BT Retail has incurred the wrath of the Advertising Standards Authority for an advert that stated:
"Back to Back. We've been named Best Performing Broadband, again. For the second year in a row, an independent survey has named BT Total Broadband as the best performing ADSL provider. To get the UK's most complete broadband package from only £8.95* a month for the first 6 months ... "
"Epitiro benchmark performance of major UK ISPs 24/7 from Jan '06 to Jan '08. For more info: www.epitiro.com ... *BT Home Hub 1.5 is free online only or £25 by telephone with Option 1 ... BT line or similar required ... New customers only ..."Extract from BT Total Broadband advert
The ASA has adjudicated on this advert after it was challenged by Virgin Media. The complaint centres around two issues, that the phrase "Best Performing Broadband" implies all types of broadband, rather than just ADSL and that the advert failed to include a prominent reference to the requirement to have a BT telephone line or equivalent.
The Epitiro survey used for the basis of the claim in the advert only featured ADSL broadband providers and the ASA has told BT to not use the advert again in its current form. BT must make it clear in any future comparisons that the survey looked at just ADSL providers. The ASA attributes the word ADSL as having been in the public domain for six years, so its not clear what those who had ADSL in 2000 and 2001 were using, or perhaps the ASA is referring to when ADSL started to get the attention of the national press.
The complaint about the prominence of the line rental requirement was not upheld. The situation is such that so long as a customer has a choice over who provides their basic telephone line then there is no need to include the line rental cost in the main advert body.