Broadband wars continue as BT lands another ASA ban on Sky

Sky has been rapped by the Advertising Standards Authority for giving a misleading impression of the potential saving to be made by purchasing TV and broadband together, after rival BT complained.

The TV ad, seen in September, promises Sky TV and broadband for a combined £39 a month, compared with the “usual” £52 – which would be the combined cost of the two if purchased separately.

The ASA agreed with BT’s claim that the price of £39 did not represent a genuine saving, since it was already available for customers buying TV and broadband together. It ruled that the spot breached the BCAP Code rules on misleading advertising, substantiation, qualification and prices.

This is the eighth ad ban for Sky in the past four years, and the third since last May. The ASA has investigated a further three complaints against Sky since 2017 that it has not upheld.

It is also the latest in a long string of complaints brought by BT and Sky – along with Virgin Media and other competitors – against each other.

Sky was hit with bans in March 2019 (following complaints from BT and Virgin), March 2018 (BT) and July 2017 (Virgin).

BT, in turn, received bans in March 2020 (Virgin, Vodafone and others), February 2019 (Virgin) and June 2017 (Sky, Virgin, TalkTalk and others).

In 2016, the ASA issued new guidance for broadband advertising after a large number of similar cases over the previous two years.


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