TalkTalk's broadband not the "best value" in Britain

ISP criticised over "misleading" package comparison by Advertising Standards Authority

Stewart Mitchell
8 May 2013

TalkTalk has been banned from calling its broadband the "best value" in Britain, after the Advertising Standards Authority ruled the claim was misleading.

After a complaint made by rival ISP Sky, the advertising watchdog ruled that TalkTalk was confusing "cheapest" and "best value" in an advert that claimed it provided "Britain's best value unlimited TV, broadband and phone".

Sky complained, saying TalkTalk's claim was misleading because it implied that TalkTalk offered a product of comparable quality to competitors named in the advert but did so at a lower price.

In response, TalkTalk said "the low cost context within which all consumers placed TalkTalk" meant that the "best value" claim should be interpreted to mean "cheapest".

Ofcom disagreed, ruling that the words were not interchangeable, particularly as Sky's triple-play package included more television channels.

"The TV element of Sky's triple play package included significantly more channels than TalkTalk's, some of which were pay channels, and we considered consumers were unlikely to regard that element of the two packages as comparable," the ASA said. "The claim was misleading."

The ASA banned the ad from running again and told TalkTalk to ensure it qualified "best value" claims to make clear the comparison was based on price alone.

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