RainOne Slammed by ARB Over Misleading Promotion

The Fine Line: Transparency in Advertising


The Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB) ruled against RainOne, a South African Mobile Communications System for deceiving customers in the company’s recent advert which states that customers can “Join now for just 1 Rand. Unlimited 5G home Wi-Fi + FREE monthly calls and data for 2 phones. Offer available until 31 July 2023. T’s & C’s apply.”

Trevor Hill brought this issue to the attention of the ARB. He argued that this particular advert might lead consumers to believe they will have access to unlimited 5G home Wi-Fi, free monthly calls and data for two phones for just 1 Rand. However, upon clicking on the advert, it takes users to a page on the website of RainOne where they are charged a fee of R599, and the 1 Rand serves as a registration fee only.

According to the reports from the Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB), Trevor Hill stated that the advert fails to disclose the actual product price, only the joining fee of R1. This misleads the consumer to believe the product’s actual price is R1. And also that Rain should have, at the very least, included the actual price of the product in the advert, which is R599.

RainOne, in response to this, gave an analysis of the advert stating that the customer would pay R1 for the first month as a joining fee, and then they could start a monthly subscription fee of R599 to keep enjoying the network.


The Company further emphasized that they were not trying to mislead the consumers and that the promo was only for a limited time and had expired when this complaint was made. Furthermore, RainOne stated that the terms and conditions clarified the advert’s details.

As a consequence, after considering the impact and sensitivity of the topic, the Advertising Regulatory Board finalized that regardless of the clarifications in the terms and conditions, the advert should have included the subscription fee of R599 and thus deemed Misleading under Clause 4.2.1 Section II of the Code of Advertising Practice, which states that “Advertisements should not contain any statement or visual presentation which, directly or by implication, omission, ambiguity, inaccuracy, exaggerated claim or otherwise, is likely to mislead the consumer.”

The Board further urged the public not to accept RainOne’s ‘Join Now for 1 Rand’ Adverts without further clarity.

In response to the rulings of the Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB), RainOne, although not an ARB member, is aware of the rulings and has made the necessary changes.

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Written by Ayodeji Ayenuwa

Well, My name is there already, I'm a student of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, studying Mass Communication: Public Relations and Advertising.

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