Amelia Wade is a court reporter for the New Zealand Herald

Vodafone pulls TV ad after second mix up

Maha Nicholson says he got about a hundred texts about the Vodafone ad. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Maha Nicholson says he got about a hundred texts about the Vodafone ad. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Vodafone has been forced to cancel a television advertisement after a change to the cellphone number that features in the campaign led to a second person being bombarded with unwanted texts and calls.

The phone company's latest campaign features Boy actor James Rolleston boasting about how much data and how many texts he gets on his plan.

Vodafone changed the number on its ad last Tuesday because of a Herald story about Aucklander Cara Selway whose number was similar to that in the ad.

But since then, Maha Nicholson, of Lower Hutt, has been receiving unwanted texts and calls. "At first I thought it was kind of funny but now it's just getting really annoying," Mr Nicholson said.

The 26-year-old said he'd received about a hundred or so texts and a couple of phonecalls asking if he was James.

Mr Nicholson said his sister texted him on Friday and told him his number was only one digit different to the one that features in Vodafone's commercial.

"I've had this number for maybe 15 years, it's been passed around the family ... so I wouldn't liked to have had to change it."

After getting an increasing number of texts at the weekend Mr Nicholson called the telco on Sunday night.

Vodafone gave Mr Nicholson a $200 credit to his account and told him they had pulled the advertisement.

"At least the texts will stop," he said.

Vodafone's general manager of brand and communications, Bart de Beucker, said despite changing the number some people were still dialling the wrong one so the telco decided to take that ad off air.

"James will be back later in the week - and this time, there'll be no chance of people getting his number wrong."

- NZ Herald

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