Optus Forced To Pull Ads Over Telstra Row

Melbourne, Australia - August 6, 2015: A woman walks past an Optus store on Bourke St. Optus is the second largest telecommunications company in Australia.
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two of Australia’s biggest Telcos are in a head-to-head battle over alleged false advertising.

Earlier this year, Optus launched two advertising campaigns based on an independent study titled the P3 Mobile Benchmark, led by German mobile testing firm P3.

Data from the results enabled Optus to release two campaigns, the first stating, “The Mobile Network is now best overall nationally” advertised between April 30 and May 4.

The second campaign said, “The Optus Mobile Network has been ranked best overall in voice and data,” and has been circulating since May 4.

Telstra has claimed both statements are false and has launched an application for an injunction preventing Optus from using the report’s findings for advertising purposes.

“The P3 report is not a sufficient basis to support the claims made by Optus and in fact ranked Telstra best for data performance,” a Telstra spokesman told The Australian last week.

Now, Justice Ross Robson has granted the application, meaning Optus will be forced to pull the advertising until the matter is taken to trial at Victoria’s Supreme Court next Tuesday.

“I am satisfied that there is a serious question to be tried in relation to the allegations of misleading or deceptive conduct on the part of Optus,” Robson said.

Speaking on the results, a Telstra spokesman said, “We are pleased the court has heard our case that the Optus network advertising is misleading and has put a stop to it pending a final hearing.

“Telstra’s mobile network is the best in Australia, providing the greatest coverage and faster speeds in more places and we believe advertising that tries to suggest anything else is an attempt to mislead consumers.”

When the issue came to a head last week, an Optus spokesperson said its rival had simply lost its sense of humour.

“Unfortunately, our competitor is clearly unhappy about losing to Optus, and has no doubt lost its sense of humour in the process,” he said.

“Optus believes Australians should know Optus has an alternative, award-winning premium mobile network that delivers great value for customers.

“Optus will continue to invest and compete for customers across cities, in regions and rural locations with a premium quality network that continues to improve, expand and deliver customers great value and must-have sports and entertainment content.”

Optus is also taking Telstra to court over advertisements where Telstra used the word “unlimited”.

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