ASA say Virgin Media misled public over broadband

25 April 2012

virgin mediaThe Advertising Standards Authority (or ASA if you prefer) have decided to show their studs over advertisements run by Virgin Media which misled the public concerning their superfast broadband.

Basically, they used small print so tiny that it was impossible to read. Unless you were Wee Jimmy Krankie, and the less said about that little bugger, the better.

In the campaign which ran in all the national newspapers - the one that had superfast Olympian Usain Bolt in them - Virgin Media promoted their superfast broadband service with the strapline "Faster for a fiver".

However, the fine print at the foot of the advert detailed a number of restrictions and terms and conditions over 230. These words were so small, that anyone with typical eyeballs wouldn't have been able to make out what they said. The ASA received a complaint that the print was not legible to a "normally-sighted" person, which of course, means that the ad was misleading.

Virgin Media said, in return to this, that they used a minimum font size of between 5.5 and 6 points for small print that is "clearly visible to a normally-sighted person" and argued that the "industry standard" is actually a font size of 4 and 4.5 points, leaving them under the impression that they'd provided text "quite a bit larger than average".

However, ASA said that the text was hampered by printing that isn't exactly great quality, leaving the ad "not clearly visible to a normally-sighted person reading the marketing communication once, from a reasonable distance and at a reasonable speed".

"Because the small print was not presented clearly, and contained material information, we concluded that the ad was misleading," said the ASA. The advert is now banned and Virgin have been told to make their t&cs clearer in future.

TOPICS:   Advertising   Broadband

1 comment

  • Drew C.
    Why do we insist on using foreign atheletes in adverts? Do we not have anyone good from the UK that isn't black? Oh... right, no, OK.

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