Feeds

Advertising Standards slap down BT complaint

Sky's 'free' offer gets thumbs-up

Boost IT visibility and business value

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has rejected a complaint made by BT against BSkyB's "free" broadband campaign last year.

BT complained to watchdogs that Sky falsely advertised its broadband offering as "free", since customers had to pay a £40 connection fee. Sky rolled out the service in summer last year, soon after TalkTalk had caused a rumpus with the first "free" broadband offer. In that case the ASA ruled against the advertiser.

The ASA disagreed with BT's misgivings, and accepted Sky's explanation that its direct marketing campaign was not misleading, since the connection charge was spelled out on the back of the mailing in small print.

The ASA said it in this case it had reminded Sky that it was only allowed to call its broadband "free" for a while, since customers would soon view it as an inclusive service rather than a bonus. Since it launched its "See, Speak, Surf" package in January, Sky has instead marketed broadband as part of a triple play bundle.

The regulators have come in for consumer criticism lately for alleged soft treatment of broadband providers. A petition is calling on the government or Ofcom to act against "unlimited" download claims and other tricksy marketing practices.

In response to Wednesday's adjudication, a BT spokesman told The Register: "We would welcome clearer advertising from Sky."

BT now finds itself in a similar position to Virgin Media, competing with Sky on several fronts. The national telco recently launched its own pay TV platform, BT Vision, while Sky now offers own-brand broadband and home phone services.

There hasn't always been needle between BT and Sky. In 2002 they signed an accord which saw Sky punt broadband to its TV subscribers, and BT market satellite TV. The mutual back-scratching was a response to resurgent competition from cable operators. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum
Actually it's a nifty trick - at least you'll pay for what you get
Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'
Network throws hat into ring with Linux-powered handsets
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
Trans-Pacific: Google spaffs cash on FAST undersea packet-flinging
One of 6 backers for new 60 Tbps cable to hook US to Japan
Tech city types developing 'Google Glass for the blind' app
An app and service where other people 'see' for you
UK mobile coverage is BETTER than EVER, networks tell Ofcom
Regulator swallows this line and parrots it back out at us. What are they playing at?
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.