TalkTalk has been banned from airing an advert on television in which it claims it has the UK “best value unlimited TV broadband and phone compared to Sky, Virgin and BT”.
The Advertising Standards Authority said that the ISP can no longer use the phrase as it said it was “misleading”.
The small print in TalkTalk’s advert compared the broadband to triple-play deals offered by Sky, Virgin and BT.
Sky complained about the advert and its wording, arguing that it was potentially misleading to customers.
The satellite broadcaster said that in the context of the advert it implied that TalkTalk offered a product of comparable quality to named competitors but at a lower price.
Sky said that this was not the case as it offered 37 pay channels that are not available in TalkTalk package as well as 200 free channels compared with 74 offered by TalkTalk.
TalkTalk said that its claims of best value related to price of packages.
ASA sided with Sky and said that the main body of the ad placed greater prominence on the elements of the package itself, such as “unlimited TV”.
“In that context, we considered that consumers would be likely to understand that price was only one aspect of the comparison being made by TalkTalk, and would consequently expect the TV, broadband and phone elements of the TalkTalk package to be comparable with those offered by Sky, Virgin and BT,” the regulator said.
“We understood that the TV element of Sky’s triple-play package included significantly more channels than TalkTalk’s, some of which were pay channels, and considered consumers were unlikely to regard that element of the two packages as comparable.
The ASA said that the advert must not appear in its current form.