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ASA Adjudication on British Sky Broadcasting Ltd

British Sky Broadcasting Ltd t/a Sky

NHC3, Ground Floor
Legal Marketing
Grant Way
Isleworth
Middlesex
TW7 5QD

Date:

22 February 2012

Media:

Television

Sector:

Leisure

Number of complaints:

86

Agency:

Brothers and Sisters

Complaint Ref:

A11-179447

Ad

A TV ad for a media services company, viewed on 22 November, said "Welcome to the world of better offers. If you've got Sky Movies 1 and 2 with Sky's unlimited broadband, then this offer is just for you. Enjoy a free wireless connector for your Sky+ HD box so you can access Anytime+ and enjoy movies whenever you want. Go to [website] to find out more." On-screen text stated "New Anytime customers only. Compatible Sky+ HD box, Sky Talk and Sky Line Rental required. One offer per household while stocks last. Self set-up required. Further terms apply".

Issue

Eighty-six complainants, who understood that the offer was only available to customers who had not already activated Anytime+, objected that the claim "If you've got Sky Movies 1 and 2 with Sky's unlimited broadband, then this offer is just for you" was misleading because that significant condition was not made sufficiently clear.

BCAP Code

Response

British Sky Broadcasting Ltd t/a Sky (Sky) did not believe the ad was misleading, and believed it appropriately qualified the offer. They said the offer of a free Anytime+ wireless connector was available to both new and existing Sky TV customers with Sky Movies 1 and 2 and Sky Broadband Unlimited who had not already activated Anytime+. They believed it was clear from the voice-over in the ad that it was aimed at customers new to Anytime+ as they said "so you can access Anytime+". They said the on-screen text "New Anytime+ customers only" clarified this.

Clearcast agreed with Sky's response. They also believed the voice-over saying "so you can access Anytime+" made it clear that if you could already access Anytime+ the offer would not apply to you, as if you were already accessing it then you wouldn't need to access it again. They did not believe the on-screen text "New Anytime customers only" contradicted the offer "If you've got Sky Movies 1 and 2 with Sky's unlimited broadband, then this offer is just for you."

Assessment

Upheld

The ASA noted the ad contained the on-screen text "New Anytime customers only" and that Sky believed this adequately qualified the offer. However, we considered the words "If you've got Sky Movies 1 and 2 with Sky's unlimited broadband, then this offer is just for you" implied that the offer was open to all Sky customers who met these conditions. We also considered the words "just for you" emphasised this group of customers in particular had been selected. We noted Sky believed the words "so you can access Anytime+" made it clear the offer was aimed at customers who had not activated Anytime+, and that Clearcast believed customers who already had Anytime+ would not need to "access" it again. However, we considered that "access" may be understood by customers to refer to using the Anytime+ service, and so they would have to "access" it every time they did so. We considered the on screen text "New Anytime customers only" contradicted rather than qualified the offer, and therefore concluded the ad was misleading.

The ad breached BCAP Code rules 3.1 and 3.2 (Misleading advertising) and 3.10 (Qualification).

Action

The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Sky to ensure that they made significant conditions clear in future ads, and to ensure that qualifications did not contradict primary claims.

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