Safaricom Files Complaint Against Orange Over Their Provocative Ad

February 26, 2014

oraTelecommunications giant Safaricom has filed a complaint with the Advertising Standards Body of Kenya against Orange Kenya for their aggressive advertisements.
Orange is being accused of using Safaricom sim cards in their advertisements trying to woe subscribers from the latter. In an advertisement that has been running since January 8, Telecom has been using green simcards to depict expensive rates and their orange simcards to depict less charges. According to an advertising expert who spoke to Business Daily, that type of advertising is shrewd adding that brands should concentrate on advertising their strengths instead of their competitors weaknesses.
“In a fairly conservative culture like Kenya’s, one would rather speak more about their brands than focus on the competitor’s weaknesses,” he said.
Telecom has defended themselves saying that the advert does not target any mobile service providers. CEO Mickael Ghossein told the newspaper that the advert provides a platform for customers to choose the best rates among the service providers.
“In the advert our key message is for the consumer to make a decision by comparing our tariffs with what our rivals are charging and we not targeting Safaricom as they claim.  Kenya is a multi SIM card market,” said Mr Ghossein.
Currently, the kenyan laws does not provide for such petitions and thus the decision that the board comes up with has no legal binding. However, the board has the power and influence to compel a brand to withdraw an advertisement. For instance, in 2006, the board directed that all alcohol related advertisements air past 8 pm and that’s the case even today.

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