BT broadband adverts stopped for speeding

Oct 12th '16

BT’s fibrebroadband speed claims broke advertising rules.


Three BT (British Telecommunications plc) broadband adverts have been banned for wrongly implying BT offers the fastest basic fibre deal on the market.


The TV starring Ryan Reynolds, newspaper and website ads all claimed BT Infinity offered speeds of up to 52 Mbps, describing them as “the fastest fibre speeds as standard”.


Virgin Media, who believed the adverts implied that BT’s up to 52 Mb service was the fastest maximum speed for a lowest-priced tier available in the UK, challenged whether they were misleading.


BT said they had tried to be clear that they were comparing their standard entry-level ‘up to 52 Mbps’ broadband service with the advertised headline speeds of major broadband providers’ standard entry-level broadband.


The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) noted that the major broadband providers against whom BT had compared their service all advertised a slower maximum speed for their cheapest option.


The ASA considered that, given the likely consumer interpretation of the claim, ‘fastest fibre speeds as standard’ had not been adequately substantiated. They concluded that the ads were misleading and had breached BCAP Code and CAP Code rules: Misleading advertising, Substantiation, Qualification, Comparisons with identifiable competitors.


The ASA concluded that the adverts must not appear again in the form complained about. They told BT to ensure that future ads made clear the basis of the comparison.


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