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ASA Ed Vaizey

Culture minister lets rip at ‘ridiculous’ broadband advertising rules


By John Glenday, Reporter

April 15, 2016 | 2 min read

Culture minister Ed Vaizey has blasted Britain’s ‘ridiculous’ broadband advertising rules as set out by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), branding the set of stipulations as a ‘complete and utter joke’.

Vaizey’s frustration centres on the fact that providers such as Sky, Virgin Media, TalkTalk, EE, Three, O2 and BT are allowed to advertise so-called ‘up to’ top speeds even if they’re only available to a tenth of customers.

Speaking to the House of Commons culture, media and sport select committee Vaizey said: “The idea that if you can deliver to 10 per cent of houses the broadband speeds you are advertising on a large billboard and get away with it seems to be a complete and utter joke, and I have told that to their [the ASA’s] face.”

Responding to the attack the ASA stated: “Our position on broadband speed claims in ads is based on extensive work undertaken in recent years, including a full public consultation on new guidance. We are an independent, evidence-based regulator and that underpins our regulation. We are, however, aware of the minister’s concerns, and we are carefully considering his views.”

The ASA has previously sought to act on the issue by simplifying the confusing array of prices and packages offered by providers which often bamboozle customers.

ASA Ed Vaizey

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