Potraz Rebukes Comparative Advertising

The Postal and Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) will not condone attack advertising that has been rampant within the telecommunication sector.This was stated in the regulator’s new set of Telecommunications promotional guidelines issued out on March 21, 2017.

The guideline comes at a time when ZOL and TelOne where the two companies would attack each other with the former reigniting the ad war at its Fibroniks Fast launch implying the latter was a tortoise. At the event  ZOL seemed to subtly poke TelOne in an advert in which it claimed “#FibroniksFast leaves ADSL in the dust”, an apparent reference to the Asymmetrical Digital Subsriber Line that is mainly offered by its rival. 

In the promotional guidelines, Potraz Director General Dr Gift Machengete said they do not entertain comparative advertising within the sector.

“Advertisements must not unfairly discredit, disparage or attack other products, services, advertisements or companies, or exaggerate the nature or importance of competitive differences,” he said.

telone advert

“No licensee shall imitate the slogans or illustrations of another advertiser in such a manner as to mislead the consumer,” said Machengete.

Potraz went on to stipulate that failure to adhere to these new advertising rules will force the regulator to take any action it deems necessary as it will not stand and watch unfair business practices being conducted.

Potraz Director General Dr Gift Machengete

The regulator also noted  it will not tolerate mobile network company promotions that exhibit tendencies of predatory pricing.

“Predatory pricing”, the telecommunications regulator said, refers to the act of setting prices low in an attempt to eliminate competition.

Potraz said each promotion shall not exceed a period of three months; and that no licensee shall conduct the promotion for the same product or service more than twice within twelve calendar months.

If an operator discontinues a promotion and if the terms and conditions associated with it are no longer offered, it shall notify the regulatory authority at least 14 days before doing so.Operators shall notify consumers of the intended discontinuation at least fifteen (15) days before discontinuation of the service and such notification should be given significant prominence.

View the guidelines here



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