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ASA told BSKYB to dump “instant” movie advert

Advertising watchdog, the ASA, has told BSKYB to withdraw one of its adverts that describes the company’s film rental service as “instant.”

Known as Sky Store, the new platform was marketed as like having a movie rental store in your house, offering “instant” availability through a user’s Sky+ box. In reality, movies needed to be downloaded, taking several seconds or perhaps minutes in slower areas. This raised the hackles of BT, which complained directly to the Advertising Standards Agency.

While BSKYB argued that in reality, when it said “instant” users understood that that didn’t mean immediately, but very quickly. The ASA didn’t buy that excuse and has now demanded the the advert be pulled from circulation.

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“We considered that a delay of up to a minute for most customers (and longer for those with slower broadband connections) would not be in line with their reasonable expectations for an online movie service which was described as ‘instant’,” reads the ASA ruling (via the Guardian). “We therefore considered that the ad had exaggerated the capabilities of the service and we concluded that it was likely to mislead.”

Sky has recently been attempting to combat increasing competition for movie viewing from Netflix and Lovefilm, by releasing several new services, including Sky Store and Now TV. While both of its competitors have lower prices and more established streaming backgrounds – especially among the many millions that have chosen not to adopt cable television from Sky – the News Corp owned company does have an exclusivity deal with many major movie studios, securing new films for its service a year before anyone else can offer them.

KitGuru Says: It’s a bit nit pick, but when Netflix and Lovefilm offer something much closer to an instant service, it’s only fair to categorise platforms properly.

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