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Hyperoptic FTTB Broadband Ad Banned for Not Looking Like an Advert

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016 (7:11 am) - Score 882
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The Advertising Standards Authority has banned a direct mailing advert for Hyperoptic’s 1Gbps capable FTTP/B broadband network because it wasn’t “obviously identifiable as a marketing communication” and looked more like a card for undelivered mail.

At present Hyperoptic’s fibre optic network can be found in a growing number of big apartment (Multi-Dwelling-Units) and office buildings around parts of London, Birmingham, Glasgow, Cardiff, Bristol, Reading, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield, Birmingham, Newcastle and Brighton. On top of that they’re also working to roll-out in Portsmouth, Watford, Leicester, Southampton, Slough, Edinburgh and Woking.

Part of the challenge that Hyperoptic faces is in making residents of such buildings aware that they’re even available and often a simple direct mailing advert is one of the best ways to get the message out. But on this occasion somebody complained that their promotional card wasn’t easy to identify as a marketing communication.

The card itself was addressed to “The Resident” at the recipient’s address and some text on the outside stated “Open now to pick up your speed“, while smaller text at the bottom stated “Sent by Hyperoptic Ltd. If undelivered return to [postal address]“.

However the reverse took the appearance of a card notifying the householder of an undelivered letter or parcel. Text stated “hyperoptic – SORRY, Your current broadband supplier couldn’t deliver” and this was followed by a handwritten style note with the name “Mr D. Livery” and “See Reverse” for the address.

ASA Ruling (REF: A16-341693)

We considered the initial impression a consumer was likely to receive, particularly if they did not see the side with the address panel on it first, was that the communication concerned undelivered mail.

We acknowledged that, once examined, the text on the outside of the envelope stated Hyperoptic’s name, the terms of the promotion and referred to broadband supplier, speed and downloading content and was likely to suggest to recipients that the purpose of the mailing was to promote an offer from a broadband supplier.

Nevertheless, we considered that was not sufficient to make it obvious that it was a marketing communication. Because we considered the marketing communication was not obviously identifiable as such, we concluded that the ad breached the Code.

As usual the ASA banned the advert, which was received on 2nd May 2016, and warned Hyperoptic to ensure that any future promotions actually looked like adverts.

Leave a Comment
5 Responses
  1. Avatar Chris P

    seriously,

    the ASA complain about a mailing yet won’t stop VM advertising their copper coax broadband as fibre or unlimited meaning limited.

    unbelievable!

  2. Sounds like their message has been ‘delivered’. I’d much prefer getting this kind of DM than the thick white almost unmarked envelope that VM puts through my door once a month.

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