ASA slaps ad ban on TalkTalk router claims


Provider asked to remove information after rival BT said it was misleading

TalkTalk has been forced by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to take down information claiming its ‘Super Router’ product providers a stronger signal than similar products from BT, Virgin, Sky and EE.

The information was found on the product’s online page. It stated: “Market leading signal strength. Our Super Router provides a stronger signal than BT, Virgin, Sky and EE… Fastest Speeds in the UK. TalkTalk’s new Super Router delivers the strongest signal and fastest speeds in the UK.

The claims, according to TalkTalk, were based on independent tests in 2014 and 2015. The product was compared to the BT Home Hub 4, BT Home Hub 5, Virgin Superhub 2, Sky Hub SR101, Sky Hub SR101 and EE Bright Box 2.

The claims in the advertisement were challenged by BT. TalkTalk’s rival argued that the claims were misleading and if there was sufficient information to back the claims.

TalkTalk claimed its independent tests were conducted in various consumer home environments. They were found to have the strongest signal out of the routers tested, claimed the broadband provider.

Flawed testing
The ASA said the tests had been limited to the transfer of large files and not normal tasks such as video or voice streaming that broadband users would regularly do. It also argued that the information backing the claims could not have easily been found anywhere on the website by consumers or competitors.

“We considered that, because not all the necessary data and results were available, consumers and competitors would be unable to verify the claims for themselves. We therefore concluded that the information provided was not sufficient to ensure the details of the comparison could be verified.”