Feeds

Ads bandog berates Virgin Media in BSkyB broadband bumf bust-up

Day 47 in the Big Telco House, and Sky's upset at claims about its package

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Virgin Media was successfully muzzled by rival BSkyB today – for failing to adequately explain the basis of a savings claim it made in a direct mail, and for omitting material that showed the differences between competing services.

The UK's ad watchdog upheld two of three complaints submitted by BSkyB in which it moaned about a direct mailing shot posted by Virgin Media to individual households.

In it, the cable company - which is owned by US giant Liberty Global - claimed that customers could save £214.95 if it took out the advertised package with Virgin Media rather than its telco enemy BSkyB.

But BSkyB successfully challenged the offer as being misleading by being fuzzy with the figures.

The broadcaster added that the claim "HD channels included" had "misleadingly implied that Sky customers did not get HD channels included in their TV package." However, the ASA dismissed that particular gripe.

The ad regulator did agree that the flyer failed to provide information showing the differences punted by BSkyB and Virgin Media, which meant the person reading the mailshot was unable to correctly make a comparison of the offers.

Virgin Media claimed it hadn't been ambiguous with its savings claim. The ASA noted that the ISP:

[b]elieved that readers would understand that there were always nuances between the services offered by different providers and would not expect to glean every one of those nuances from a table such as the one shown in the letter.

Finally, they stated that Virgin Media was able to make a comparison against some, all or none of the features available from Sky as long as any comparison being made was fair and accurate.

But the ASA concluded that the £214.95 savings claim was as clear as mud.

"Because we did not consider that the ad clearly communicated that the saving related to Virgin Media’s standard prices, or that consumers would need to purchase a specific TV and phone package to achieve the maximum saving of £214.95, we concluded that the ad was misleading," the watchdog said.

Virgin Media was told to make such savings claims clearer in the future and that the ad must not appear again in its current form. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
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.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.