Sky 'fastest broadband' ad banned after complaint from BT | Media | The Guardian
Media company did not make clear the ‘fastest peak time speeds’ claim related to fixed-line performance only, says ASA

Sky has had its claim that it offers the fastest broadband speeds in the UK shot down after BT lodged a complaint with the advertising watchdog.

The media group ran a press ad claiming it offered the fastest broadband speeds in peak time, citing Ofcom research comparing it with rivals BT, Plusnet and EE on a 38Mb connection.

BT challenged the claim, arguing it was misleading because the research by Ofcom was only on fixed-line performance, and did not include internet usage over Wi-Fi, which is very common.

Sky replied that the ad was not misleading as it included a caveat that the claim was based purely on Ofcom’s report comparing fixed-line broadband, so wider performance claims, such as those for Wi-Fi, were not necessary.

The ASA said, while the claim was accurate in relation to the parameters of the report, many people used Wi-Fi in their homes.

“Consumers were likely to interpret ‘fastest peak-time speeds’ to mean the speeds they would receive in the home environment, including when they were using their devices wirelessly,” said the ASA.

The ad made a reference to Sky’s Wi-Fi-enabled set-top box, which the ASA said enhanced the impression the claim also referred to wireless internet speed, and the caveat that it was based only fixed-line performance was only included in a footnote.

“Because the ad did not make clear that the ‘fastest peak time speeds’ claim related to fixed-line broadband performance only, and therefore did not include Wi-Fi performance, we concluded that the claim was misleading,” said the ASA. “The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Sky UK to ensure that in future they made clear that speed claims related to fixed-line performance only, if that was the case.”