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ASA upholds judgement on BT advert
Wednesday 18 April 2012 09:39:20 by Hayley Mitchell

This morning the Advertising Standards Authority upheld four complaints made about BT adverts aired in August and September last year. Virgin Media and three other complainants claimed the adverts were misleading, stating that their broadband speeds were four times faster than other competitors.

Among the adverts, BT claimed consumers could "Share music, photos and videos at unbeatable speeds. Four times faster broadband. Only from BT". Complainants stated this information misleads consumers into thinking they could receive four times faster broadband in all areas, rather than just uploading with a certain package that BT offer. BT retorted that the package was available to all their customers and the advert did not mislead customers in any way. The ASA however sided with the complainants, upholding all four parts of the complaint and ruling that BT not show the advert again.

Update 1622: BT have released a statement on Infinity ASA ruling.

"BT is disappointed that the ASA has made this judgement based on a somewhat pedantic interpretation of the adverts. We don’t feel that any customers will have been misled by the claims in these ads, which sought to highlight, on the basis of Ofcom speed reports, that Infinity offers download speeds three times as fast as the UK average and offers upload speed which are equal to anything offered by any other ISP.

Upload speeds are indeed unbeatable with Infinity option 2, but we did not make it clear enough that this would not be the case for Infinity option 1. In any event, we will abide by the ASA’s ruling, unlike Virgin Media, which continues to use the claim that they offer the UK’s fastest broadband despite two published ASA rulings saying they should not make this claim."

BT Statement on Infinity ASA ruling


Posted by cyberdoyle over 5 years ago
great that the ASA have at last upheld a complaint agains the amazingly misleading BT adverts. Many homes and businesses can't even get BT broadband here, let alone 4 times faster than anyone else.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
Similarly Virgin should not be allowed its various speed claims in adverts as I know of connections that are faster than them.

We are moving towards 'no speeds' in advertising, which will make it harder to market the faster products. As all the consumer will see is price.
Posted by Joppy over 5 years ago
ASA and Ofcom seem to make rulings that go in VM's favour usually. Doesn't seem to matter if they are the ones complained about or making the complaint.

Just an observation .
Posted by chrysalis over 5 years ago
Its funny that isp's will prefer to not advertise speed instead of been honest about speeds.
Posted by tthom over 5 years ago
Well it mislead me when I was searching for my brother.. I thought only BT sold it untill I asked on the TBB forums
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
Only BT sell BT Infinity
Posted by LT38 over 5 years ago
Pah when will virgin medai get there faces slapped then?

im sick of seeing all these adverts from VM stating superfast broadband and unrivaled gaming speeds when the majority of the south southeast and southwest coast are massivly over subscribed resulting in a fraction of the speed they advertise and this has been an ongoing issue for a couple of years now. myself and most of the people on my rd connected to virgin have not had the speed we pay for since october of 2010 and its still not fixed and they still advertise and sell "superfast broadband) its a joke
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
@lt38 have you complained to the ASA its easy enough online to do about a specific advert
Posted by AndrueC over 5 years ago
Something I've noticed is that a lot of people think that BT Infinity is the only FTTC product available. Everywhere people are complaining about 'having to go back to BT' for faster speeds. Technically of course they are correct but when it comes to cost and options they are wrong.
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
Yep I man its just a name. Its only like saying... "BT Broadband... only from BT"
Posted by Spectre_01 over 5 years ago
AndrueC, other ISP's need to start advertising like BT do, thats the idea of heavy advertising - to get your product or service in peoples minds.
Posted by jmvincent over 5 years ago
BT lie. they've forgotten about us here in my town just outside Cardiff. upload speed is 0.39mbps MAX. download is never more that 7.0mbps. they are a vile company. i get more joy with 3, with speeds on uploading at 1.60mbps and download up to 9mbps. no competition here!
Posted by vicdupreez over 5 years ago
The thing that annoys me is that they all claim to offer a fibre service. Virgin Media DOES NOT offer a fibre service... they offer a coax (copper) service.
BT does offer a fibre service in very few places... FTTC is COPPER... FTTH is fibre...

ALL broadband has fibre in the mix somewhere... be it in front of the exchange or behind it. Should we call all broadband a fibre service?
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
"unlike Virgin Media, which continues to use the claim that they offer the UK’s fastest broadband despite two published ASA rulings saying they should not make this claim." - lol, if that is true why aren't the ASA taking action? If its not true why aren't BT being done for slander :)
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago

The ruling and coverage of why VM can use Fibre claim.

One of the Fastest Broadband rulings

The other maybe
Posted by creakycopperline over 5 years ago
Only BT sell BT Infinity <---- ignore the fanboy.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
@creakycopperline - what gman99 said is factually correct.

The GEA FTTC and FTTP products from openreach are NOT called Infinity. Only BT Retail use that product name.
Posted by zelly over 5 years ago
@LT38 If you complain to ASA about VM's ads, they'll investigate

@vicdupreez That's also something you can complain to ASA about
Posted by Joppy over 5 years ago
I complained to the ASA about VM advertising the upload speed doubling in 2010 as happening through to summer 2011, when I still did not have it in 2012. They replied pretty fast to say there was no false advertising.

So it took a year and a half to get the upgrade after the letter telling me about it and the announcements all over the web, as VM could not deliver.

VM know they can advertise falsely and get away with it for so long and IF the ASA do act, VM are laughing as they have already got the benefit from the false advertising.
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