BT Infinity 'unbeatable' broadband ads banned

Three BT Infinity ads have been branded 'misleading' by the Advertising Standards Authority.

BT adverts that claimed its Infinity broadband service was 'unbeatable' have been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), after the watchdog concluded that BT's speed claims were unsubstantiated.

Three of BT's ads came under fire from three complainants as well as Virgin Media, who claimed that the TV, print and online adverts for the Infinity service were misleading and weren't sufficiently backed up.

A riled Virgin Media went on to claim that the adverts' 'unbeatable' claims misled viewers by not stating that certain speeds were only available with specific broadband packages, and made two further claims about BT's ads.

One of the criticised ads claimed customers would be able to, "Share photos and videos with friends at unbeatable speeds". BT defended the ad, defiantly stating that the term 'share' was understood to mean giving possessions to other people but not receiving anything in return.

The ASA was having none of it, determining that as the Internet is commonly used to exchange information, in the context of a broadband advert, viewers would likely assume that 'sharing' referred to both uploading and downloading. It wrote that it hadn't, "seen evidence that BT's download speeds were unbeatable".

In the end, all three ads were banned, with the ASA judging that they must not appear again in their current form.

BT is unlikely to lose too much sleep over the decision -- those ads appeared in August 2011, so they've enjoyed plenty of time on show.

How's your broadband? Let me know the speeds you get and your provider in the comments or on our Facebook wall.

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About the author

Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.

 

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