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Sky Fibre ad did not make false claims, says advertising watchdog

Wednesday, March 2nd 2016 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

Reliability claims made by Sky in a radio ad are backed up by official statistics, the advertising watchdog has ruled.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said Sky is well within its rights to say its service is more reliable than some of its rivals.

The ad in question suggested that customers whose router was leaving them “in a rage” should switch to Sky Fibre.

A listener, who heard the ad in September, questioned whether it misleadingly implied that there would be no loss of router connection with Sky.

Responding to the complaint, Sky said the ad was intended to show that Sky Fibre was reliable, not that there would never be a loss of router connection.

The company highlighted an Ofcom report that showed connection reliability for Sky’s service was higher than a number of its competitors, and said its own network monitoring showed a consistently high level of 'uptime'.

The ASA said the ad highlighted the frustration of router outages and while it implied Sky’s service was more reliable, it did not claim that outages would never happen.

In its ruling, it cited Ofcom's Report for Fixed Line Broadband Performance November 2014, published in February 2015, which said the Sky ‘up to’ 38Mbps service had one of the lowest average number of daily disconnections of 30 seconds or longe, suggesting that the Sky service was more reliable for connection than some of its competitors.

“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.”

In April last year, the ASA told Sky to stop exaggerating the reliability of its broadband service.

At the time, the watchdog said claims of 99.9% ‘network reliability’ were likely to mislead consumers.

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