ASA Reproaches Virgin Media For Misleading Adverts

UK’s ad watchdog the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has chided the UK telecoms giant Virgin Media for not being as speedy as the company brags to be, and asked it not to continue with such misleading claims.

The ASA also upheld 5 out of 10 complaints filed against Virgin Media, including those by the internet service providers Xilo and BT. The complaints were mainly about whether the cable services of the company really are much faster than those offered by its rivals, or whether the company was making false statements.

One such claim read: "It's official, Ofcom have proven our fibre optic broadband is around twice as fast as BT, Sky and Talk Talk's comparable packages, even at peak times.

On this point, the ASA pointed out that the advert did not take the BT Infinity service into account, which has speeds up to 40 Mbit/s. Another main objection raised was that Virgin Media should mention like-for-like comparisons of its services with the others, and clearly state which services are being compared.

Recently, Virgin Media has adopted an aggressive marketing strategy which includes a range of different approaches such as ads in print, electronic media, flyers and on TV, to convince consumers that the company’s cable broadband services are a league ahead of those being offered through its rivals.

In its ruling, the ASA asked Virgin Media to change immediately the content of its advertisements.