Feeds

Rival BT sics ad watchdog on EE: ASA growls at 'most reliable broadband' claim

Ads body says footnote qualifications don't cut it

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

BT has successfully shot down EE's claim in a direct mail ad that it offered "Britain's most reliable broadband for staying connected".

The telecoms giant convinced Blighty's advertising watchdog that EE had misled customers in three different ways.

BT argued to the Advertising Standards Authority that EE had failed to substantiate its bold broadband claim, because an Ofcom report it referred to in its ad did not appear to include any direct measurement of connectivity.

The ASA agreed with BT's complaint. It said that the carrier of UK's T-Mobile and Orange networks had misled would-be subscribers, most of whom "would understand the ad to mean that EE offered the most reliable broadband in terms of maintaining a broadband connection and had lower drop-off rates than their competitors, enabling customers to 'stay connected'."

Lax evidence to back up that claim, the regulator said, meant that EE was unable to demonstrate to customers that its broadband connection was better than those offered by rival ISPs.

BT also berated EE for being a bit creative with metrics on latency, jitter and packet loss.

On that point the ASA sided with BT. It said:

We noted ... that although each of the relevant graphs appeared to show that EE scored lower than their competitors, the report clearly stated that those differences were not statistically significant when compared to BT. Therefore, we considered that the report did not demonstrate that EE was superior to BT in relation to those measures.

Finally, BT was victorious against EE's "most reliable broadband for staying connected" claim, because the company had misled punters by not being clear that the ad referred only to fixed line connections, rather than a mix of fixed line and wireless router performance.

Once again, the UK's ad watchdog agreed with BT.

It said that EE's qualification in a footnote that stated "Based on Ofcom report on UK fixed-line broadband performance" was not prominent enough.

"Most consumers," the ASA added, "would believe 'broadband' referred to the internet connection from the telephone network to an internet enabled device, including the wireless connection transmitting the broadband connection from the router to the device."

It said:

We noted that EE had not provided any evidence to demonstrate superior wireless router performance in relation to the maintenance of a connection.

EE admitted that it had screwed up by failing to reference packet loss in the footnote text of its ad. But on all other points, it insisted it had done nothing wrong.

The ASA ignored those pleas and told EE that the ad must not appear again in its current form. It said the company also needs to do a better job when referencing stats in any future claims. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
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.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.