Sky and Virgin get YouView ads banned

BSkyB and Virgin Media have had two ads for the rival internet TV service YouView banned for making misleading and unsubstantiated claims.

However, although Sky and Virgin Media were successful in getting a TV spot and press ad banned, complaints about a further two ads were dismissed by the ad watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority.

The banned TV ad claimed YouView was the "easiest way to watch catch up TV, on your TV", but the ASA ruled that was "misleading" and "unsubstantiated", as YouView’s research did not substantiate it.

Although YouView had asked triallists whether YouView was easy to use and how the service compared to other methods, it did not explicitly ask them if YouView was the easiest way to watch TV.

The ASA said the ad could not be shown again in its current form but YouView is planning to take out the word "easiest" and put the spot back on TV in the next few months.

Virgin Media also complained that the TV ad’s claim that YouView was subscription-free was misleading, because customers needed a broadband connection. However, the ASA ruled that most people would understand that to be the case and, if not, it was explained in on-air text.

A press ad that also claimed YouView was "subscription free" was also cleared for the same reason.

Meanwhile, a press advertorial was banned for making the claim YouView had a "unique scroll back function". The ASA said because YouView was not the only service to offer that availability, the ad was "misleading".

The ASA dismissed complaints that a press and an outdoor ad both exaggerated the amount of high-definition channels and programmes available on YouView.

A YouView spokeswoman said: "We are delighted with the feedback from the ASA as YouView is now proven to be a subscription-free TV service with over 70 digital channels including HD.

"Feedback about the service has been very positive and eight out of 10 users stated that watching catch up on YouView was easier than any other TV service they had used."

Adam&eve/DDB created all four ads.