Sky forces Virgin to axe TiVo ads

Sky has won the latest round in the tit-for-tat fight with rival Virgin Media over each other’s advertising claims by getting the Advertising Standards Authority to ban two ads for Virgin’s TiVo system.
It is said that Sky has teams of lawyers going through all Virgin’s ads with a fine tooth comb. Late last year Virgin was forced to axe a mailing campaign after Sky complained that it was unbranded – the ASA ruled the small print was in the wrong place.
The latest complaint concerns two ads seen in August 2011, which compared Virgin’s TiVo to Sky+HD.
The ads directed consumers to the Virgin website, where there was a comparison table, which, Sky complained, over-exaggerated the price of its service yet understated the number of video on demand hours available.
Having studied the evidence, the ASA noted that the figures in the comparison table itself were accurate, but figures in the small print suggested the price for existing customers was £149, when it was £49, and the table did not include the price for existing customers.
The ad also addressed existing Sky customers in the small print and therefore the ASA considered that the information should be clear and relevant to both existing Sky customers and other consumers. Meanwhile it found that Virgin used old figures to compare the number of hours available.
The ASA ruled the ads should not appear again in their current form.

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