Virgin Media’s Usain Bolt TV spot banned

Virgin Media has been banned from running a TV spot starring Olympic hopeful Usain Bolt telling viewers to “say bye-bye buffering” after rival BT complained the the claim was misleading.


The spot, promoting the company’s “superfast broadband” service, ran earlier this year as part of series of adverts featuring the 100 metre Olympic champion.

In the ad, Bolt says: “Hi I’m Richard Branson and I want everyone to say bye-bye to buffering and hello to superfast broadband.”

BT objected to the spot’s use of the phrase “say bye-bye to buffering”, and whether it implied that Virgin Media customers would not experience any buffering.

In its defence, Virgin Media said that it had taken steps to make sure that the claim in the ad was “not definitive”.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled that the spot must not appear again in its current form, adding: “because we understood that users of the service might still experience buffering, we concluded that the claim was misleading.” The advertising watchdog warned Virgin Media not to “state or imply” that users of broadband service would not experience buffering in future campaigns.

Elsewhere, the regulator banned the broadband provider from running definitive claims on its website about its download speeds. The ASA has banned an ad, which claimed that the service was “up to 7 times faster than the UK average broadband speed.


Bradley Wiggins

Brands look to exploit Wiggins Tour win

Russell Parsons

Sponsors and backers of Bradley Wiggins and the team he rides for have launched a marketing blitz to exploit the popularity of the cyclist, who yesterday (22 July) became the first ever British winner of the Tour De France.


Wells and Young’s names brand chief

Seb Joseph

Wells and Young’s Brewing Company has appointed former Nestle marketer Phil Toms to the new post of director of brands to oversee a planned flurry of marketing activity for brands such as Estrella Damm and Wells Bombardier.

Lucy Handley

Mobile is the name of the game

Lucy Handley

Retailers are seeing an increase in people shopping via their smartphones, three-year-olds are using iPads and Google says it has a mobile-first strategy – not even a digital-first one.


    Leave a comment