Articles about Advertising Standards Authority

Cables containing fibre, etc. Photo by Shutterstock

Business to be given more scope to quit crap broadband contracts

UK businesses are to receive more accurate data on broadband speeds before signing up to a contract, under a voluntary code coming into force from Ofcom today. Under the move, customers will also be able to exit their contract at any point if speeds fall below a minimum guaranteed level. The plans are to be run under a …
Kat Hall, 30 Sep 2016

UK local govt body blasts misleading broadband speed ads

The representative body for 370 councils in Blighty has hit out at Internet Service Providers (ISPs) for advertising misleading broadband speeds, particularly in rural areas. Current rules allow providers to promote "up to X" download speeds if they can demonstrate that at least 10 per cent of their customers can achieve them …
Kat Hall, 10 Aug 2016
shutterstock_184661174

Vodafone bins line rental charges as it moves onto TalkTalk's turf

Vodafone has scrapped line rental charges as it tries to muscle into TalkTalk's lower-end market – and comply with imminent regulatory changes for an all-in-one price for broadband and phone services. Under the move, rental charges will no longer apply for new and upgrading fibre optic home broadband customers, which means …
Kat Hall, 09 Aug 2016
Don Draper is Sad

We will end misleading broadband adverts, thunders ASA...

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has announced it will be cracking down on dodgy fixed broadband price claims... from 31 October. Back in January, the ASA and telco regulator Ofcom published joint research which found that the current approach to presenting pricing in fixed broadband ads was "likely to confuse and …

Vaizey: Legal right to internet access, sure. But I'm NOT gonna die on the 10Mbps hill

UK digital minister Ed Vaizey has shied away from guaranteeing a legal right to a universal service obligation of 10Mbps by 2020. Speaking in front of a Parliamentary select committee on “Establishing World-Class Connectivity Throughout the UK”, Vaizey said the government will include a legal right to a universal service …
Kat Hall, 14 Apr 2016

Does anyone know what their broadband costs? The ASA hopes to change that

Blighty's advertising regulator has vowed to clamp down on "misleading" broadband advertising prices, following its findings that three in four people are unable to work out true cost of broadband deals. The Advertising Standards Authority said the move is a response to joint research with Ofcom, which found the current …
Kat Hall, 21 Jan 2016
shutterstock_192561857-cat-

Virgin Media whines about Sky's customer service claims, ad watchdog agrees

It's been a quiet year for ISPs being placed on the naughty step by the UK's advertising watchdog. But today, Sky has been admonished for making misleading and unsubstantiated claims about its customer service. Rival Virgin Media successfully challenged the methodology used by Sky, in which it had boasted that it offered " …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Nov 2015

TalkTalk: Data was 'secure', erm, we beat rivals on price. Um, scratch that...

TalkTalk has withdrawn an advertisement from circulation that falsely claimed customers would save more money with the telco than with its rivals. Malcolm Williams, a former customer of the telco, received an advert in the post from TalkTalk encouraging him to sign up to its broadband service. Having left the telco after only …
angry_woman_mobile_cropped_648

Ad watchdog terminates Vodafone's cherry-picked 'unbeatable connecting calls' claims

Blighty's ad watchdog has given Vodafone a ticking off following a complaint from rival carrier Three, which successfully challenged the firm's "unbeatable at connecting calls" claims. A press and website advert were found to have cherry-picked locations across the UK to support Voda's assertion that it was "unbeatable" at …
Kelly Fiveash, 02 Sep 2015

Ads watchdog slams Mind Candy for upselling subscriptions to kids

UK entertainment company Mind Candy has been slammed by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for targeting membership ads at kiddies in an attempt to up-sell its paid-for content. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) believed Mind Candy's kids' game Moshi Monsters contained "a direct exhortation to buy a membership …
Kat Hall, 26 Aug 2015

YouTube bloggers told to slap 'advert' stickers on their vid posts

The UK's Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) has told video bloggers (vloggers) on YouTube et al to admit when they are getting paid to shill a product. The CAP's new set of guidelines gives tips for the producers and stars of video blogs on how to disclose when they have been paid or stand to gain from endorsing a product …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Aug 2015
Audio engineer Frank Filipetti demonstrates hi-res audio

Hi-res audio folk to introduce new rules and weed out impure noises

High resolution (Hi-Res) audio is not as good it should be, causing an industry group to create new production guidelines to address what it says are "misperceptions" concerning what it takes to create the best recordings. The guidelines will come from the Producers and Engineers wing of the Recording Academy, the organisation …
Tim Anderson, 25 Jun 2015

Watchdog slaps American Apparel's youthful naked arse

The UK's Advertising Standards Authority has ordered US clothing outfit American Apparel to pull a snap from its website which featured a prominent pair of youthful buttocks promoting the "Lips Print Cotton Spandex Sleeveless Thong Bodysuit". A cropped version of the offending image The watchdog received a single complaint …
Lester Haines, 18 Mar 2015

Ads watchdog: Er, what does woman in her undies have to do with ‘slim’ phone?

Mobile phone company Kazam has been put on the naughty step by the Advertising Standards Authority after viewers complained its "world's slimmest phone" ad caused offence by overtly sexualising women. The ASA noted that much of the ad focused entirely on an actor in her underwear, "including scenes that featured several close-up …
Kat Hall, 25 Feb 2015

CHAINSAW HORROR advert earns GiffGaff a slap from regulator

GiffGaff has been slapped for a second time by the UK's advertising regulator, this time for scaring kids with its YouTube advert depicting a woman screaming in terror while being pursued by a chainsaw-wielding maniac. After yelling "Someone please help me" a stream of other screaming characters appeared in its ad last year, …
Kat Hall, 04 Feb 2015
The Child Catcher

Universal Pictures told off for scaring kids with nasty vid

Universal Pictures has had its hand slapped by the Advertising Standards Authority for scaring kiddies by featuring a 15-rated horror film clip before Youtube videos of Minecraft characters. The complaint was made after an eight-year-old boy saw a Youtube ad for the film As Above, So Below and became distressed by it. Scenes …
Kat Hall, 31 Dec 2014
Woman slaps man. Pic: Shutterstock

ASA slaps Ebuyer AGAIN - this time for ignoring regulator

Toothless ad regulator the Advertising Standards Authority has put online souk Ebuyer on the naughty step again for using misleading advertising – the seventh complaint upheld against the company roughly three years. However, it seems Ebuyer is so bored of the gummy watchdog it has simply ceased responding to its enquiries. …
Kat Hall, 17 Dec 2014

Virgin Media's ad fibs EXPOSED by bitter rival BT

BT successfully convinced Britain's advertising watchdog to admonish rival ISP Virgin Media for "misleading" its customers with unsubstantiated savings claims. The cable company failed to defend itself against three separate complaints filed by BT, which had griped about five national press ads and one posted on Virgin Media's …
Kelly Fiveash, 10 Dec 2014
Tongue

ASA raps 'F*CK YOU GOOGLE' vlogger + chums over VIDEO LICKFEST

The Advertising Standards Authority has rapped the knuckles of video bloggers for making it unclear when they’re actually recommending something and when they’ve been paid to hawk it to unsuspecting YouTubers. Vloggers, as we’re apparently meant to call them now, are big business these days with stars like Blighty’s Zoella …

BEST EVER broadband? Oh no you DIDN'T, Sky – ad watchdog

The telecoms giant formerly known as BSkyB has been ordered to remove a "best ever" broadband ad after rival BT claimed it was "misleading". The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the context of Sky's "BEST EVER broadband offer" in July had not been substantiated and was likely to mislead. Last week BSkyB ditched the …
Kat Hall, 21 Nov 2014

GiffGaff spanked for clumsy attempt at mum-and-dad-humping humour

Vid GiffGaff has been admonished by the UK's advertising watchdog, after a publicity stunt backfired for being too fruity. The mobile network posted a video on Twitter that read: "The situations in our new videos are, well, awkward." The tweet also carried the NSFW (not safe for work) hashtag. The Advertising Standards Authority …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 Nov 2014
TalkTalk YouView set top box launch

TalkTalk's 'unbeatable signal strength' and 'fastest Wi-Fi tech' FIBS silenced by ad watchdog

TalkTalk is the latest ISP to be rapped by the UK's advertising watchdog for telling porkies about its broadband service. The budget telco was admonished by the Advertising Standards Authority for failing to substantiate claims it made about its network. TalkTalk made the following outlandish assertion in a circular advert …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 Nov 2014

Virgin Media DOUBLE-PUNCHED by BSkyB AND BT over ad fibs

Virgin Media has been placed on the naughty step by the UK's advertising watchdog following two separate complaints from rival telcos BSkyB and BT. The cable company was berated by BSkyB for misleadingly implying that Sky Sports had been included in Virgin Media's advertised price for its "Big Kahuna Bundle". Broadcasting …
Kelly Fiveash, 15 Oct 2014

Ad regulator pulls down Branson-backed magic undies

The UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has decided that Wireless Armour, which promises to protect your crown jewels from nasty WiFi signals, can't be advertised in Blighty. The underwear, which has sought funds on Indiegogo and later attracted the high-profile backing of Richard Branson, claimed that silver threads in …

BT slapped down by BSkyB over O2 broadband 'switch off' porkies

A BT direct mail advertising campaign spectacularly backfired on the telco after it claimed BSkyB would switch off O2 users' broadband. Sky bought the consumer broadband and fixed-line biz of Telefónica UK-owned O2 in March last year. The telecoms giant had claimed in a shouty flyer posted through Brits' letterboxes that …
Kelly Fiveash, 09 Jul 2014
A boat full of Fail

TalkTalk talks itself into trouble with budget broadband package fibs

TalkTalk has been admonished for misleading customers with claims that it offered "Britain's lowest priced totally unlimited broadband". BT and another complainant challenged three separate issues with a series of adverts in the press and online that wrongly suggested that the budget telco had cheaper deals than its …
Kelly Fiveash, 09 Jul 2014
New homepage of Gov.uk, credit screengrab gov.uk

Five arrested over money-grubbing fake UK.gov shocker

Five suspects in Blighty have been arrested during an investigation of copycat government websites that con folks out of money for items like new passports, driving tests and car tax discs. The sites try to pass themselves off as official and then trick people into paying for services that the government actually provides more …
A fresh horse dump

TalkTalk whips BT with riding crop over sport fibs in telly ad

Budget telco TalkTalk - whose boss Dido Harding probably knows a thing or two about sportsmanship having once competed as a jockey - has successfully challenged a BT advert for misleading television viewers. The Advertising Standards Authority upheld the company's complaint against an ad for BT Sport that featured presenter …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Jun 2014

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

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 …
Kelly Fiveash, 21 May 2014
Speaking Clock

BT fibre 'availability checker' looks into FAR-OFF FUTURE. Again

One-time national telco BT misled customers with unsubstantiated claims regarding its broadband download speeds, the UK's advertising watchdog has ruled today. The company slipped up, the Advertising Standards Authority said, by misleading potential subscribers who used its BT.com website to look up whether its fibre optic …
Kelly Fiveash, 07 May 2014

TalkTalk's catch-up telly fib silenced by ad watchdog

Budget telco TalkTalk has been barked at by the Advertising Standards Authority after the company wrongly suggested that a whole host of TV channels were available via its catch-up service. Two complainants griped to the watchdog about a telly ad they said had misled them by implying that content on television services was …
Kelly Fiveash, 23 Apr 2014
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

'I plead guilty to DDoS conspiracy and these GCHQ b*stards were doing the SAME thing?'

Quotw This was the week when Microsoft finally announced who was going to take over from outgoing chief Steve Ballmer, awarding the heavy crown to Satya Nadella. Bill Gates, who is stepping down as chairman but staying on the board as founder in the newly created role of "technology advisor", said in a video message that he reckoned …

London's King of Clamps shuts down numberplate camera site

The inventor of the much-hated London wheel clamp has shut down a website which advertised a automatic numberplate recognition system which he'd claimed was capable of spotting tax dodgers, disabled people and terrorists. Trevor Whitehouse voluntarily closed the site ANPRinabox.com after parking activists filed a complaint with …
Jasper Hamill, 04 Feb 2014

Virgin Media's 'little(ish)' book of deals contained BIG FIBS, rules ad watchdog

Virgin Media has been walloped by Britain's advertising watchdog for failing to clearly explain that a half-price deal it was flogging did not apply to line rental. A complaint about a direct mailing promotion that came loaded with a "little(ish) book" of offers was upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority, which …
Kelly Fiveash, 22 Jan 2014
Sinclair QL

Sinclair’s 1984 big shot at business: The QL is 30 years old

Archaeologic In May 1983, Sinclair Research Managing Director Nigel Searle began briefing the press about the successful British micro maker’s next big release. It was 13 months after the company had launched the Spectrum and although that machine had become a huge success, punters and market-watchers were keen to hear about what Sinclair …
Tony Smith, 12 Jan 2014

Virgin Media spanked by ad watchdog over 'in your neighbourhood' fibs

Virgin Media is on the naughty step with the UK's advertising watchdog, after wrongly claiming in two separate circulars that its broadband service was available in areas where the ad was posted through people's letterboxes. Two complainants successfully refuted the telco's fibs, after taking their gripes to the Advertising …
Kelly Fiveash, 08 Jan 2014
Sky HD box

Sky rapped over PREMATURE SEXY CONDOM ad

The Advertising Standards Authority has ordered Sky to be more careful with its telly scheduling after it showed a racy condom advert just after a kids' film. A viewer wrote to the ASA to complain about the Durex ad, which was shown directly after Ice Age 4 at 9.32pm on Sky Movies Premiere. The concerned telly lover was grumpy …
Jasper Hamill, 18 Dec 2013
First text

UK payday loaners cop MEGA £175K fine for 'misleading' SMS spam

A UK-based payday loans firm has received a £175,000 fine after it was found to have sent millions of spam text messages that provoked thousands of complaints. First Financial violated The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations governing electronic marketing by sending SMS messages without consent. The messages …
John Leyden, 17 Dec 2013
Sliced Bread

BT jabbed by ad watchdog AGAIN over fibre deployment fibs

BT has been caught fibbing to Manchester residents, after the telecoms giant wrongly claimed that its fibre optic Infinity product was already available throughout the city. The Advertising Standards Authority ruled today that BT had misled customers with a poster ad that shouted: "MANCHESTER BUSINESSES. IT'S ARRIVED". A …
Kelly Fiveash, 13 Nov 2013
traffic lights

Virgin Media only puts limited limits on its Unlimited service

Earlier this year the UK's advertising watchdog made the "unlimited" term used by broadband providers redundant, by confirming that moderate restrictions could be applied to network traffic, all the while letting the telcos continue to make "no caps" claims to subscribers. That surprise decision came in a ruling from the …
Kelly Fiveash, 30 Oct 2013
Derisive laugh

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

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 …
Kelly Fiveash, 24 Oct 2013
Barnes and Noble Nook HD

Barnes & Noble knock Nook slate down to £79

Barnes & Noble has knocked a further 20 quid off the price of its Nook HD and HD+ tablets as it continues to try to shift existing stocks of the gadgets. Originally introduced in September 2012, the 7-inch and 9-inch Nook tablets were priced at launch at £159 for a 16GB HD and £226 for the same-capacity HD+. Both tablets, …
Tony Smith, 04 Sep 2013
Three UK logo

Three used cheap deal to lure me into buying expensive slab, chap tells ASA

UK mobile network Three has been rapped for touting a tablet computer that customers couldn't actually buy – and then, having got the interested punters on the phone, tried flogging them a more expensive slab instead. One outraged man told the advertising watchdog that an ad on Three's website stated that the operator's online …
Bill Ray, 04 Sep 2013
The Register breaking news

Barnes & Noble booked for running out of £29 Nooks

Struggling bookshop Barnes & Noble has been taken to task by the UK's advertising watchdog for running out of stocks of its ebook reader, the Nook, just a few days after slashing prices down to £29 in a nationwide campaign. B&N started an ad campaign on 24 April that touted the whopping discount from £79 to £29 for the ereader …

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

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 …
Kelly Fiveash, 14 Aug 2013

Don't trust us? Try these Office 365 stats, says Microsoft

Microsoft will publish data on the reliability of Office 365 to boost confidence in the online service – and yet it also warned that more outages are possible. The software giant said in a blog titled Cloud services you can trust: Office 365 availability that it now plans to publish uptime numbers for Office 365. The figures …
Gavin Clarke, 09 Aug 2013

Kevin Bacon avoids slapped wrist after TV pipe-fatness claims

EE has received a stern talking to from the Advertising Standards Authority for website claims of "superfast" connectivity, though when Kevin Bacon says the same thing on TV that's OK. The difference is the context: on TV Kevin's words are accompanied by numbers and comparisons to 3G, while the web ad just made the "superfast …
Bill Ray, 31 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

Kids LIE about age on Facebook, gasps Brit ad watchdog

Britain's advertising watchdog has spotted the blindingly obvious: kids are giving false ages to allow them to sign up to Facebook and other social media sites. Mark Zuckerberg's free content ad network states that users have to be 13 or over to have a Facebook account. However, the company does not closely control this …
Kelly Fiveash, 29 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

BSkyB-owned BE slams into traffic pile-up over 'unlimited' broadband lie

Telco BE - now owned by BSkyB - has been admonished by Blighty's ad watchdog for misleading its customers with unsubstantiated claims about its broadband. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld gripes from three complainants who challenged the ISP's claims that it offered "unlimited usage" to customers - despite …
Kelly Fiveash, 05 Jun 2013
The Register breaking news

TalkTalk's tiny package most certainly not 'best value', tuts watchdog

TalkTalk has been ordered to never brag again about its "best value" broadband, telly and phone package after BSkyB complained to the ads watchdog. The Advertising Standards Authority berated budget ISP TalkTalk for claiming its service was directly comparable to its rivals' products but at a lower price. In fact, TalkTalk's …
Kelly Fiveash, 08 May 2013