A BT broadband advert has been swatted by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) following a challenge by rival Virgin Media.
The national and regional press advert stated: "For the second year in a row, an independent survey has named BT Total Broadband as the best performing ADSL provider."
Small print at the base of the advert added: "Epitiro benchmark performance of major UK ISPs 24/7 from Jan '06 to Jan '08", as well as the other usual provisos.
Virgin Media complained to the ASA, claiming that the text misleadingly implied that the advert referred to broadband providers in general, not just ADSL providers, and that the technical term 'ADSL' was meaningless to the average consumer.
Virgin is a non-ADSL broadband provider and had not therefore been included in the survey.
The ASA sided with Virgin stating that, although the term 'ADSL' had been used since the launch of broadband, and had been in the public domain for approximately six years, the headline "We've been named Best Performing Broadband, again" did not make clear that the claim was specific to ADSL broadband and hence was likely to mislead.
The advert was deemed to breach clauses on Truthfulness and Fair Comparison. BT was told that the ad must not appear again in its current form and that any future adverts featuring a 'Best Performing Broadband' type claim should be immediately qualified by the term 'ADSL', if the claim is specific to ADSL broadband.
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