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BT told to make on-screen advert text clearer
Wednesday 13 August 2014 10:41:37 by Andrew Ferguson

Playing by the rules is not enough in the advertising world as BT Consumer has just found out with an advert it was running for its fibre based Infinity products in June 2014. A complaint was lodged about the legibility of some of the on-screen text.

"Introductory offer ends 25/06/14. New UK residential BT Broadband customers. 18m term. £18/month from month 19. 40GB usage & Net Protect Plus. Payable by D.D. £6.95 delivery & £30 activation. Subject to availability, min line speed & computer specs. Sport on TV requires 12m broadband contract & ongoing renewal. Sky box & active viewing card required. Online requires 400Kbps speed. Excludes Multiscreen. Terms apply."

Copy of text that was too hard to read

The complaint was upheld even though the text had passed Clearcast legibility checks and was 17 lines high when the BCAP rules required 14 lines high. Apparently the ASA upheld the ruling because the superimposed nature of the text made it appear compressed and difficult to read.

Given such a large block of text, we are surprised that the length of time on-screen was not a major factor too. It is a case of damned if you do, damned if you don't, since the rules require the majority of this text. With the amount of online shopping, is it perhaps not time for adverts to be allowed to reduce the growing amount of small print in the TV version if a specific landing page features that covers the small print as soon as a visitor lands on it?


Posted by brush-head over 2 years ago
If the amount of text is getting unwieldy then display it on a plain background for a few seconds or tell viewers to access the offer on a web site. Removing it altogether is not the answer. Those of us familiar with the twists & turns of ISP offers have work cut out the average person has no chance.
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