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ISPs Virgin Media UK and Sky Broadband Escape ASA Complaints

Posted: 26th Aug, 2009 By: MarkJ
Both UK ISPs Virgin Media and Sky Broadband have managed to escape seeing several complaints against national press adverts for their respective broadband services being upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). Both providers received angry moans from rival ISPs but none were found to be in breach of the ASA's code.

British Sky Broadcasting ( Sky Broadband ) made three complaints against an advert for Virgin Media's cable broadband service, none of which were upheld by the ASA but all are interesting to read:

British Sky Broadcasting (Sky) challenged whether:

1. The claim "THE MOTHER OF ALL BROADBAND" was misleading, because it was based on low signal attenuation, low interference and high capacity, which Sky believed were insufficient indicators on which to base a claim that Virgin broadband was superior in every material way;

THE ASA CONCLUDED:
Because Virgin had made the basis of their claim clear and had shown the inherent advantages of fibre optic based networks, we concluded that the ad was unlikely to mislead.

2. The claim "IT'S FUTURE PROOF" was misleading, because they understood Virgin broadband was no better equipped to deal with next generation Internet requirements than other ISP providers.

THE ASA CONCLUDED:
We understood that it was generally accepted that next generation networks would be provided through fibre optic technology. We therefore concluded that the ad was unlikely to mislead.

3. The claim that fibre optic cabling was "designed with the internet in mind" was misleading because cable technology predated the invention of the Internet.

THE ASA CONCLUDED:
We considered that readers were likely to infer from the claim that fibre optic technology was well suited to carrying Internet data and that they were unlikely to interpret it literally. We considered that Virgin had given reasonable grounds to use the claim and concluded that it was unlikely to mislead.

Read the Full Report

Ironically Sky Broadband (BSkyB) was also the victim of several complaints made by BT against one of its national press adverts. However because the complaints related more to the 'calls' part of the advert then we have not summarised it here but you can read the full report by following THIS LINK.
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