BT Ad Blaming WiFi Issues On Phones Gets Banned

Britain's advertising authority has banned an TV advertisement from British Telecom following three separate complaints about the commercial. The ad, which was for BT's Home Hub wireless router, showed images of mobile phones, radios, and other household devices coupled with a voice-over that stated, "There's no end of things around the home that disrupt your wireless internet." The ad went on to say that the new BT Home Hub helped to avoid interference from non-WiFi devices.

The ASA received complaints that the ad was misleading because it implied that the devices shown significantly interfere with WiFi signal. The Advertising Standards Authority contacted BT as well as telecoms watchdog Ofcom for clarification on the issue. Though BT maintained that the 2.4 GHz spectrum was heavily congested and susceptible to interference, Ofcom said that radios and phones would not cause the kind of interference described in the ad.

"We were concerned that the ad prominently featured a ringing mobile phone, when using such a device for telephone calls would not cause interference of the kind described," the ASA said in its judgement. "We further noted that the ad also featured images of radios, which Ofcom had also advised did not pose a particular problem in terms of interference."

The ASA goes on to that while BT is right in suggesting some non-WiFi devices could affect performance of WiFi devices, the images shown in the ad were misleading. As such, the advertisement cannot be broadcast again in its current form.

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  • Vorador2
    Funny that there's a lot of stuff that can cause interferences with Wifi, ranging from thick walls to CRT TVs.

    But phones and radios are not amongst them.
  • PreferLinux
    Cordless phones would be one thing that could interfere – many use the same 2.4 GHz spectrum. Bluetooth can interfere as well. Microwave ovens can cause massive interference if their shielding is not as good as it should be.
  • virtualban
    Banning an ad is not enough. Worst that happens is loss of the money paid to the graphics firm producing the ad. Not preventing future attempts at misleading customers.