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BRUCE WILLIS (ad) DIES HARD (in Sky broadband telly fib ban)

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Hollywood action hero Bruce Willis has been sensationally banned from appearing on the UK's small screen ... in misleading ads touting Sky broadband.

Blighty's advertising watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority, ruled the telco's telly adverts featuring the Die Hard star were somewhat economical with the truth.

One lonely soul, perhaps one with a sixth sense, successfully challenged the ad - by pointing out that it didn't make clear the strings attached to BSkyB's offer of "unlimited" broadband for just £7.50 a month.

The pay-TV giant adopted shouty capital letters in its ad to state that its product was "LESS THAN HALF THE PRICE OF BT". However, the £7.50 price only applied to BSkyB subscribers signed up to the company's television package, which carried a price tag of £21.50 per month.

And to take advantage of the cheap internet deal, Brits were required to pay £14.50 per month for Sky Talk and line rental.

All of which meant customers were in fact required to cough up £43.50 per month to gain access to the "unlimited" broadband price Brucie was flogging.

BSkyB declared the complaint pulp fiction, and said new broadband customers did not have to subscribe to its TV service but they would be required to pay £10 per month rather than the advertised £7.50 offer. Those folks would also have to pay for Sky's line rental.

The ASA said:

Sky asserted that an average consumer would understand from the on-screen text that, in order to obtain Sky Broadband Unlimited for £7.50 per month, it was necessary to take Sky Line Rental at £14.50 per month and to be a Sky TV customer. They would also have noticed from the on-screen text shown earlier in the ad that the starting price for Sky TV was £21.50 per month.

But, in the cold light of day, the regulator upheld the complaint brought against BSkyB and said the TV ad must not appear in its current form again.

The ASA added in its armageddon ruling that the telco failed to "clearly communicate" the £7.50 price claim alongside the unbreakable commitments customers had to make to its other products.

The watchdog, now in its (fifth) element, concluded that BSkyB's ad was misleading, lacked qualification and - just like one of Willis's money-fumbling adversaries - was a little bit careless with its prices. ®

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