Telecom NZ drops lawsuit against rival

Thursday, 15 August, 2013

Telecom NZ drops lawsuit against rival

Telecom New Zealand has dropped a High Court lawsuit against rival Vodafone New Zealand, after the latter made changes to its latest advertising campaign.

Telecom NZ had initiated proceedings after objecting to a number of claims made in Vodafone NZ’s SuperNet promotions, including the use of the word “fastest” in online and YouTube advertising.

But Vodafone NZ has made changes to the advertising campaign, Telecom NZ said in a statement, and as a result the company no longer feels it needs to proceed with the case.

“In proceedings ... we were seeking an interim injunction requiring Vodafone to change certain aspects of the campaign on the basis they breached the Fair Trading Act 1986, as in our view they were misleading and likely to deceive consumers. Given the changes now made, we have achieved this immediate objective,” Telecom Retail CEO Chris Quin said in the statement.

“However, Vodafone’s actions in this campaign raise serious concerns under the Fair Trading Act. We have lodged a complaint with the Commerce Commission and will continue to pursue that complaint with urgency.”

Changes include removing the word “fastest” from the online and YouTube ads, ceasing running some television ads and adding appropriate disclaimers about 4G and cable network coverage, Telecom NZ said.

Vodafone NZ Consumer Director Matt Williams told the New Zealand Herald that Telecom NZ was being “insincere” about the reason why the legal action was dropped.

“We received Telecom’s injunction proceedings on Thursday 1 August, which asked us to withdraw the SuperNet campaign. We responded with our evidence last night. This morning Telecom has dropped the case,” he said.

Williams added that Vodafone NZ had voluntarily made the changes to its campaign to ensure its advertising was clear to consumers, and that the lawsuit did not compel the changes.

Image courtesy of Eli Duke under CC

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