BT Infinity ad banned over misleading broadband availability claims

The Advertising Standards Authority has banned a BT Infinity poster ad, which claimed that fibre optic-based broadband for Manchester-based businesses had "arrived".

BT: ad banned over misleading claims
BT: ad banned over misleading claims

The single complainant objected to the campaign after she called BT and was told that BT Infinity was not available for her business in central Manchester.

The ad’s small print stipulated that the service was "subject to availability", while BT said that fibre penetration in the area at the time of the campaign was 47.88%, higher than the 43.4% national average.

BT said it could see how the campaign may be construed as misleading and offered to work with the CAP copy advice team to ensure that its future ads avoided making such misleading claims, adding that it would not repeat them.

The ASA acknowledged BT’s response and noted that, despite the disclaimer, BT Infinity fibre optic broadband was "subject to availability". However, it judged that the ad's claims were "likely to be interpreted as suggesting BT Infinity was generally available to business in Manchester".

The ASA said that the ad must not appear again in its current form and that BT should ensure in the future that its ads did not state or imply that a service was available in a particular area, when it was not.

Separately, Virgin Media challenged a BT ad on the basis that the placement of the words "Unlimited Broadband" and "Totally Unlimited" next to a headline claiming download speeds was misleading. The complaint was not upheld.

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