Email Marketing

Email Marketing Blog by Wizemail

Promises in an email marketing campaign

My son plays rugby union. He is second row which means he needs to be athletic with lots of muscle. He’s 6’3”, weighs 115 kgs, yet has little fat on his body.

He’s a big guy.

I was driving him and three of the tight five back from an away match when we saw a pub displaying the sign “All You Can Eat”. The manager had a death wish. After their third main course a waiter approached me – I’d finished eating – with a plea to, in effect, leave some profit for the pub. Which we did but not after me telling the manager to be careful with his advertising. Whilst not email marketing, it is very relevant to us.

Hutchinson 3G, who provide networking, advertised in the UK an “all you can eat data” product. See:

Such advertising is certainly attractive for a number of reasons, including stable pricing and no interruptions. It probably increased the company’s sales. However, it did not please everyone. There were a number of complaints to the ASA that the advert, on the company’s website, was misleading. 

When your hear that the company admitted that its ‘all you can eat’ plan did not include unlimited data you might think that the ASA had an easy day.

The defence suggested that ‘all can can eat’ was not a synonym for unlimited and that customers, who were IT literate, would understand that there would be certain limitations applied to the amount of data. They suggested the data was restricted only during peak times you could look here.

You probably think your first assumption was correct.

The company said that when demand was high it used controls to limit the bandwidth for peer to peer (P2P) file sharing, their justification for this being that research showed that most of this was for illegal downloads so were unreasonable. 

There were other, more technical limitations imposed as well.

The likely restrictions were disclosed later in the advert including during the purchasing process.

The ASA were not to be moved and found against the company.

Their decision was quite complex and touched on all the restrictions but basically there were failures in the advert at a basic level. They dismissed the claim that ‘all you can eat’ is different from unlimited, as one might expect.

In a remarkably similar case at around the same time, a betting company, a frequent visitor to the ASA discipline panel, offered something for ‘everyone’, even including a video where an actor phoned in to, ironically, complain. He was told that everyone meant everyone.

There were, however, exceptions. These were spelt out later in the advert but the ASA found against them. The fault in both instances lies in the use of an absolute in the headline.


If you make a precise and clear promise in an advert to deliver a product or service, then that is what you must do. A qualification later which contradicts the headline is insufficient. Indeed it is trickery. 

Be honest in what you promise. The quality of your email marketing list depends on it.




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