AOL taken to task over ad claim

The ISP is to change the wording of its one-megabit broadband adverts after a ruling by the ASA

AOL has fallen foul of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over advertising claims it made about its one-megabit broadband service.

A member of the public complained that an advert in the national papers showing a cheetah with "running spikes" on its feet and the slogan 'Fast just got faster' promised a 1Mb broadband service it was unlikely to deliver all the time.

The complainant said that because the service was shared between lots of different users, it was unlikely to reach 1Mb for downloads.

AOL countered that if certain factors that could hamper users' ability to get the maximum download speed -- including the make and model of PC, the distance between the user's home and the local BT exchange point, the time of day and the number of users online -- were beyond their control and if everything was going their way at any given point, the speed was achievable.

The ASA said in its adjudication that the ad "exaggerated the likelihood of users achieving the maximum 1Mb download speed".

AOL has since ditched the advert in question and now uses the phrasing "up to 1Mb" in its promotional material.