Bruce Willis Commercial for BSkyB Banned in U.K.

3:12 AM PST 08/14/2013 by George Szalai
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Bruce Willis

Britain's ad watchdog says the spot for the pay TV giant's broadband service included a misleading price information.

LONDON - Britain's advertising watchdog has banned a TV commercial from pay TV giant featuring Bruce Willis, arguing it used misleading pricing information.

The spot for the broadband service of BSkyB, in which Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox owns a 39 percent stake, took aim at competitor and telecom giant BT. It featured small print to explain pricing details, which appeared for 15 seconds during the ad.

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In the spot, Willis enters an office to complain about the slowness of his broadband service. Responds one person: "You could try Sky Broadband. It's totally unlimited…Sky Broadband Unlimited is $11.60 (£7.50) a month, which is less than half BT's standard price."

Later on, the ad mentions that a line rental worth $22.45 (£14.50) is required to get the price deal.

That led to a viewer complaint to Britain's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

BSkyB responded by arguing that the average viewer would understand the pricing terms.

The ASA said that BSkyB should have used a voiceover to explain all the pricing terms instead of relying on brief on-screen text details. "We concluded that the ad did not make sufficiently clear the extent of the commitment consumers had to make in order to obtain the broadband service at the advertised price," it said Wednesday.

The organization banned BSkyB from running the TV spot in the future.

E-Mail: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai

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