Virgin Media's broadband speed claims misled the public, ASA rules

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virgin_media_speeds.gifA recent advertising campaign for Virgin Media’s broadband packages has been deemed misleading to the public, because it didn’t make its traffic management policies plain enough.

BT complained about Virgin Media’s “hate to wait” campaign, which claimed it possible to download a half-hour TV show in under 26 minutes on their “up to 2Mbps” ‘M’ package. The size of the TV show used in the ad was 341MB, which exceeds the 300MB peak-time download threshold.

Virgin Media’s offer to change the ad to say that it would take 29 minutes to download the file didn’t cut it with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), who said that simply using the words “Acceptable usage policy applies” was insufficient to explain to consumers how their broadband speed throttling system works.

The ASA also said it was not unreasonable for a customer to expect to be able to download at least one half-hour TV show on the ‘M’ package, or several on the ‘L’ package, during Virgin Media’s peak hours.

Given your previous comments on Virgin Media’s performance, this news won’t come as much of a shock.

(Via PC Pro)

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Andy Merrett