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ASA Slaps Virgin Media for Excluding Broadband in UK Sky Comparison Ad

Posted: 20th Jan, 2010 By: MarkJ
The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has today given Virgin Media a ticking off after a direct mailing advert for its TV and phone service used a misleading comparison table to highlight cost savings against Sky. However the comparison made a number of blunders, not least by failing to mention the cost of VM's broadband service against a product that included Sky Broadband .

Sky challenged whether: the price comparison was misleading because it did not include the cost of VM broadband, despite comparing with a Sky package that included broadband.

Upheld

We understood that VM believed some Sky packages would include broadband, but we nonetheless considered that, in order for the comparison to be fair and enable consumers to make a choice between the two providers, the ad should have stated more prominently that the Sky price was inclusive of a broadband service. We did not consider it sufficient to reference this fact in small print, albeit directly below the comparison table, and therefore concluded the ad was likely to mislead.

On this point, the ad breached CAP Code clauses 7.1, 7.2 (Truthfulness), 18.1, and 18.3 (Comparisons).

The ASA told Virgin Media to ensure they make the basis of comparisons clear in future. The advert must not appear again in its current form.
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