The ASA have ruled against a Virgin Media web ad and sponsored search engine ad which featured Richard Branson claiming that he would “double everyone’s broadband speeds”.
BSkyB challenged this claim however noting that the headline promise was undermined by the small print which read “cabled areas only” and “100Mb customers will see price-cut instead of speed doubling” – which contradicted the main claim.
Virgin had countered that because they had explicitly ruled out 100Mb customers from the upgrade that those customers weren’t being misled.
However the ASA adopted a divergent view, upholding BSkyB’s contention on the basis that the ad “gave the overall impression that the ad was aimed at existing Virgin customers who would interpret the ad as meaning that they “would have their broadband speed doubled”.
In consequence the ads must not appear again in their current form.