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ASA bans “misleading” BT Sport ads

November 18, 2015

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned a number of BT Sport ads for making misleading price claims.

The campaign referred to the telco’s Champions League coverage and said BT Sport was “free” for those signing up to or renewing broadband and TV packages.  But the ads drew 26 complaints, almost all from members of the public and Sky who said the claim that BT Sport was “free” was misleading because consumers were required to sign up to contracts to obtain it.

BT srgued the ads made clear the costs consumers would be liable for when taking advantage of the “free” offer by setting out the requirement to renew a contract. But it said it was prepared to consider making the information more prominent. The ASA acknowledged that BT was willing to amend the ads, but said consumers who already had BT TV were likely to understand that they could receive BT Sport Europe for free and without the need to make any additional commitment when this was not the case.  It also found the ads did not make sufficiently clear the extent of the commitment each of the different categories of consumers needed to make to take advantage of the free offer.

The ASA ruling said: “We told BT to ensure their future ads made clear the extent of the commitment consumers must make to take advantage of a free offer and that price claims were not misleading, and were not contradicted.”

BT has responded to the ruling, saying: “We are happy to address these concerns and make any necessary small changes.”

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