BT climbs down in Tiscali ad spat

When 'No comment' means 'It's a fair cop, guv'

BT has agreed to change "factually inaccurate" ads that took a pop at rival ISP Tiscali.

Tiscali threw a wobbly last week after the UK's monster telco ran an ad entitled "The truth about Tiscali's notquitesobroadband".

The ad went on: "So you've seen you can get broadband from Tiscali for under £20 a month. Sounds goods doesn't it? Tiscali might have you believe that, but what you may not know is that their broadband is only up to three or five times faster than dial-up. Slowcoaches. But BT's £19.99 a month broadband is full speed, wow look at it go, broadband that's up to 10 times faster than dial-up."

Furious execs fired off a letter to BT demanding that it didn't repeat the ad, which included "factual inaccuracies" about the ISP and suggested that it was "not truthful with its customers".

In an embarrassing climbdown for BT, the telco has agreed to take note of Tiscali's complaints and change the ad. A revised ad which appeared in today's papers has dropped all mention of Tiscali in the body copy of the ad.

The new ad now has a generic dig at its rivals with the heading: "The facts about some other companies' notquitesobroadband."

The ad now says: "So you've seen you can get broadband for under £20 a month. Sounds goods doesn't it? Some companies might have you believe that, but what you may not know is that although these broadband options could be a bit cheaper than ours, they are only up to three or five times faster than dial-up. Slowcoaches. But BT's £19.99 a month broadband is full speed, wow look at it go, bullet-like broadband that's up to 10 times faster than dial-up."

A spokeswoman for Tiscali said the ISP was happy that BT had seen sense: "We achieved our aims so no further complaint will be made."

A BT spokesman declined - yet again - to comment on the spat. ®

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