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Virgin Media rapped over bullet hole marketing
Wednesday 18 June 2008 10:30:17 by Andrew Ferguson

Virgin Media has been running its "FASTER THAN A SPEEDING" marketing campaign for a while, most people will at some point have seen the large billboard ads featuring a stylised bullet hole. The Advertising Standards Authority received ten complaints from people who had received a mailshot version of the above, with some complainants feeling that 'bullet hole' in the envelope was inappropriate.

The full adjudication can be read here. The ASA did not uphold the complaints that the mailing might cause offence or distress, but did warn Virgin Media about the lack of indication on the outside of the envelope that this was marketing material.

The various 'fibre optic' claims made in Virgin Media advertising received an OK from the ASA back in February 2008 even though their cable network is actually fibre to a cabinet within 1km of customers homes, and then co-ax cabling direct to the home, or possibly another cabinet. Once services like H2O start advertising and sites like Ebbsfleet Valley go online, which will be fibre all the way to inside the home are available one presumes Virgin Media will have to reign in its claims.


Posted by keith_thfc over 8 years ago
Can just imagine the huge sighs of relief and subsequent howls of laughter when VM HQ got the call from the ASA over this.

The "faster than a speeding bullet" VM service is no faster than a lardy tortoise that's been shot - but VM can rest assured that the ASA are too busy worrying about the cardboard to look into that.....

Can only be a matter of time before Ofcom launch a (voluntary) Scary Pictures Code of Practice.
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
I find the last comment interesting if true, it means the ASA would only make them change if it was affecting another company. Never mind misleading the public thats not important.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Sigh, another Virgin story which shows what clowns they are. When are the likes the big bozos like them going to be properly punished for their poor service, dodgy promises and annoying advertising. :(

Why doesnt ofcom fine the likes of Virgin, BT and a few others i could think of when they mislead the customer millions of pounds like they did ITV over various phone in things huh? A foot up the backside like that it seems is needed.
Posted by therioman over 8 years ago
So the fact the claims are bull are just fine, but the bullet... naughty naughty. What the hell is the point of all these agencies we pay for exactly?1?
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
I see lots of sign's 'jumping on the bandwagon' here... :D :D

They are NOT talking about the 'service' !!!!!!

They are only saying, the customer might be frightened of a card with a bullethole in it...

'fibre optic' claims were supported by ASA, showing they do not know what it means... :( :(

And YES, they are CORRECT by saying it is 'faster than a speeding bullet.. :)
They are NOT talking about Mb/s, latency, or even 'bandwidth'
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
If you want to go into the technical stuff, then ADSL uses voltage(electricity) traveling down a cable.
- as any schoolboy swot knows, electricity travels at the speed of light!

a bullet travels at or above the speed of sound..

A speeding bullet is a good simile - though it is 'supersonic' when it leaves the barrel, it soon is slowed down by wind, rain, and thick CARPET that it has to travel through...

Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Firstly the ITV fine was given by ofcom not the ASA so what the ASA thinking of Virgins advertising is irrelevant. I said "Why doesnt ofcom fine the likes of Virgin"

Secondly if you think the slogan of "Faster than a speeding bullet" in an advertising campaign has anything to do with science, then while we are on an insult level i would suggest the last 3 letters of your name sum you up nicely.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Thirdly it may indeed be possible sound can be made to travel faster than light, which would make sense seeing as both items are nothing more than a waveform. Both are basically made up of 2 things... 1 the underlying wave oscillations and 2 the "envelope" that gives the wave its shape. Alter the envelope shape and you could in theory make sound go faster...
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Then again all this current century and your old age science agian is totally a pointless arguement as obviously the virgin campaign had nothing to do with science and all about duping people into signing up, something even a simpleton would understand.
Posted by KarlAustin over 8 years ago
But light is both a wave and a particle ;)

Whilst we're on the subject of the speed of light, little factoid, that in any given Fibre, the light actually travels at roughly 2/3c.

Nothing at all to do with speeding bullets, or the fact that Virgin are pants, but there we go.
Posted by CaptainW over 8 years ago
I reckon the only service Virgin are 'lightening' or 'bullet' type speed is debiting your bank account every month, whether it be the correct or higher amount due is another matter.......ho hum ASA, what standards is it they actually enforce?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
LOL I think CaptainW has hit the nail on the head about what they are faster than a speeding bullet at.......... Taking your cash LOL
Posted by kraemer over 8 years ago
'rein' in, not 'reign' in!
Posted by wolfhound over 8 years ago
unless, of course, you are a Monarch!!!
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