed 'zero yen' for calls and emails.

The FTC said the third largest mobile carrier advertised as if no charges will be levied in making any calls or sending or receiving any messages when in fact they are limited to domestic services between Softbank Mobile users and under certain circumstances that are only noted in small letters.

The FTC said Softbank Mobile's ads could constitute a violation of the Premiums and Representation Act that bans misleading advertisements.

Softbank has modified its advertisements since November.

NTT DoCoMo and KDDI were told that they did not inform customers fully about conditions where their respective monthly charge discounts may apply in ads made in February by KDDI and in December 2005 and January 2006 by NTT DoCoMo.

The three other carriers were given less serious 'cautions' because the FTC judged their ads had only limited impact.

© 2006 Kyodo News International

© 2006 Dialog, a Thomson business. All rights reserved

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