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TalkTalk’s ‘misleading’ broadband ad binned by watchdog

A TalkTalk TV advertisement has been banned for exaggerating claims of broadband reliability.

The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has targeted the telecoms giant over an ad that purported its network connection was ’99.9 per cent reliable’.

The ASA received complaints from three viewers that questioned whether this claim was misleading.

TalkTalk claims it measured the availability of its service between January and August last year.

The availability is the amount of time the broadband network is live over a specific period of time.

TalkTalk says it calculated this to be 99.9986 per cent, but the ASA says this doesn’t translate to the end user in a clear way.

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According to the ASA, the claims could be interpreted by a customer as referring to his or her own complete broadband service.

“We considered most consumers would be interested in the reliability of their end-to-end broadband connection up to the point of their router or into their home,” explained the ASA.

It continued: “Rather than the reliability of certain portions to the overall connection, when making a decision to purchase a broadband package with a particular internet service provider.”

The regulator went on to describe how external factors could affect the reliability of an end user’s connection, which TalkTalk could not claim to have control over.

“Because the evidence did not substantiate the likely interpretation of the claim, we concluded the ad was misleading,” the ASA said.

TalkTalk has now been told that it can no longer run the advertisement in its current form, and future advertisements must be clearer when making claims about network reliability.