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Advertiser: Sky Ireland
Medium: Leaflet, Online, Radio, Television
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 2.4c, 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10
A television advertisement for Sky Fibre featured the character ‘Gru’ from the Despicable Me movies. Gru is shown pushing a button on a large machine. The other side of the machine shows a production line with the machine pulling out letters to make up the words “Superfast” and “Totally Unlimited”. While this scene is on screen the female voiceover states:
“Turn on Sky Fibre at our lowest price ever. It’s superfast and it’s totally unlimited. Perfect for busy homes to be online at the same time. So get Sky Fibre at our lowest price ever. It’s superfast and totally unlimited. All for just €30 a month for just 12 months. Plus, it’s available for existing and new customers.
Search Sky Fibre”
Text show on screen during the advertisement stated: “Sky Fibre. Our Lowest Price Ever!”, “Lowest Price Ever. Superfast. Totally Unlimited. €30 a month for 12 months.
Set up fee varies. Available to existing and new customers.”
The footnote during the advertisement stated: “€55 per month after 12 months. New broadband customers in selected fibre areas only. Up to 100mb download speeds. No traffic management/usage caps. Min contract & further terms apply.”
A radio advertisement featuring the voice of Baz Ashmawy stated:
Baz: “Sky TV customers, it’s time to complete your entertainment experience with Sky Fibre. Now just €39 a month for 12 months.
Its superfast, totally unlimited and supercharges your Sky TV – so you can stream download and catch up on more of your favourite shows.
Wow!! I told you it was superfast!
So go on, complete your entertainment experience with Sky Fibre. Just search ‘Sky Fibre’ or visit your local Sky Store
Offer ends16th November
Sky Believe in better. Compatible phone line required. Set up fees, terms and conditions apply.”
An alternative radio advertisement had aired regionally which stated:
“Hello Sky TV customers! It’s great to be here in [Cork]!
Are you ready for the half-price Sky fibre sale?
There’s a whole festival of entertainment for you to enjoy. All super charged by super fast totally unlimited Sky fibre. And now you can get it for half-price!
So go on, make some noise for the half-price Sky fibre sale.
Sky TV customers, upgrade today. Just search Sky Fibre half-price or get down to your local Sky store in cork. Sky. Believe in better.”
A leaflet advertising the Sky Fibre service stated:
Page 1:“Available to existing and new customers
Turn on Sky Fibre at our lowest price ever.
€30 a month for 12 months. Offer ends 12 Oct
Call 0818 716013/Search Sky Fibre/Visit your local Sky Store
Page 2: “Available to existing and new customers
Enjoy Superfast Sky Fibre €30 a month for 12 months
Turn on Sky Fibre Unlimited Now
It’s superfast – perfect for busy homes to be online at the same time
Totally unlimited. So you can download and stream as much as you like.
Super reliable – we never slow you down even at peak times.
Our lowest price ever.”
Footnote: “Sky Fibre Unlimited €30 per month (pm) for 12 months. €55 pm thereafter. New broadband customers in selected fibre areas only. Prices based on customer taking Sky Fibre Unlimited with Talk.”
The Sky Ireland website included details of their TV and Broadband bundles on offer. The home page advertised a TV package, a Fibre package and Sky’s latest offers. Details for the Sky Fibre plan stated:
“Sky Fibre €30 a month for 12 months, our lowest ever price Find out more”
The “Find our more” button led to a webpage with full details of the Sky Fibre product:
“Turn on Sky Fibre at our lowest price ever.
Enjoy superfast, totally unlimited Sky Fibre for €30 a month for 12 months.
Get Sky Fibre Unlimited
New and existing customers
€30 a month
For 12 months
(line rental included)
Sky TV and Fibre
New to Sky
€59.50 a month
for 12 months
(line rental included)
Find out more”
A link to the following Terms and conditions was provided at the bottom of the screen and included details of the Sky Fibre €30 a month offer:
“Sky Fibre €30 a month for 12 months: Sky Fibre Unlimited with Sky Talk €30 a month for 12 months, normally from €55 per month. New ROI households in selected fibre areas only. Prices based on customer taking Sky Fibre Unlimited with Talk Freetime. Download speed up to 100Mb, varies by location. Min contract & further terms apply.”
Six complainants objected to the advertising on the following grounds:
Complainants noted that the offer said that it was available to both new and existing customers, however when they attempted to avail of the offer as existing Sky customers they were advised that the offer was only available to existing Sky TV customers and that existing Sky Broadband customers could not avail of the offer. The complainants did not consider that the advertising had clarified this restriction.
One complainant considered that the advertising was misleading as they would have to sign up to both a broadband and TV package in order to get the advertised offer. The complainant reviewed the small print of the advertising and noted that it did not refer to the restriction that a TV package was also required to avail of the offer.
Sky Ireland responded to the complaints regarding the television advertisement stating that on screen footnote had clearly indicated that the offer was only available to new Sky Broadband customers.
In regards to the regional radio advertisement, they stated that the advertisement had been clearly addressed to existing Sky TV customers and had encouraged them to “upgrade today”, that is, by adding Sky Fibre to their TV package.
In regards to the leaflet Sky stated that while it had included the tagline “Available to new and existing customers”, this should be read in the context of the fact that the headline of the leaflet was “Turn on Sky Fibre” which they believed clearly showed that the advertisement was aimed at customers who did not currently have Sky Fibre and therefore, Sky TV customers could avail of the offer as existing Sky customers. They also said that the footnote had made it clear that the offer was available to new broadband customers only.
In regards to their website, Sky again referred to the fact that the headline of the Sky Fibre offer page had stated “Turn on Sky Fibre”, clearly showing that the webpages were aimed at customers who did not currently have Sky Fibre. They said that the small print of the webpages it had stated “new ROI households in selected fibre areas only”.
Finally they said that notwithstanding their position that the provided information was sufficient, they had decided to adjust their approach in order to clarify that the reference to “New and existing customers” means Sky TV customers.
Complaints Upheld in Part
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaints and the advertisers’ response. The Committee noted the advertisers’ action to clarify in future advertising that ‘existing customers’ meant existing TV customers.
The Committee noted that the radio advertisements had clearly addressed “Sky TV customers” and had referred either to “upgrade today” or “complete your entertainment experience”. The Committee did not consider that the radio advertisements were in breach of the Code.
In considering the TV, leaflet and website advertising, the Committee noted that the advertising had referred to ‘new and existing’ Sky customers without clarifying that it only applied to either new or existing Sky TV customers, but not to existing Sky broadband customers. They also noted that in order to avail of the Sky fibre offer, customers either had to be an existing Sky TV customer or take a Sky TV package.
The Committee noted that the advertising had included a reference in the footnotes that the offer was only available to new broadband customers in selected fibre areas. Nevertheless, they considered that the reference to ‘existing and new customers’ in advertising that was for Sky Broadband could not be qualified by a restriction in the footnotes (which they noted was not in any event linked to the headline text). In the circumstances, they considered that TV, Leaflet and Website advertising was in breach of Sections 4.1 and 4.4 of the Code.
The Committee noted the undertaking by Sky to amend the reference and considered that further action was not required.