Ofcom moves to stop misleading broadband advertising

Ofcom, the communications watchdog, has published a code of conduct to stop internet service providers (ISPs) from advertising “misleading” broadband speeds. The code was published today (June 5).

Ofcom says 32 ISPs – covering 90% of broadband customers – have signed up to the code. They include giants such as AOL Broadband, O2 home broadband, BT Total and Virgin Media. The regulator will now launch a broadband speeds survey to identify actual speeds compared to advertised headline speeds.

ISPs have frequently come under fire from the Adverting Standards Authority for “misleading” consumers, including a case involving Virgin Media’s press ads last August that stated its own offering was faster than BSkyB’s.

The terms of the new code include providing consumers with an accurate maximum speed at the point of sale, as well as giving customers the option to move to a lower speed package when estimates are inaccurate.

The regulator has also launched a programme of independent research to identify the actual speeds of broadband for consumers. The move follows research, which showed consumer satisfaction of ISPs has fallen over the last year.

Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards, says: “Broadband is a thriving market in the UK. We want to encourage real clarity for consumers about the actual broadband speeds they receive.”

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here