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ASA Upholds Orange Broadband Complaints - BT Escapes
By: MarkJ - 16 July, 2008 (8:46 AM)

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld a complaint against a national press advert for Orange's Home Max broadband package by rival BT (here). Orange compared the savings on its service with that of BT's Option 3 Total Broadband offering, yet failed to factor in all of BT's extra features:

ASA: We concluded that three of the four features outlined by BT (the BT Home Hub phone, full Norton Security suite and unlimited inclusive wi-fi minutes in BT Fon hotspots) were significant differences between the services that were likely to influence consumers' evaluation of the comparison and therefore should have been included in the ad. We considered that these differences should have been stated prominently in order to ensure those BT customers to whom the ad was addressed could make a fair comparison of the packages before deciding whether to switch.

We told Orange to amend the ad and to ensure that the significant differences highlighted were stated prominently. We reminded Orange that ads should include any differences in packages under comparison likely to influence consumers evaluation of that comparison and that significant conditions should be stated prominently.

Meanwhile, BT managed to escape several complaints about a TV advert for its own broadband services (here). The advert, which is recognisable as the one where a young girls mum fears her daughter is becoming a geek, ended with the following text:

The on-screen text stated "Hub from 30. Handset from 39.99. BT Line required. Subject to availability. Parental Controls is not Mac compatible. New customers only. Exclusions/conditions apply." The voice-over stated "Unlike some Broadband providers BT Total Broadband comes with parental controls as standard for as long as you want them, so you know your kids are protected."

The complaints challenged whether the ad encouraged parents to let their children use the Internet unsupervised. They also raised concerns about whether the parental control software offered by BT would protect children from all online threats. Neither complaint was upheld.

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