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ASA Upholds T-Mobile and Virgin Media Broadband Complaints

Posted: 15th Oct, 2008 By: MarkJ
The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld several interesting complaints against various adverts for two broadband providers, T-Mobile and Virgin Media. Firstly, T-Mobile was slapped for comparing land-line broadband to its Mobile Broadband products:

A leaflet for T-Mobile stated "Emails to send, blogs to write, games to play, stuff-to buy- and everything else you love doing online- wish you could do these things when you're out and about with friends and family in the UK this summer? Broadband on the go for £15 a month ... All the benefits of home broadband, on the move. No wires, no waiting, no worries..."

Assessment
Because T-Mobile had not made clear in the ad that there were differences between home broadband services and mobile broadband services, particularly in terms of the potentially higher speeds of the former, and because we considered that that was likely to influence consumers' decision to subscribe to the service, we concluded that the ad was likely to mislead.

http://www.asab.org.uk/asa/adjudications/Public/TF_ADJ_45164.htm

Confusingly Virgin Media had so many upheld complaints this week that the ASA needed two separate reports to cover them all. To make life easier we've just done a bullet point list of the upheld complaints below:

  1. A complaint against Virgin's "UK Fastest Broadband" claim was upheld because, using ADSL2+ (up to 24Mbps), it was possible for some consumer to go faster under optimum conditions.

  2. A complaint against the same speed/performance claim and related 20Mbps performance data from Epitiro was upheld because it did not include robust comparative evidence from all ISPs in the UK.

  3. A complaint against the use of 20Mbps in adverts was upheld because the "discrepancy between the headline speed and the actual speeds achieved by 20Mb customers was significant enough to warrant a more detailed disclaimer."

  4. Complaint upheld because Virgin was deemed to have misleadingly implied that ADSL services were always slower than cable, as a result of the copper wiring.

  5. Complaint upheld because Virgin misleadingly implied that Virgin Media's cable broadband service never slowed down.

Full Virgin Media Reports:
http://www.asab.org.uk/asa/adjudications/Public/TF_ADJ_45156.htm
http://www.asab.org.uk/asa/adjudications/Public/TF_ADJ_45157.htm
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