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Another day, another rap from the ASA

# 3 November 2011, 06:11 by Chris T

Virgin Media has attracted the ire of the Advertising Standards Authority – again.

This time the offending piece of marketing material got the ads watchdog hot under the collar because it didn’t actually look like a piece of marketing material at all.

In June, VM posted would-be cable customers an envelope with the title “Satellite TV Upgrade Pack” boldly printed on the front.

Inside, the material promised satellite users a better TV experience and pictures that wouldn’t freeze up in bad weather.

Sky TV predictably complained to the ASA about this; firstly that the mail-out didn’t look like a marketing campaign and secondly that it contained an unsubstantiated claim that VM’s picture quality is better than Sky’s.

The ASA agreed on the first point, ruling that the small print, which ran vertically up the side of the page, was far too small.

But in a minor victory for VM, the ASA refused to condemn the cableco’s claims about picture quality.

“We understand that it was the case that satellite signals, and therefore picture quality, could be affected by bad weather, whereas cable TV would not be affected in that way, and we considered it was not misleading for Virgin to refer to that in their advertising,” the ASA stated in its written ruling.

“We also considered that consumers were likely to regard a TV service that was not affected by bad weather to be providing a ‘better TV experience’ than one that was. We concluded that the claims were not misleading in that regard.”

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