HomeInsightsCommittees of Advertising Practice publish bullet point advice on making broadband speed claims in ads

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Six months ago, CAP published guidance on how to promote broadband speeds in marketing communications. It has now published mini FAQs to assist marketers in relation to what claims can be made and how to substantiate them.

What speed should I use in my advertising?

Speed claims should be based on the actual experience of users and advertisers should be able to demonstrate that that speed can be achieved by at least 50% of their customer base during peak time, defined by Ofcom as between 8pm and 10pm. This principle applies even when a speed claim appears in the product name.

When will advertisers need to qualify their speed claims?

If there are factors which mean some consumers will receive speeds significantly below that advertised, those factors needs to be stated in the ad. Advertisers can include those factors in their qualification, which should:

  • be prominent, appearing in the main body of the ad;
  • make clear the likely effect of the relevant factor on consumers’ ability to achieve the advertised speed; and
  • explain technical terms, unless those terms are widely understood by consumers or clearly explained in the ad.

What substantiation should advertisers hold?

  • for speed testing, use methods based on relevant industry standards and data appropriate to the claim made in the ad;
  • general speed claims should be based on activities that are representative of activities that users generally perform;
  • advertisers should demonstrate that the lines chosen for testing are not unrepresentative;
  • the ASA will accept data that has been gathered and processed by the advertiser, or by an independent body on the advertiser’s behalf;
  • where ISPs have a large customer base, they can use an appropriate sample (which must be statistically robust) and apply statistical methods to make it representative of the actual performance of the service;
  • the data should account for all relevant factors which cause a reduction or variation in speed experienced by customers; and
  • the acceptability of testing based on a sample performance will depend on the context of the claim, for example, national campaigns should be based on data from the whole customer base.

To access the advice on the CAP website, click here.