BT unsuccessful in ASA complaint against Virgin Media

Virgin Media: BT complaint against TV ad thrown out by ASA
Virgin Media: BT complaint against TV ad thrown out by ASA

A BT complaint that Virgin Media's TV ad for superfast broadband is misleading has been thrown out by the ASA.

The ASA launched an investigation following six complaints about the Virgin Media ad, which features David Tennant and Usain Bolt promoting the brand’s superfast broadband.

The ad – which opens with actor David Tennant saying: "Isn't it frustrating that sometimes you don't get what you've paid for. Like superfast broadband." – prompted BT to complain it misleadingly implied Virgin Media customers always received superfast broadband speeds.

The ad goes on to show a man parodying Usain Bolt’s trademark pose, while wearing a "Blot 1" number tag, before the real sports star walks on screen.

BT also challenged whether the ad misleadingly exaggerated the difference in the performances of Virgin Media and its competitors.

However, Virgin Media’s response pointed out that at least 10% of customers on their 'up to 30 Mbit/s' broadband service achieved the headline speed and that the average speed across a 24-hour period for customers on their 'up to 30 Mbit/s' service was 30.1 Mbit/s, according to an Ofcom report.

In terms of exaggerating the difference between competitor services, Virgin highlighted that, according to the Ofcom report, the average speed achieved on Virgin's 'up to 30 Mbit/s' service was over 100% of the headline speed, whereas the average achieved on BT's 'up to 38 Mbit/s' service was less than 30 Mbit/s and only 79% of the headline speed.

The ASA stated that "the data submitted by Virgin was suitably robust to demonstrate that they consistently delivered a superfast service to their customers".

Meanwhile, the ASA also ruled that the ad did not misleadingly exaggerate the difference in Virgin Media’s service compared with other providers.

"We considered Virgin had demonstrated that they delivered consistent superfast broadband speeds to their customers, whilst a significant proportion customers on other superfast packages did not, on average, achieve superfast speeds, [and so] we concluded that the ad was not misleading on this point," the ruling noted.


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now


Microsoft profits boosted by cloud computing drive
Oasis #springasmile digital campaign gets people doing good deeds
Coca-Cola: 'Don't approach bloggers with a fait accompli'
Tesco CMO Matt Atkinson: 'It is so important not to stereotype mothers'
McDonald's gives Ronald a new look ahead of global 'Fun times' social media push
In pictures: BrewDog opens first craft beer shop BottleDog for 'beer aficionados'
Facebook ad revenue leaps $1bn as it invests in targeting
Malteser or Maltesers? Mars takes Hershey trademark dispute to court
Apple Q2 profits top $10bn as iPhone sales soar
Lynx tells men not to leave love to fate
HBO captures awkwardness of watching sex scenes with parents
Primark to open first US stores with Boston chosen as flagship location
Marketing spend on the up but a reality check is needed before celebrating
Top 10 ads of the week: Jackpotjoy and BT Broadband fend off Kevin Bacon
Lidl beats Tesco to 10m Facebook fans
Center Parcs ad banned for encouraging parents to take kids out of school
Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Amazon named top brands for targeting youth market
Leaked document shows Nokia to be rebranded as Microsoft Mobile
Nike lays-off hardware staff in move that casts doubt on future of FuelBand
Greenpeace says save the bees or humans will die
What brands need to know about changes to VAT and online downloads in 2015
Jimmy Savile victims urged to claim compensation in new ad campaign
UKIP launches biggest  ad campaign and stirs up 'racist' accusations
Apple boss Tim Cook provides voiceover on ad touting firm's renewed green commitments
John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers