Watchdog axes Sky Broadband ad

LONDON - A press ad for Sky Broadband which compared the speed in Sky's network area with Virgin Media and BT has been pulled following a ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority.

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BT and a member of the public felt the claim by Sky that the company didn't slow down customers' broadband speeds at peak times – unlike Virgin Media and BT - was misleadin.

The complainant said this implied that all BT customers were affected by this element of its ‘fair use policy’ as opposed to only ‘very heavy users’.

British Sky Broadcasting said on the contrary that all BT customers were potentially affected by the company’s ‘fair use policy’.

It said Sky Broadband Max offered a truly unlimited service without slowing down speeds at any time, unlike its competitors BT and Virgin, who reduced speeds at peak times for users who exceeded their ‘fair use’ or ‘traffic management’ policies.

Sky said BT’s ‘fair use policy’ could affect any of its broadband customers as it did not clarify the criteria for being a ‘heavy user’. The ad was intended to highlight the usage restrictions of its competitors.

The ASA felt the ad’s claim implied that the broadband speeds for all Virgin Media and BT customers were affected at peak times, thus was misleading.

The ad must not be shown again in its current form.