Ad description

A radio ad, heard on 13 September 2015, for Sky Fibre broadband service stated "Ah, broadband routers. Little magical boxes that sit quietly delivering internet to your whole house. Until the light starts flashing orange. Switch off, switch on. But still it flashes orange and a little voice inside your head flies into a fit of router rage. Why won't you just work! If your router is leaving you in a rage, it's time to switch to superfast Sky Fibre now. Free for one year with Sky line rental ...".


A listener challenged whether the ad misleadingly implied that there would be no loss of router connection with Sky.


Sky UK said the ad was intended to show that Sky Fibre was reliable, not that there would never be a loss of router connection. They provided an Ofcom report that they said showed connection reliability for their service was higher than that of a number of competitors. They also believed their network monitoring had shown a consistently high level of uptime, and consumers who identified with 'router rage' would have a better experience on Sky Fibre.

Radiocentre believed listeners would understand that Sky provided reliability on routers, rather than absolute perfect reliability. They said the ad did not imply that Sky's router connection would never fail.


Not upheld

The ASA noted the ad highlighted the frustration of router outages and suggested that if a listener was having such problems they should try the advertiser’s service. The Ofcom Report for Fixed Line Broadband Performance November 2014, published in February 2015, stated that the Sky ‘up to’ 38Mbit/s service had one of the lowest average number of daily disconnections of 30 seconds or longer, which we considered confirmed that the Sky service was more reliable for connection than some of their competitors.

Although the ad implied that Sky Fibre was likely to provide a more reliable experience, it did not include any claims that outages would never happen. We considered that listeners would understand that the ad was encouraging them to try the Sky product instead of putting up with a poorly performing service, rather than claiming that there would be no loss of connection with Sky Fibre. Because Sky had been able to show that their service was more reliable than a number of their competitors, we considered that the ad was unlikely to mislead consumers about the type and expectations of the service being offered and therefore concluded that the ad was not misleading.

We investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules  3.1 3.1 Advertisements must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.  (Misleading advertising),  3.9 3.9 Broadcasters must hold documentary evidence to prove claims that the audience is likely to regard as objective and that are capable of objective substantiation. The ASA may regard claims as misleading in the absence of adequate substantiation.  (Substantiation),  3.10 3.10 Advertisements must state significant limitations and qualifications. Qualifications may clarify but must not contradict the claims that they qualify.  (Qualification) and  3.33 3.33 Advertisements that include a comparison with an identifiable competitor must not mislead, or be likely to mislead, consumers about either the advertised product or service or the competing product or service.  (Comparisons with identifiable competitors), but did not find it in breach.


No further action necessary.


3.1     3.10     3.33     3.9    

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