After investigating some complaints about 6G Internet, the Advertising Standards authority have forced them to pull the incriminating advertising, and put out a strict ruling. It suggests that they may struggle to use their name in the first place on future advertising. Looking at the provider’s website now shows they have clearly decided to abide, now referring to themselves as 6Gi with a convenient ”Fixed Wireless Broadband” on the logo.
Realistically, 6G Internet’s use of cleverly-worded adverts to skew the possible customer is nothing new. Especially in telecoms, where more often than not the telco get away with it. This time, however, it’s quite obvious why the ASA decided to make a move.
The ASA provided an explanation upon publishing its ruling- ”The complainant challenged whether the company name ‘6G Internet’ misleadingly implied that a sixth-generation network existed and was able to be used by consumers.”
This was followed by a long explanation as to why 6G Internet might not have breached any rules at all. The company argued they’d been providing home broadband services for a decade, an never received a complaint over their name. It name drops Ofcom and DCMS as two major non-complainers. With 6G not existing yet and the company clearly pitching itself as home broadband, 6G Internet said they didn’t think customers would assume otherwise.
This explanation made no difference, however, as the ASA wasn’t swayed. It decided that customers might not see the difference, and think 6G Internet was offering their namesake, rather than what they advertise. This is probably due to the ever-blurry lines between mobile technology and home broadband.
”Because consumers would interpret the name to mean that it used the next generation of 6G internet technology, when that was not the case, we concluded that the name ‘6G Internet’ was likely to mislead in the context of its presentation in the ads,” the ASA stated in their explanation.
The ASA concluded with; ”The ads must not appear again in their current form. We told 6G Internet Ltd not to imply a sixth-generation mobile network existed and was able to be used by consumers.”
To stop airing the ads is easy enough. But with the provider’s whole brand including 6G, there’ll be quite the impact. We can already see this in the logo tweak and even more ”this is not actually 6G” branding littered around.
With the development and expected advancements in 6G over the coming years, however, will it be enough? We don’t have 6G now, but no doubt will in the future, and will the rebrand be enough then? We’ll just have to wait and see.