Canada’s Advertising Watchdog has stated that it’s a myth that Canadians pay the highest wireless prices in the world.
In a recent decision from Ad Standards Canada, the industry regulator found that the full-page telly newspaper campaign in Quebec combined fair and price issues to give the impression that wireless prices were lower in Canada than in other countries.
The lawsuit was filed based on a 2019 PricewaterhouseCoopers study on wireless affordability in Canada.
But members of the self-regulatory advertising industry council said the study did not support the claim in a unanimous decision.
“Canadians pay the highest prices in the world for wireless, which is a myth,” the council said in a statement. A decision was posted on its website.
“This study discusses affordability rather than price and it only targets four countries in total out of four countries in the world.”
According to the decision, Telus did not respond to a complaint from a member of the public.
The lawsuit was still part of a publicity stunt
“Myth” suit Tellus is still popular on the website Criticism of government policies and regulations around the telecommunications industry.
The same thing was argued in a form letter available on the Vancouver-based company’s website. Telus asked Canadians to send a letter to their politicians “to express concern about the misrepresentation of the telecommunications industry in Canada” as part of a political campaign.
“When it comes to wireless affordability, third party studies have confirmed that Canada offers the most affordable wireless prices in the world,” the letter said.
The PricewaterhouseCoopers study Wireless costs in 2016 were compared in Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Average household spending on wireless and devices for that year was $ 977 in Canada, $ 1,124 in the US, $ 808 in Australia and $ 612 in the UK.
This study compared the affordability of wireless in all countries except the US based on five different levels of revenue and found wireless to be more affordable in the UK on board.
Canada beat Australia for an affordable price for everyone, but the lowest category of paid editors.
Jump into logic
The Ad Standards Council said the Telus PricewaterhouseCoopers study could be legally cited to say that Canadians are spending less on wireless than Americans.
But the council said the “myth” argument about prices was a leap in logic.
“While Canadians spend a lower percentage of non-renewable revenue on wireless than Americans, it does not necessarily follow that wireless prices are lower in Canada than in the US,” the regulator said.
“In the Council’s view, the statement misconnected affordability and prices, and in assessing the honesty and accuracy of the statement, this argument strongly influenced public opinion.”
In response to CBC, Telus spokesman Richard Gilhouly said “the company is confident that the statement is fair and accurate.”
Gilhouli cited a study by the US Mobile Wireless Trade Association, which said Canadians received “the highest value for their cell phone costs”.
The Ad Standards Council does not discuss the details of its discussions, which usually take place in front of panels of seven people – four from the industry and three from the general public.
The council said in an email that if an ad was found to be in violation of the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards, the advertiser would be asked to modify or permanently withdraw the ad. The Council does not have the capacity to impose fines, but they may report violations to the Competition Bureau.
Earlier this year, the Liberal government gave Canada’s three largest wireless providers two years to cut basic prices for cell phone service by 25 percent.
A 2019 price comparison study released in conjunction with that statement found that Canadians are paying more overall for wireless than people in other G7 countries and Australia.
The government says Bell, Tellus and Rogers will cut the cost of their two- and six-gigabyte data plans by 25 percent over the next two years. That means providing discussion, text and data planning for less than $ 40 per month.