ASA bans BT broadband ad header image

Published: 29th May 2013

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned a BT broadband advert. 

It has ordered that a direct mailing promotion for the company's Total Broadband service be withdrawn as it contained misleading information. 

BT failed to include facts regarding a 10 GB data use limit in the advert and the terms and conditions, which were printed on the reverse of the mailing. 

The company claimed its landing page for the offer clearly stated details about the data cap and said its sales staff were required to mention the limit in all of their calls to potential customers. 

However, the ASA ruled that the usage limit for a broadband offer was "material information", which is likely to have a large bearing on a customer's decision about whether to subscribe to the service.

This means it should have been made clear in the mailing itself and by omitting this information BT was potentially misleading consumers.

Another major broadband provider that has received complaints is O2, which has been criticised over its decision to block more than 100 websites that focus on promoting equality for men and raising awareness on issues such as domestic abuse and rape. 

While some of the sites express controversial anti-feminist opinions, a number should not have been defined by O2 as a "hate site", according to a male human rights activist. 

John Kimble told ISPreview: "They’ve confused feminism with females as a whole and thus they mistakenly regard any criticism of feminism (a political ideology) as criticism of women. No other ideology gets the same immunity from criticism that O2 give feminism."

He added that some controversial feminist sites have not been blocked by O2 and claimed even mainstream sites such as are as contentious as any of the male rights websites that have been censored. 

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