Virgin Media Ad Banned for Misleading Wi-Fi Claims

Virgin Media Ad Banned for Misleading Wi-Fi Claims

News by Vianca Meyer
Published: December 13, 2023

The British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned a Virgin Media advert, asserting it misled customers about its Wi-Fi speeds.

This incident is the latest in a series of advertising challenges faced by the company over the past decade.

The ASA's decision came after a complaint by Vodafone, who questioned Virgin Media's claim of providing the "fastest Wi-Fi guarantee of any major provider."

The banned advert, prominently displayed on Virgin Media's website since July 3, promised customers a £100 one-off account credit if they didn't receive at least 30Mbps download speeds in every room of their home after the company first offered up to three Wi-Fi signal boosters.

"The difference between guaranteeing the highest speed and offering a guarantee which promised action by the advertiser if a minimum speed was not met was a subtle one," the ASA stated in its decision.

Virgin Media expressed surprise and disappointment at the ruling.

"Given no consumers complained about the advert, and independent polling has shown the majority of people correctly understood what our claim meant, it's slightly baffling that the ASA has ruled in this way," a spokesperson said.

The company maintained it guaranteed a faster minimum speed than its competitors, emphasizing the word "guarantee" in its marketing.

Virgin Media Has a History of Banned Ads

This is not the first instance where Virgin Media's advertising practices have come under scrutiny.

The history of banned ads related to their claims of being the fastest broadband provider dates to at least 2011.

In that year, the ASA banned a "fastest broadband" advert from Virgin Media for not providing sufficient comparative information.

Subsequent years saw repeated controversies, including adverts featuring Usain Bolt in 2012 and 2014, both of which were banned for misleading claims about broadband speeds.

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