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UPD ASA Ban TalkTalk ISP Advert for “Unbeatable” and “Fastest Wi-Fi” Claim

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014 (8:23 am) - Score 655
super router talktalk

A circular advert for TalkTalk’s broadband package has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for being “misleading” after it claimed that the ISPs new Super Router device was able to offer subscribers “unbeatable signal strength” and the “UK’s fastest Wi-Fi technology.” Oops.

According to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), TalkTalk defended the rather broad claims by saying that they were based on a “comparison with the flagship modems and routers of the other four major market providers on a like for like basis“, which was conducted through an independent third party (we covered this back in May 2014).

But the ASA disagreed, noting that the testing was conducted in “laboratory conditions” and thus “did not reflect typical consumer use“.

ASA Ruling (Ref: A14-275634)

The ASA noted the independent report submitted by TalkTalk was conducted in laboratory conditions. We acknowledged TalkTalk’s assertion that they had used comparable routers in order to ensure a fair comparison and the results of the testing appeared to indicate that TalkTalk’s Super Router performed better than their competitors.

We noted the results were marginal in some instances. We considered that consumers would understand the claims “unbeatable” and “UK’s fastest” to reflect conditions of use in the home which would be influenced by variables such as the placement of the router in the home and where it was being accessed from, time of day and the number and type of devices linked to it. We were therefore concerned that the testing did not reflect typical consumer use.

Because the testing did not compare the performance of TalkTalk’s Super Router under typical home circumstances, we considered the ad was misleading.

It’s interesting to note that the ASA’s ruling focused solely on the testing. Meanwhile consumers can easily purchase superior third-party routers in the shops, many of which will have no trouble besting the budget bundled kit from the big boys (although TalkTalk’s Super Router is pretty good for a budget device).

As usual the ASA banned the advert in its current form and warned TalkTalk “not to exaggerate the performance of their products in the absence of appropriate substantiation“.

UPDATE 14th Nov 2014

Interestingly TalkTalk now appears to have resolved the ASA’s concern.

A TalkTalk Spokesperson told ISPreview.co.uk:

We have commissioned additional tests from an independent authority and have now found that our Super Router outperforms competitors’ models in real home environments, as well as in the laboratory. We have noted the ASA’s guidance.”

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
1 Response
  1. Avatar terri

    not very good routers or its the thirf party services from BT and I want rid of my BT line want nothing to do with BT as that’s why im getting rubbish speeds from TT

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