BT broadband ads banned over speed claims

The Advertising standards authority has banned an ad for BT Broadband because it made false claims about the potential speed of the service.

The ad in question, which is one of a soap opera-style series of slots featuring a smugly-troubled couple called Adam and Jane, shows the couple house hunting with an estate agent.

Adam is out and about looking for a new house while Jane is at home surfing the web using her BT connection.

Whilst the estate agent is having problems downloading information on his laptop, Jane is chewing through pages using her indestructible BT connection despite the fat that it's 6pm and "half the world is online."

Eleven viewers complained that BTs claim that its new 20Mb connections could give "a consistently faster broadband even at peak times" than its 8Mb connection was misleading, and could not be substantiated.

Four viewers objected that the visual comparison of the speed was misleading because they believed that surfing the simple website shown would be no quicker using a 20Mb connection than with and 8Mb one.

Three viewers complained that the instantaneous speed of the visual demonstration couldn't be achieved with any speed of connection, no matter how fast.

In its defence, BT provided all sorts of graphs and data supposedly proving that its service was better than anyone else's but the ASA kicked their claims into touch and has since banned the ads from airing in their current form.