Feeds

BT's mobe interference claim laughed off air by ad watchdog

Telco slapped for misleading customers over mobiles, radio

Security for virtualized datacentres

BT misled consumers with a TV ad that wrongly claimed that mobile phones and radios caused interference with wireless networks, the Advertising Standards Authority has ruled.

A voice-over in BT's commercial crowed that such devices, alongside other household gadgets, caused "no end" of disruption to Wi-Fi internet connections in the home.

The telecoms giant then boasted that the signal on its new Home Hub "avoids interference" from non-wireless kit such as baby monitors that used the same radio band.

A complainant successfully challenged BT's claim, by arguing that the telco had implied that radios and mobile phones caused "significant" interruptions to Wi-Fi networks.

The ASA agreed, despite BT contesting the complaint by saying that – based on a 2009 communications regulatory report from Ofcom – the 2.4 GHz spectrum was "heavily congested and susceptible to interference".

The watchdog said it had sought clarification from Ofcom, which advised the ASA that mobile radio devices and mobile phones did not pose particular problems to wireless networks. It said:

We were concerned that the ad prominently featured a ringing mobile phone, when using such a device for telephone calls would not cause interference of the kind described. We further noted that the ad also featured images of radios, which Ofcom had also advised did not pose a particular problem in terms of interference.

Whilst we acknowledged that the evidence supplied by BT showed that some non-Wi-Fi household devices could potentially affect the performance of Wi-Fi devices, we considered that the inclusion of images of mobile phones and radios implied that consumers who had those items in their homes may experience problems due to interference when we had not seen any evidence to that effect. We therefore concluded that the ad was misleading.

The regulator ruled that the ad must not be broadcast on television again in its current form. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts
New sub cable to go live 2016
EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers
Carrier apologises for 'inflated' measurements cockup
Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS
The others guys are being mean so therefore ... monopoly all good, yeah?
Surprise: if you work from home you need the Internet
Buffer-rage sends Aussies out to experience road rage
EE buys 58 Phones 4u stores for £2.5m after picking over carcass
Operator says it will safeguard 359 jobs, plans lick of paint
MOST iPhone strokers SPURN iOS 8: iOS 7 'un-updatening' in 5...4...
Guess they don't like our battery-draining update?
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.