BT rapped again over misleading broadband adverts

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld more complaints against BT over another misleading broadband advert.

Last month, the ASA upheld a complaint against BT over an advert that claimed that its Infinity fibre optic broadband was available to businesses in Manchester, when in reality it was only available to a minority of postcodes in the area.

The latest complaint, meanwhile, was lodged by rival broadband provider BSkyB over a national press ad headlined: “Official. BT Broadband offers better overall performance than Sky and TalkTalk. Superpower your broadband", followed by text saying "Ofcom measured this in recent tests and found that on average BT has better performance for up to 16Mb customers”.

BSkyB questioned the accuracy of the claim of “overall performance”, which the ASA agreed.

“The overall performance claim was explicitly stated to be based on Ofcom's report and that report had not considered Wi-Fi performance,” the ASA said.

Further, BTs claim of having “better performance” was ruled to be misleading as it implied BT customers were likely to experience faster broadband, despite BT arguing that it did not mention ADSL download speed in the ad.

Also, the BskyB argued the term “officially” was deceptive as it implied Ofcom authorised the claim. Ofcom had not reached any conclusions regarding ISP’s performance between companies.

The ASA said it was “misleading for BT to imply that the headline claim was taken directly from Ofcom's findings, rather than their own interpretation of them, when that was not the case.”

However, the ASA did not uphold a complaint that the advert’s claims applied to all BT broadband products, as “BT had clearly stated in the body copy of the ad that the headline claim related to ‘up to 16Mb customers’”.

The ASA ruled that the ad must not appear again in its current form.


Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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