ASA clears the 'Infinity, only from BT' advert
Two members of the public and TalkTalk complained about the first advert in the current series of BT Infinity adverts centred around the cleanest student house we have ever seen. They felt that the advert gave the impression that fibre optic broadband was only available from BT. The assessment from the ASA which did not uphold the complaints is below:
The ASA noted that the last bit of dialogue in the ad was, "Thanks fibre optic technology" and that this was followed by the voice-over, which stated, "Four times faster than average broadband: Infinity, only from BT." We also noted the on-screen text at this time stated, "4x faster than average UK broadband speeds [telephone number] Infinity. Only from BT [BT logo]". We considered that viewers would understand that "Infinity" was the name of the BT broadband product and that the claim "Only from BT" related to this product, not to fibre optic technology generally. Because we did not consider that viewers would infer from the ad that fibre optic technology was only available from BT we concluded that the ad was not misleading.Conclusion from ASA adjudication
While we agree with the ASA that Infinity is only available from BT, the problem we see daily is that the general public are not aware that the Openreach service FTTC and FTTP services are available from other providers too. For the vast majority of the public who are not aware of the divisional splits within the BT Group they may assume that all other providers selling a FTTC service are just reselling something the same as Infinity.
Ideally we would like to see BT Retail adding a short note to its adverts, highlighting that the fibre based services are also available from other providers via the BT Wholesale and Openreach parts of the BT Group.
The whole issue of whether Infinity is fibre optic broadband was not considered, mainly due to an old adjudication that allowed Virgin Media to refer to its FTTN system as fibre optic broadband.