A Virgin Media TV ad has been banned after rival BSkyB complained about the use of a Sky Sports football clip. The TV campaign featured the former Doctor Who David Tennant promoting Virgin Media’s ‘Big Kahuna’ Bundle.
Virgin Media’s ad pushed its “quad play” package of products – including TV, superfast broadband, mobile and landline – claiming it was significantly cheaper than a comparable bundle from BSkyB.
BSkyB complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)that the TV ad misleadingly implied that Sky Sports was included in the £30-a-month (€45) price Virgin Media advertised.
A member of the public also complained that the ad misleadingly implied line rental was included.
Virgin Media said there was on-screen text saying that Sky Sports was not included in the price advertised, and it was on screen for “nearly twice as long” as the channel’s logo appeared.
The ASA disagreed and said the text was not very noticeable, unlike the “prominent display” of the Sky match. It concluded that it misleadingly implied it was included in the cost.
The ASA also upheld BSkyB’s two other complaints saying that the £49.95 installation fee was also not given “sufficient prominence”, and that it also misleadingly implied that a £15.99 a month line rental was included.
“The ads must not appear again in their current form,” said the ASA. “We told Virgin Media to ensure that ads were not likely to mislead consumers in future and to ensure that material information was given sufficient prominence.”