Virgin Media rapped over Broadband claims

Chris Forrester

Virgin Media has fallen foul of the UKís Advertising Standards Authority, which determined that Virginís national press ads were misleading. The complainant was BSkyB, and the grumbles concerned the speed of connections that customers could expect to receive in comparison to those connecting over a broadband service on BT's telephone line.

BSkyB challenged whether Virginís claim "10 out of 10 homes with our fibre optic broadband can get 20Mb" was misleading, and argued that they did not believe there was sufficient capacity in Virgin's network to provide all customers with 20Mbps at the same time.

The Advertising Standards Authority itself challenged whether the comparison between the speed available on Virgin's service and the speed available over British Telecom phone lines was misleading and unfair. This was with reference to the following advert quote: "70% of homes in the UK can't get 8Mb over BT phone linesĒ Ė and quoting research specialists Point Topic for its data, [and adding] ďAll cable broadband enabled homes can achieve their 'access line speed'".

Both complaints were upheld, and Virgin has been gently slapped on the wrist with instructions not to use the ads again. There is no other penalty.