Trusted Reviews may earn an affiliate commission when you purchase through links on our site. Learn More

BT’s ‘misleading’ fastest fibre speed ads banned

The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has banned three BT adverts which promised the “fastest speeds vs standard entry-level fibre”, following a complaint from rival Virgin.

BT’s ad campaign featured Hollywood star Ryan Reynolds, and claimed the company offers the fastest fibre broadband speeds for the lowest price.

But the ASA has ordered the ads, which it called ‘misleading’ and in-breach of the UK advertising code, to be pulled after Virgin Media lodged a complaint.

Related: iPhone 7

The watchdog said:  “We noted that the major broadband providers against whom BT had compared their service, all advertised a slower maximum speed for their cheapest option.

“However, we understood that there were other providers on the market whose cheapest (or only) service options advertised faster maximum speeds than 52 Mbps, in some cases significantly so.”

“We therefore considered that, given the likely consumer interpretation of the claim, ‘fastest fibre speeds as standard’ had not been adequately substantiated.

“In light of the above factors, we concluded the ads were misleading and breached the codes.”

In the adverts, small print appears explaining the “fastest speeds” refers to a comparison between “standard entry-level fibre products of major broadband providers.”

However, it seems this was not enough to keep the ASA from pulling the ads and advising BT to make the clarify its claims in future campaigns.

A BT Spokesperson said: “This complaint was upheld on a minor technicality relating to the exclusion of niche broadband providers whose products are only available on a limited basis in specific geographical locations, and not to the vast majority of the population (like BT Infinity).

“The fact is that no other major broadband provider offers their customers a faster fibre speed as standard, and on this point the ASA agreed with BT.”

Watch The Refresh: The best tech gossip and reviews every week

Let us know what you think of the ASA’s ruling in the comments.

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links. Tell us what you think – email the Editor