BT Sport’s free online content ad ruled offside after complaints

Kate McCann
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THE ADVERTISING Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld a series of complaints against a BT Sport advert, ruling that the ad must not be shown again.

The campaign, which depicted BT Sport presenter Jake Humphries talking over various shots of customers watching the channel on TV, a tablet and a computer, was shown on TV and received five complaints.

One of the complainants in the case, TalkTalk, said the advert was misleading as it did not make clear that customers could only watch BT Sport online, unless they also had access to Sky Digital or BT TV with Infinity, which cost money to use. A further complaint, which was also upheld, claimed that depicting a customer in two business locations was unfair, as the service was not free to business customers whether online or not.

In the ruling, the ASA said: “We told BT to ensure that ads for BT Sport ‘free’ offers included a clearly worded qualification that BT Sport was only available to view online unless customers also had access to Sky Digital or BT TV with Infinity and that this was displayed at the time the offer was referenced,” the ad was also banned, it added.

BT said it believed it had made the offer clear on both counts.