ASA orders another "ambiguous" Virgin Media ad down

By The Drum Team | Staff Writer

Virgin Media


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October 3, 2012 | 3 min read

The Advertising Standards Authority has once again asked Virgin Media to remove an ad from air following misleading claims for ‘super-fast broadband’.

Eighteen viewers complained about the advert, starring David Tennant, which ends with the line “Now from Virgin Media you could say goodbye to buffering with superfast fibre-optic broadband.”

ASA reported Virgin Media’s response which read: “Virgin Media Ltd (Virgin) stated that whilst there was a very technical definition of the word "buffering", it had a less technical meaning for consumers and had become synonymous with "interruptions" or "delays in streaming content" along with the appearance of the buffering symbol.

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“They said the intention of the ad was to highlight the frustrations consumers may experience when that symbol appeared, particularly during video playback, demonstrated by the symbol being smashed to pieces with a baseball bat. They stated that faster broadband removed the frustrations that consumers had when buffering occurred and that the performance of Virgin Media broadband services substantiated the claim that customers could say bye-bye to buffering.”

Unfortunately for Virgin Media, the ASA found the “ambiguity” resulted in a misleading ad for consumers and it was ordered down.

This marks the second time in six months that Virgin Media has found itself in bother with the ASA. Its June TVC in which Usain Bolt said the firm was “doubling the speed of broadband” was removed from air when the ASA found the claim only applied to a fraction of Virgin customers.


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