Virgin Media in pledge to tone down ‘confusing’ ads

Virgin Media claims that it is toning down campaigns that pit it against rivals such as BSkyB because consumers are getting confused and being patronised.

The u-turn also follows the Advertising Standards Authority’s (ASA) decision to uphold complaints against two Virgin Media “real deal” press ads on grounds of substantiation, truthfulness and comparisons with identified competitors and/or their products (MW last week).

Meanwhile, Virgin Media is understood to have complained against Sky’s comparative advertising and a further Virgin Media campaign – “Truth Lies and Broadband” – is also under investigation.

Both the cable company and satellite provider have insisted that they want to bring clarity and transparency to the marketplace.

But spokeswoman for Virgin Media says it has now changed its position. She adds: “We are planning to tone the advertising down a little bit.

“We know there is a lot of confusion. Everyone is out there saying their customer is best because of X, Y or Z. But we are not sure that customers are really taking that on board. They don’t want to be patronised.”

Virgin Media will today (Wednesday) report second-quarter results amid criticism that its quad-play offering will lose popularity.

A report from Enders Analysis says that the offering is failing because it doesn’t offer a “compelling price advantage”. It suggests that Virgin Mobile price increases amount to “another nail in the coffin” for the fixed-mobile convergence bandwagon with take-up reduced “to a trickle”.

Tiscali, which already offers broadband, home phone and a digital television service, is also mooting a quad-play service in the UK with plans to launch a mobile phone service next year (MW last week).

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