Advanced Television

ASA bans Sky broadband ad as Virgin complain

July 20, 2017

Sky has had a broadband TV commercial banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) following a complaint from Virgin Media.

The commercial featured the cast from animated movie The Secret Life of Pets, with one character becoming frustrated with their broadband connectivity. Virgin Media challenged a claim in the ad that Sky broadband was “super reliable”.  The ASA drew on data from Ofcom to uphold the complaint. It concluded that the ad could “mislead consumers” because it implied that all of Sky’s broadband packages were super-reliable.

“That is not the case for Sky’s ADSL2+ package,” the ASA said in its decision. A similar Sky ad, featuring Lego Batman, was banned for misleadingly claiming to offer the UK’s lowest-priced fibre.

Complaining about one another’s adverts has become standard practice in the ISP market.  Last year, Virgin Media had a broadband ad featuring Usain Bolt banned over misleading claims about broadband speeds after BT and Sky complained to the ASA.  And a BT advert fronted by actor Ryan Reynolds was banned after Virgin complained that it implied BT’s 52Mbps service was the fastest maximum speed service for the lowest-priced package in the UK.

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