The ASA has upheld a complaint against BT over an advert that misled people over the availability of movies on BT Vision over the Sky Platform.
The advert suggested that movies were available on the misfiring BT Vision platform 'before they're shown on Sky Movies'.
Which is technically true, but of course if you compare like-for-like, BT's paid-for on-demand service is really comparable to Sky Box Office – where the movies were available at exactly the same time.
That technicality was not enough for the ASA, and the complaint – by Sky and two members of the public (R.Murdoch and J.Stelling?) – was upheld, despite BT insisting it was merely trying to show that movies are available without subscribing to a movie channel.
Like for like
"We considered that, because in terms of the on-demand availability of new release films, the most similar Sky service to BT Vision was Sky Box Office, whereas the comparison drawn was between BT Vision and Sky Movies, the ad was likely to mislead by giving viewers the impression that they would be able to see new movies more quickly with BT Vision than with Sky when that was not the case," said the ASA in its ruling.
"We noted on-screen text stating 'New release films are available on Sky Box Office at the same time as BT Vision' but concluded that was insufficient to remove the overall impression that new release films were available more quickly with BT than with Sky. We concluded that the comparison was likely to mislead."
Some would suggest that BT look a bit pathetic if it has to resort to these kind of cheap tricks.