A BSkyB TV ad, featuring a disgruntled Bruce Willis complaining about his broadband service, has been banned for misleading consumers about the real cost of Sky Broadband Unlimited.
The ad, part of a series of ads by WCRS which also features an Al Pacino spot, shows the Die Hard star playing himself. He storms into his broadband provider’s office to complain that he has exceeded the download limit of his current provider while streaming one of his films, only to be advised to switch to Sky for “just £7.50 a month”.
Text at the bottom of the screen stated: “Price for Sky TV customers. Sky Talk and line rental (£14.50 pm) required.”
However, what was not prominent was the fact that to purchase Sky Unlimited Broadband at the advertised price, customers also needed to buy a Sky TV subscription worth between £21.50 and £62 a month, as well as Sky Talk and line rental for £14.50 a month.
The Advertising Standards Authority launched an investigation following a single viewer complaint that the ad was misleading because it did not make clear the extent of the commitment consumers had to make in order to obtain the £7.50 deal.
Defending the ad, Sky said the customers were only required to take Sky line rental for £14.50 a month. But the company added that the deal cost £7.50 for Sky TV customers and £10 for non-Sky TV customers, with TV deals starting at £21.50 a month. It said all the necessary information was made clear in on-screen text.
Upholding the complaint, the ASA said small print at the bottom of the screen was significantly less prominent than the claim made in a voice-over and needed to be shown at the same time during the voiceover rather than 15 seconds before, at the start of the ad.
The watchdog ruled that the ad must not appear again in its current form.
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