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Fasthosts officially not the best in UK for virtual servers

Boasts in adverts banned by ASA after rival complains

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Brit web biz Fasthosts has been slapped down by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) for boasting that its virtual servers were the "best" in the UK.

The hosting company was unable to prove that its virtual machines were better than all the other virtual servers in the country, or that they used "industry-leading technology", the ad watchdog ruled today.

Fasthosts told the ASA that it was "confident that its services were superior to those of other suppliers and it provided a table which compared aspects of its service with three of its competitors". The Gloucester-based company said that it offered automatic recovery, could scale its operations to meet demand, and gave tip-top support.

However, the agency said that the word "best" made a claim that Fasthosts couldn't substantiate:

The ASA considered that consumers would interpret the claim "Best UK spec" to mean that Fasthosts' virtual servers had a higher overall specification than those available from all other online services providers in the UK.

Therefore, having servers that were better than a few others did not mean they were the best in the country, the ASA decided:

We noted that the comparative table provided included the specification of virtual servers offered by three of their competitors only. Because we had not seen evidence that demonstrated Fasthosts offered the best specification virtual servers in the UK, we concluded that the claim had not been substantiated and was misleading.

The watchdog said Fasthosts exaggerated its services and misled punters, and told the company to ensure the adverts - which appeared online and in magazines - do not appear again in their current form. The investigation followed a complaint from rival Heart Internet Ltd. Two other complaints about how Fasthosts advertised its prices were dismissed by the agency. ®

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