Broadband News

Back to drawing board for Hyperoptic as circular banned

Advertising has always been a battle for our attention span, which when picking up the post from your doormat is probably under a second, hence why you tend never see 'this is a circular please recycle me responsibly' emblazoned across the front of the numerous circulars you get.

Hyperoptic has had the ASA now ban a circular that has been delivered some 50,000 times after a complaint where the complaint was that the circular was not obviously a circular and looked like a communication from BT.

The circular (which if someone has a copy of we would be interested in seeing a copy with a view to sharing a copy) apparently was suggesting that the residents BT Contract was about to go up in price - therefore we presume the timing was around a set of BT price rises which does fit in with the complaint being received in February 2017. One problem is that BT use their own circulars so if the style is too similar people might be confused, but those are usually random pushing upgrades like BT TV and are never used to convey information about changes in your contract etc

The ASA concluded 'Because we considered the marketing communication was not obviously identifiable as such, we concluded that the ad breached the Code' that it should not be shown again in its current form, with the presence of a Hyperoptic return address, logo and mock language  not being enough to mark the circular as advertising.

A circular, advertising broadband services, received in February 2017, stated in small print on the top-left of the front page "Sent by Hyperoptic Ltd. If undelivered, please return to [their address]". The circular was addressed to "The Resident" and terms and conditions of the offer were listed in small print at the foot of the front page.

Text on the back page stated "Your BT CONTRACT is about to cost you even more ..." and appeared to be in the form of a contract. At the top right of the page text stated "Your Scheme Reference Number: XXXXX Membership: XXXXXXXXXXX. A sub-heading stated "IMPORTANT: THE SERVICE AGREEMENT BETWEEN SERVICE PROVIDER AND CUSTOMER IS COMPROMISED ON FOLLOWING UNDERNEATH TERMS AND CONDITIONS; ...". An image overlaying the 'contract' stated "BREAK FREE & BEAT THE PRICE RISE". Small print at the foot of the page stated "PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS NOT GENUINE [sic] A BT CONTRACT, OBVIOUSLY."

The back page opened out and the interior contained further information about the offer.

ASA Description of Circular

Update 6:20pm We can now add copies of the leaflet that was received by the public, and now due to the ASA ruling cannot be used anymore.


Hyperoptic have just gone down in my estimation for stooping to rubbish/misleading advertising when the strength of their offering should be able to sell without pretending to be a competitor.

  • jumpmum
  • over 2 years ago

That is not good, but they are not the only ones that do it and a lot seems to get away with it, including those that come around the door trying to sell us products.

  • zyborg47
  • over 2 years ago

You realise just how low the lowest common denominator in the UK is when something like this apparently holds the potential to be confusing.

People who would consider this genuine get to reproduce, vote, etc.

  • CarlThomas
  • over 2 years ago

Regardless of the visual and intellectual abilities of the recipients which Carl called into question it is not about that, but about the intent of the advertiser to confuse and/or scare the recipient by using close similarity to another companies branding.

  • Gadget
  • over 2 years ago

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