BT advert banned for unsubstantiated broadband speed claims

ASA rules wifi claims not backed up by evidence and orders company not to run promotion again

Ben Chapman@b_c_chapman
Wednesday 27 February 2019 10:24
The ruling followed a complaint made by rival Virgin Media
The ruling followed a complaint made by rival Virgin Media

BT has been ordered not to run an ad which claimed that its broadband package featured the “UK’s most powerful wifi”.

The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) ruled that BT’s claims were not backed up by enough evidence. The advertising regulator has previously ruled against BT for making similar, unsubstantiated claims but has no powers to fine the company.

The ruling came following a complaint from rival Virgin Media which said BT’s claims were unsubstantiated.

In May, BT ran a newspaper advert which included the claim “UK’s most powerful wifi vs major broadband providers”. The company’s website featured the headline claim “BT Business Smart Hub. The UK’s most powerful business wifi signal vs major broadband providers*”.

Further text stated “*Better than all other major UK business broadband providers, giving you the strongest signal furthest from the hub. Tests prove it”.

But the ASA found that there was not enough evidence to demonstrate that the BT’s routers had the UK’s most powerful wifi signal.

The ASA said: “The ads must not appear again in their current forms.

“We told BT not to claim that their routers were ‘the UK’s most powerful’ unless they could demonstrate that they could provide a stronger signal than other major providers when subjected to other forms of non-wifi interference, and unless they could provide recordings of the levels of all types of interference when each router was tested to demonstrate that each router was subjected to consistent levels of interference.”


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