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Telstra “Unlimited” Mobile Ads Found Misleading & Illegal

Considered a victory for rival Optus, the Australian Federal Court has today granted an injunction against Telstra’s ‘unlimited’ mobile ads, deeming them misleading, deceptive, and a breach of consumer law.

The ruling is set to set shake up marketing standards in the the telecom industry, specifically amid an influx of ‘unlimited’ mobile plans – e.g from the likes of Telstra, Vodafone and soon to be TPG Mobile.

Justice Gleeson has today affirmed Telstra’s unlimited mobile ads “falsely convey the representation” that plans offer no data speed limits, or download delay.

Gleeson states the ads are illegal – a breach of the Competition and Consumer Act and Australian consumer law.

The news comes after Optus urged courts to provide injunctive relief against Telstra’ ads as soon as possible.

As previously reported, last week Optus pursued an injunction against Telstra for its online and billboard advertisements reading: “One word from Australia’s best mobile network: Unlimited”.

Optus legal counsel, Richard Lancaster, asserts the “lack of specificity” in Telstra’s ads is a “huge part of the problem”.

Exceeding the plan’s initial 40GB monthly data limit, will lead to “usage that makes you miserable” Justice Gleeson affirms, whilst querying whether the telco wants “miserable customers”.

Gleeson asserts Telstra’s ‘unlimited’ ads require consumers to clarify terms of the offer with Telstra.

The news furthers Telstra and Optus’ recent rivalry. As previously reported, last week Telstra was granted an injunction against Optus for running ads claiming it had Australia’s best mobile network.

Optus has requested the injunction to cover “substantially similar” ads, both online and offline.