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Virgin Media gets wrist slapped over buffering video claims
Wednesday 25 July 2012 09:45:55 by Andrew Ferguson

Virgin Media in its recent Usain Bolt TV adverts ran one where the runner claimed to be Richard Branson and said the following, "I want everyone to say bye-bye to buffering and hello to a superfast broadband".

BT complained to the ASA claiming that the advert was misleading in suggesting Virgin Media customers would not experience buffering. Virgin Media counter claimed that the bye-bye to buffering comment was just puffery and was the expression of a wish rather than a statement that customers would not actually experience buffering.

Unsurprisingly the ASA has upheld the complaint, on the grounds that the advert was misleading as viewers were likely to interpret the wording as an objective claim. Virgin Media must now not state or imply that users of the broadband service will not experience buffering.


Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
Of course its a statement, we've all seen the ad. Run in's with the ASA at almost monthly now?
Posted by herdwick over 5 years ago
there's one running now with David Tennant taking a baseball bat to the buffering symbol and making the same claim.

Is breaching ASA codes the new advertising medium ?
Posted by herdwick over 5 years ago
"Now you can say bye bye to buffering with superfast fibre optic broadband"
Posted by Joppy over 5 years ago
Yet again VM get their wrists slapped by the ASA, after getting the benefits of the false advertising.

VM will continue to make false advertising claims as all they ever get is a slap on the wrist. Fine VM and make them advertise apologies about their false claims!
Posted by herdwick over 5 years ago
There's a second adjudication against them ref A12-194077 about small print and traffic management / download time claims.
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
@herdwick that's the one I've seen, its pretty clear what they are saying
Posted by c_j_ over 5 years ago
"Fine VM and make them advertise apologies about their false claims! "

No, don't. Fining a company is pointless, what mostly happens is the fine gets passed on to customers as increased costs.

Companies don't make decisions, individuals do. Senior managers pay themselves a lot because when things go right, they are the ones who individually made it happen (allegedly).

So what happens when things don't go right? Why is that not also their individual responsibility?
Posted by undecidedadrian over 5 years ago
The ASA has the power to make a company submit all adverts they wish to use to the ASA for prior approval to their use.

It seems that VM may have to be put on that regeime although I wonder if they won't do it as they have Richard Branson in them.
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
For consistent rule breaking they should have to do just that Adrian.

Lets face it lots of people have their ad's pulled. BT have had plenty of their own pulled but the ASA have had to tell off Virgin 5-6 times in the last 5-6 months? I've lost count but its clear they are taking no notice, and not even just new infractions each time, re-advertising things they've been pulled up on in the past. (i.e. ignoring the ASA complaint)
Posted by vincedurso over 5 years ago
Companies that make false claims should not be allowed to trade, so my recommendation is that they are sold off for a nominal fee e.g. £1 to a charity, with protection allowing them to trade with a level playing field. Overpaid executives will be replaced by customer focused personnel. The company will have a simple pay structure, i.e. the same pay for all, with a performance related portion with can be lost if achievements are not made.
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