back to article What's the nature of your emergency, Vodafone?

Vodafone has been chided for misleading customers with a telly ad that wrongly implied that the majority of Blighty's emergency services' staff personally subscribed to the mobile operator. Britain's ad watchdog agreed with three out of four complaints submitted by the parent company of rival O2 - Telefonica UK. The TV …

  1. wolfetone Silver badge

    What exactly is the point?

    This advert has been out for months now, and how many customers do you think had signed up to Vodafone based on the idea that they are a network so reliable that the emergency services use them? I don't know the number, but it's a number of customers who weren't with O2 before the ruling, and won't be with O2 after the ruling.

    In other news, escaped horse see's owners close stable door after leaving.

    1. Phil W

      Re: What exactly is the point?

      Two points most likely

      1. Basic one-upmanship between Vodafone and Telefonica's Marketing/PR departments.

      2. Telefonica attempting to generate bad publicity toward Vodafone, it may only be minor and most people will forget it, certainly the details of it. But if they happen to remember in the future "Hey, don't I remember Vodafone getting in trouble with lying in their ads" then it might get O2 some customers. For all the effort it takes to lodge the complaint why wouldn't O2 complain on that basis.

  2. Cynical Shopper

    ordered not to screen the ads on British TV again

    "We weren't anyway - that campaign's finished. We've got a new misleading ad lined up for the next campaign".

    Rinse. Repeat. Well done ASA, that's told 'em.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bit odd

    The police, for example, are largely still using AirWave kit which was a joint venture between Securicor/SunGuard and, er, O2.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bit odd

      Some emergency services (such as Mountain Rescue) use Pagers as they have better signal coverage and batteries last longer.

      Out of the main service providers these are now only supplied by Vodafone. Therefore they are probably part of their stats.

    2. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: Bit odd

      A lot of the call centres use landlines supplied by what was Cable and Wireless, now owned by Vodafone. I think that is what they are referring to.

  4. Longrod_von_Hugendong

    If you sign up to something...

    by taking the advert at face value, and not doing some research then you are going to be in for a shock...

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: If you sign up to something...

      I don't know, I went from being a skinny bloke to a hot curvy woman just by eating Special K...if only I could get this bloody swimsuit off.

  5. AndrueC Silver badge

    I haven't watched adverts on TV for years. I time-shift with my PVR and the FF button is always available.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      > I haven't watched adverts on TV for years.

      What's a TV? :(

  6. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge

    Don't do it like that

    Both my local pubs have zero phone signal. I've been winding-up the Voda users by making calls over wifi with O2's TuGo app. I especially like it when someone’s expensive iThing is out-done by my cheapo Moto G.

    The TuGo app is buggy but hopefully will improve.

    P.S. Yes I know that I'm an ********

    1. ZillaOfManilla

      Re: Don't do it like that

      Buggy! That is an understatement.

      At least I can choose when to ring on TuGo now, although VPNs still defeat it so I only see who is trying to call me, but can't talk to them, texting doesn't have this problem.

      It's useful that it runs on a PC too, although a WinPho 8 and Win 8 (including RT) app would be nice.

    2. Tiny Iota

      Re: Don't do it like that

      "I especially like it when someone’s expensive iThing is out-done by my cheapo Moto G."

      Great trolling. You did well to ignore that TuGo has been available on iOS for ages. You could well out-do someone's expensive iThing, but only if they are on O2 and they have chosen not to download and use TuGo.

      1. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge

        Re: Don't do it like that @Tiny iota

        It was more to do with the owner of the Iphone who is a bit of a knob-head. Plus that fact that he's on Vodaphone.

    3. Paul Johnston

      Re: Don't do it like that


      Last thing you want in the pub is the wife ringing me to ask where I am.

  7. Lamont Cranston


    1) the ASA decision was wrong (the advert wasn't misleading, as it stated that x% of the emergency services used Vodafone's services, not that x% of emergency services employees used Vodaphone's services in their personal time)


    2) the ASA decision was irrelevant, as this advert has been and gone.

    Are they paid to remind us that Vodaphone still exist, or something?

  8. Ian 45

    No signal

    Good luck getting a signal with Vodafone outside of London. I used to get one then it stopped, seems they decided they want the cash without bothering with a network.

  9. Lost in Cyberspace


    I thought Vodafone originally made the claim based on revenue rather than market share.

    I don't think it's a good thing to highlight how much more money you make from customers, when you're a company competing in a market where your service is similar to everyone else's.

  10. xpz393

    So, Vodafone get kicked by the ASA because Telefonica/O2 don't like their rivals promoting a strong-point, and there might be a few dumbarse individuals out there who are too stupid to understand the basic message of the advert?

    Oh, and for a marketing campaign that finished ages ago. What a waste of time.

  11. TechGeezer

    Err.. if the emergency services used Vodafone so heavily, then most of those fires would burn a whole city to the ground through lack of proper coverage....

  12. TechGeezer

    Vodafone: out dated, out moded....

    ...totally irrelevant in today's internet connected world and now branded liars. They never cease to amaze me. Just how poor and irrelevant can their service get. So desperately trying to hang on to their old voice only business model... And what on earth is this 'Freebiez'. Why not give me a service I actually want. An unlimited data plan and oh yes.... A bloody signal!.....

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