A fibre broadband provider in the UK has been reprimanded by the country's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for the use of misleading language in advertisements.
The company, Gigaclear, boasted that customers' connection to its network 'runs at 1000Mbps (1Gbps) for uploads and 1000Mbps (1Gbps) for downloads regardless of time of day, weather or distance from the cabinet' – but crucially, according to the ASA, omitted the words 'up to', meaning that potential customers would be led to believe that they would always receive the stated speed capacity for the service they had bought.
Gigaclear argued that that each customer had their own dedicated fibre connection and explained that the permitted information rate (PIR) was set at 10 per cent higher than the advertised speed capacity. For example, the H50 package, offering consumers a 50 Mbps service, had a PIR of 55 Mbps.
The ASA's assessment reads: 'Whilst we acknowledged that the majority of the line-speed data demonstrated that the advertiser's customers received the stated speed capacity, we were concerned that a number of instances, in the relatively small data sample, showed that Gigaclear's customers did not achieve the stated speed capacity.
'Because we considered the speed claims were absolute in nature and because we had not seen sufficient evidence to support those claims, we concluded that the ad breached the Code.'
The ASA ruled that the advertisement must not appear again in its current form, and told Gigaclear to ensure that its advertisements were not likely to mislead consumers in future.